About measuring geographic performance

You may find that your business flourishes in particular parts of the world. For example, a company selling snow boots probably sells more stock to people who live on high mountains than people who live on sunny beaches. Performance data in your Google Ads account can help you identify those geographic areas, so you can decide where to focus more of your advertising efforts and budget.

In this article, you’ll learn about three types of reports in Google Ads that can help you understand how your ads are doing in different locations.

The new Google Ads experience is now the exclusive way for most users to manage their accounts. If you’re still using the previous AdWords experience, choose “previous” below. Learn more

Geographic and user locations reports

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

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 showed interest in.
  • Where your users were (user locations): Shows only your customers' physical locations, regardless of any locations that 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 postcode, 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 that you can target within the country.

Find out more about how we determine geographic location when showing your ads and how to view your location reports.

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 from their physical location.

Example

You own a bookshop in Geelong. When you pull a geographic report (which includes physical location and location of interest data), you find that you’ve received:
  • 70 ad impressions targeted to Geelong (people in Geelong or people from any location showing interest in Geelong)
  • 30 ad impressions targeted to Melbourne (people from any location showing interest in Melbourne)
You then pull a user locations report (which includes only physical location data) and find that only 10 of your 100 ad impressions are from people in Geelong and the remaining 90 are from people in Melbourne.
You draw the conclusion that most people searching for your business are physically located in Melbourne, so you decide to allocate more of your advertising budget there.

Distance reports

If you’ve already added location extensions, you can view performance data for your ads with location extensions. Your data will be organised by the distance between the location that triggered your ad and your closest business location. The location that triggered your ad could be your customer's physical location, or the location they'd shown interest in. The distance report shows statistics as of 17 November 2013. Find out how you can view distance reports for your Search Network and Shopping campaigns.

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 0.7 to 40 miles and 0.7 to 65 kilometers).

Example

You pull a distance report for your bookshop, and you find that your ads have a higher conversion rate from people within five kilometres of your store. Using radius targeting and location bid adjustments, you can increase your bids for customers located within 5 kilometres of your store, since they show more interest in your ads.

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, if only regional targeting is available for a country, geographic reports will not show data more specific than the regions that can be targeted in that country. In the US, the most specific location may be available at the postal code level.

Most specific location statistics aren't available before 15 November 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:

  • 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 recognised 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.
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