Customizing Megalytic: Traffic by Geography Widget

Published September 9, 2015
Whether you’re tracking online performance for a local business or for one that serves customers around the globe, you pay close attention to what geographic areas bring you the most sales and leads. You know that geography is a key factor determining who to target with marketing efforts, where you’ve been successful, where new opportunities may lie, as well as where you may want to pull back. Thankfully, Google Analytics offers the means to help marketers measure this effectively.
To measure geographic performance, you’ll want breakdowns of traffic, engagement, and conversion performance for each area that you serve. Megalytic makes this easy with the Traffic by Geography widget, which lets you show exactly where your website visitors are coming from. You can measure the value of each geographic location based not only on volume of visits but also on engagement and conversion data to help you identify areas where your brand is most successful.
In this post, we’ll walk you through how to use the Traffic by Geography widget in Megalytic to get valuable geographic insights about your audience.
When you first add the Traffic by Geography widget, you’ll see both a map and table showing Sessions by Region for the business’s top ten locations. Color-coded circles will mark each region on the map, with each circle’s size varying based on the amount of traffic that area is responsible for.


Megalytic Sessions by Region Widget


Megalytic allows you to customize the location selection quite extensively based on your business’s geographic reach. Depending on whether your business serves a small local area or a worldwide audience, you’ll have very different concerns about how to break out the areas you’ve reached.

Customizing by Dimension

For example, you may choose to specifically show countries (and not Google Analytics’ Region dimension, which includes states/provinces for national brands and countries) in cases where the business has international customers. You can do this by going to the widget options (gear symbol in the upper left) and using the Dimension dropdown to make your selection.


Geography Widget - Customize Dimensions


Within this dropdown, you can choose to display any of the following dimensions:

  • Continent
  • Sub-continent
  • Country
  • Region
  • Metro area
  • City

Also, you may have noted in the initial screenshot that Sessions from (not set) were third on the list of locations. These include any visits for which Google Analytics was unable to determine a geographic location. If you only want to show data for cases in which the location was known, you can exclude (not set) Sessions by unchecking the box next to Include (not set), right below the Dimension dropdown. Now, you’ll see a list restricted to identifiable locations.

Filtering & Choosing Metrics

Next, you may want to limit data to within a particular country. For example, if you only do business within Canada, you’ll only want to show traffic from Canada. Use the Filter dropdown to select the continent, sub-continent, or country you’d like to show.


Geography Widget Filter and Choose Metric


You can change the metric you’re choosing by using the next dropdown. If you’re looking at the volume of potential new customers viewing your website, New Users may be better to show than Sessions. You can choose from most metrics available in Google Analytics here.

Now, note that the map updates to zoom in around Canada, with stats breaking down New Users by province.


Megalytic Showing New Users by Region


But what if you want to break out data more specifically than what’s available in the default filtering options? For example, maybe you run a local business only servicing select towns within New York State. Here, you’ll want to filter data to just New York. To do so, you can use the built-in filtering option available for most Megalytic widgets!

Within the widget options, click “Show filter” at the top. Now, add a new filter, choose to filter by “Region/Exactly Matching,” and enter “New York” in the text box. Apply the filter to update the report.


Megalytic's Custom Filter Feature


Finally, update your dimension to reflect a more granular area within the state (metro area or city, depending on how specifically you want to show data). In this case, we’ll choose metro area, since this data shows performance for a business that services multiple metro areas around the state.

Now, you’ll see that the final widget zooms in even further to look specifically at New York. Metro areas are marked on the map, as well as broken down by New Users in the right-hand table. Note that you can click on any location on the map to see more details about its performance (the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area is currently selected in this example).


Geography Drill Down to New York


Changing the Chart Type

While the map offers a handy way to visualize geographic performance for your business, you may want to show data in a different format. For example, you may want to compare form conversions by geographic area between two time periods, a case for which a bar graph would prove helpful.

To customize the chart type you’re using, simply select from the row of icons near the top of the widget options. You can choose from the following options (left to right):

  • line chart
  • time series bar chart
  • standard bar graph
  • pie chart
  • map (shown previously)
  • table view
  • table graph

For this example, we’ll choose a standard bar graph. We’ll also customize the date range to compare data to the previous period. Finally, we’ll use the Metric dropdown and choose Completions to measure total Goal Completions for each metro area.


Geography Widget with Bar Graph


In the final example, we see a graph breaking down Completions by metro area, comparing data from one month to the previous month. This way, we can easily show whether website inquiries have increased or decreased over time for each area.

Showing Data in a Table

Perhaps you want to show multiple stats all in place for each area. For example, you want to show visit totals (Sessions, New Users) alongside engagement data (Avg. Session Duration) and conversion data (Completions, Conversion Rate). In this case, a table comes in handy to break down more than one metric by area.

From the widget options, choose the table symbol to change the chart type. Next, choose the metrics you want to show from within the Columns dropdown. Click each desired metric or dimension to add a checkbox next to it, showing in the widget (click again to uncheck). Once you’ve chosen all the metrics, select Apply to Report to update the data.

[screenshot: table]


Geography Widget - Table Form


In the final table, you can now see data broken down by metric/dimension in each column, along with totals in the bottom row.


For any business concerned about its geographic reach online, the Traffic by Geography widget offers many powerful ways to show data by area. You can show a map to help visualize performance of top locations or change to a graph or table to show more specific performance information. In addition, you can customize the widget to show just the metrics you want and filter to the geographic level most relevant to your business (from the whole world down to a select metro area).


When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:



It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.


Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.