Using Analytics to Improve AdWords: Geographic Segmentation

One of the key features of Analytics, which makes it such a useful tool for anyone with an AdWords account, is the ability to segment AdWords traffic by almost any traffic metric. Geographic location is a key metric that is often missed during the ongoing optimisation of an AdWords account. It is very common to see a campaign that's dedicated to a single product or service targeted across an entire country without taking into account regional variation.

The main reasons to split a campaign by more granular geographic regions are:

  • The ability to allocate different budgets based on business strategy.
  • The ability to set different bids based on different conversion rates in each region.
  • The ability to use different ads, thereby tailoring the marketing messages to each region.

Of course not all AdWords accounts require a different campaign for each major region. However, with Google Analytics, this is very easy to check. First, go to the Audience/Demographics/Location report within Analytics.

ga-audience-menu

ga-audience-menu

This lists performance metrics at the country and region level. Since AdWords traffic might perform differently from all traffic, it is also advisable to view data for only AdWords by selecting the "Paid search traffic" segment under Advanced Segments.

ga-segmements

ga-segmements

The result is a report of all AdWords traffic broken by country. If your campaign targets a single country, the most relevant report would be the regional breakdown for that country. Clicking on one of the Goal Set tabs shows the conversion statistics for each region.

ga-regions

ga-regions

Armed with this data, determining whether it's worth splitting campaigns across regions becomes a matter of comparing the conversion rate across different regions. If one region is performing particularly well (in our case, Victoria), it might be worth copying the relevant campaigns over to campaigns that target Victoria only and raising the bids and/or budget.

As always, the original insight is only one ingredient to a successful campaign. To achieve the best performance, it is always necessary to regularly review all changes for further improvement. If a regional campaign has been split out, it would be necessary to check if this ended up improving overall ROI, for instance by driving more of the best-converting traffic to the website.