PHOTO: Andrey Shatalin | spray out
Getting started with analytics tools can be confusing. Geographic reports provide a simple but powerful starting point. When Google updated Google Analytics to the latest GA4 version, some subtle updates were made to its geographic report that improved the insights that budding analytics teams can get.
How to use geographic reports in GA4
Geographic reports are useful for quick analysis based on specific knowledge of your digital media and operations. If your business primarily operates in a particular region of the United States and you are running digital campaigns for those regions, you should look at the metrics associated with those intended locations. This is an easy starting point for managers trying to get wet with Google Analytics or Analytics in general.
To get deeper insights into the quality of the results, combine your geographic knowledge with different combinations of dimensions and metrics. Two sections of the report serve as starting points here.
The demographic overview shows display cards with the visits of the users. On each map, visitors are broken down by city, language and – if enough data is available – by gender, age and interest. These metrics were available in previous versions of Google Analytics. GA4 provides maps that allow users to select a section to break down for comparison. The demographic overview also includes a map that shows users by continent, country, and city.
Related article: How to Use Cohort Analysis in Google Analytics GA4
A unique bubble chart appears on the demographic details page, a new image in Google Analytics. The chart shows each country by user versus new user, so marketers can see the mix of new and returning visitors by region. This type of information can influence campaign messaging, guide budget planning, and influence customer service strategy for loyal customers.
Users can create graphs to find out which regions are attracting new users to a website or app. Finding out how regularly people from a particular region visit your website can help strengthen your digital campaign plans. New users are an important segment with a different customer journey than returning users. Returning users typically represent returning customers or people who are already familiar with your company. New users represent people who are discovering your company for the first time.
Related Article: What Marketers Need To Know About Google Analytics 4
Dimensions help refine your geographic insights in Google Analytics
With the option to add secondary dimensions, chart refinement is relatively easy. The dimension acts as a filter, either including or excluding certain dimensions. The selection can be made using the drop-down menu at the top right of the screen. Choose from basic demographic filters – city, country or, if enough data is available, age and gender.
But a custom events section of the drop-down menu provides the really intriguing second dimension, like search term, page title, and page url. The value of each choice depends on your marketing strategy. For example, combining geographic reports with page titles can provide an answer to whether certain pages regularly attract people from a particular demographic. The answer is helpful if your website has a blog with regionally oriented content and you are not sure how these pages work. From secondary dimensions you can draw additional conclusions about interesting visitors from different regions. With Google Analytics, analysts can select up to five secondary dimensions.
Combining geographic reports with dimensions can be useful when running campaigns in multiple regions. Over time, the metrics can show whether one region has more conversion activity than another, which could lead to the campaign being adjusted to best accommodate the target audiences.
Useful analyzes can take some time. Geographic reports can help reduce the time it takes to do this useful analysis.
Pierre DeBois is the founder of Zimana, a digital analytics consultancy for small businesses. He reviews data from web analytics and social media dashboard solutions and then gives recommendations and web development actions that improve marketing strategy and business profitability.