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 that 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.

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 “Locations” page.

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

  • Geographic: Shows your potential customers' physical locations, or locations that they had shown interest in.
  • User locations: Shows only your potential customers' physical locations, regardless of any locations they may have shown interest in.

Your location reports let you view your ad performance at the most specific level available for targeting. In other words, if you were targeting the UK, you could view location data down to the postcode, university, airport or electoral district 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 within the country you’re targeting. 

Learn 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 geographic report and a user locations report, 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 Brighton. 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 Brighton (either physical location is Brighton or location of interest is Brighton)
  • 30 ad impressions targeted to London (people from any location showing interest in London)
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 whose physical locations are in Brighton and the remaining 90 have physical locations in London.

You draw the conclusion that most people searching for your business have physical locations in London, 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 potential customer's physical location, or the location that they'd shown interest in through searches or content that they'd viewed. Find out how you can view distance reports for your Search Network and Shopping campaigns.

Say that you own a bricks-and-mortar shop and you see on your distance report that your ads have a higher conversion rate from people within 5 miles of your location. Using radius targeting and location bid adjustments, you can increase your bids for customers with a physical location within a 5-mile radius.

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 potential 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.

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 Google Ads statistics table may vary somewhat from other data in your account or sources such as third-party tracking or web logs. Here are a few possible reasons why the data may vary:

  • 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 and payments' page.
  • IP addresses:  IP addresses are routinely re-assigned, and Google Ads updates its IP data regularly to reflect these changes. Third-party tracking providers may update their IP data on a different schedule.
  • Invalid clicks: Google Ads filters out invalid clicks, so the number of clicks per geographic area may differ from that shown by other data sources.
  • Location of interest: Google Ads may pick up on locations that a potential 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 Google Ads traffic. For example, let's say that Google Ads generates 50 visits to your site, but your site has a total of 100 visits from all sources. Google Ads will only report on the 50 clicks from Google Ads traffic.
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