Measuring geographic performance

  • View your ads’ geographic performance to better understand how your ads are doing in different locations.
  • Location reports in AdWords can show the places where your customers are physically located, or the locations they showed interest in.
  • If you use location extensions, you can use the distance report to see how your ads performed in varying distances from your business.

Much like how snorkeling is popular in Hawaii and sledding is in Alaska, you may find that your business flourishes in particular parts of the world. Performance data in your AdWords account can help you identify those geographic areas, so you can decide where to focus more of your advertising efforts and budget.

Geographic and user locations reports

If you’ve already applied your location targeting settings and your campaigns have been running for awhile, you can track performance by location in the Settings tab, under Locations.

location reports

You can view data from two different types of location reports:

  • What triggered your ad (geographic): Shows your customers' physical locations, or locations that they had shown interest in through searches or content they had viewed.
  • Where your users were (user locations): Shows only your customers' physical locations, regardless of any locations they may have shown interest in.

Your location reports allow you to view your ad performance at the most specific level available for targeting -- in other words, if you were targeting the United States, you could view location data down to the postal code, university, or airport level. This gives you a more detailed view of the locations where your campaigns are performing well.

Keep in mind that your location reports can only show data about location target types you can target within the country. For example, in India, advertisers can target at the region level, so your location report for India will show data for regions. In countries that don't have region or city-level targeting, geographical data is only available at the country level.

Find out more about how we determine geographic location when showing your ads.

How to apply your location reports

You can pull a report for what triggered your ad and another report for where your users were, then overlay them to get an idea of where your customers are located, even if they had been interested in a location different than their physical location.

Example

You own a bookstore in Sacramento. When you pull a report for “What triggered your ad” (which includes physical location and location of interest data), you find that you’ve gotten 70 ad impressions in Sacramento and 30 ad impressions in San Francisco.

You then pull a report for “Where your users were” (which includes only physical location data) and finds that you’ve received 10 ad impressions in Sacramento and 90 impressions in San Francisco.

You draw the conclusion that most people searching for your business are physically located in San Francisco, so you decide to allocate more of your advertising budget there.

How to view your location reports
  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Select the campaign or ad group you'd like to see in the side panel. You can also see statistics for your entire account by clicking All online campaigns in the panel.
    Multiple Campaigns
  3. Click the date range menu on the top right corner of the page and select the time period you'd like to review.
    See the date range drop down menu
  4. Click the Settings tab.
  5. Click Locations (underneath the Settings tab).
  6. Click the View locations reports and select What triggered your ad or Where your users were from the dropdown menu. Your data will be displayed by location.
  7. If you want to drill down to a different geographic level, check the box next to one or more of the locations in the table and click Select view for...locations. You’ll be able to view data for the location target types that are available for all of the selected locations. You can continue to refine your report by selecting locations and clicking Select view for...locations.
  8. To download the data in a report, click the download button above the table.
Try it out

Distance reports

If you’ve already added location extensions, you can view performance data for your ads with location extensions. Your data will be organized by the distance a customer was from your business when they saw your ad. The distance report shows statistics as of November 17 2013.

How to apply your distance reports

If you own a brick-and-mortar business and are already running location extensions, you may be interested in seeing how your ads are doing when your potential customers are either near or far away from your store. Distance reports let you see your campaign performance within a radius around your business (from .7 to 40 miles and .7 to 65 kilometers).

Example

You pull a distance report for your bookstore, and you find that your ads have a higher conversion rate from people within five miles of your store. Using radius targeting and location bid adjustments, you can increase your bids for customers located within five miles of your store, since they show more interest in your ads.

How to view your distance report
  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Select the campaign or ad group you'd like to see in the side panel. You can also see statistics for your entire account by clicking All online campaigns in the panel.
    Multiple Campaigns
  3. Click the date range menu on the top right corner of the page and select the time period you'd like to review.
    See the date range drop down menu
  4. Click the Dimensions tab.
  5. From the View dropdown menu, click Distance. Your data will be organized by distance.
  6. To download the data in a report, click the download button above the table.
Try it out

Geographic performance columns and values

When you view geographic data in your statistics table, you may also see the following columns and details:

Most specific location

The Most specific location column shows the most detailed information we have about the location that was used to show your ads. This location may either be your customer's physical location or a location that she showed interest in. The most specific location varies by country depending on the level of geographic targeting available. For example, in India, only regional targeting is available at this time, so geographic reports will not show data more specific than the regions that can be targeted in India. In the U.S., the most specific location may be available at the postal code level.

For example, in India, only regional targeting is available at this time, so geographic reports will not show data more specific than the regions that can be targeted in India. In the U.S., the most specific location may be available at the postal code level.

Most specific location statistics aren't available before November 15, 2011, which will be indicated by "--" in the report.

Unspecified areas

You may notice some data from "Unspecified" areas in your report. There are a number of reasons why an area where your ad showed might be unspecified:

  • Country-specific domains: If someone performs a search on a country-specific domain (such as google.fr, google.co.uk) but her IP address shows that she is located in a different country, then we'll record her location based on the country-specific domain, but we won't be able to identify the city or region.
  • IP address or search query: We can't determine the location from the IP address, and the search query didn't indicate interest in a recognized location.
  • Multiple cities/regions in Google Maps: The search was performed on Google Maps within a large geographic area that included several cities or regions.

Variation in geographic reporting numbers

The geographic data in your AdWords statistics table may vary somewhat from other data in your account or sources such as third-party tracking or web logs. Click the section below to see a few possible reasons.

Reasons for data variation
  • Campaign or billing summary: Performance data may vary slightly from data in your campaign summary or billing summary because our data collection techniques can vary. For invoicing and campaign spend, use the reports in the billing summary tab.
  • IP addresses:  IP addresses are routinely re-assigned, and AdWords updates its IP data regularly to reflect these changes. Third-party tracking providers may update their IP data on a different schedule.
  • Invalid clicks: AdWords filters out invalid clicks, so the number of clicks per geographic area may differ from that shown by other data sources.
  • Location of interest: AdWords may pick up on locations that a customer is interested in, which other data sources may not be able to detect.
  • Other sources of traffic: Third-party tracking providers may count all sources of traffic to your site, instead of just AdWords traffic. For example, let's say AdWords generates 50 visits to your site, but your site has a total of 100 visits from all sources. AdWords will only report on the 50 clicks from AdWords traffic.

How helpful is this article:

Feedback recorded. Thanks!
  • Not at all helpful
  • Not very helpful
  • Somewhat helpful
  • Very helpful
  • Extremely helpful