Friday, August 26, 2011

Know where your audience lives

Part 2 of going deeper in Analytics.

 While consulting for a Mexican newspaper group, I had them dig into their Analytics report to see where their users lived. They were surprised to find out that 40% of the audience for their provincial papers was in Mexico City, evidently for work.

 What were the implications of that finding? Two possibilities:
  • Perhaps they should look for advertisers based in Mexico City who wanted to reach an audience that moves between the two regions -- travel services, real estate agents, telephone services and so on. 
  • Maybe their editorial coverage should reflect the special interests of Mexico city residents living away from their home provinces. 
  • What are some others? 
The publishers of a Latin American website focused on the country’s leading soccer team found that more than a third of their audience lived in the United States. This attracted the attention of a potential advertiser,  a U.S.-based cable television service that carried games from Latin America.

The lesson: you need to know where your audience is accessing your site, for editorial and marketing reasons. Here is how you can do that.

Start in the Dashboard at the upper left. Click on Visitors, then click on Map Overlay and you will see a list of countries. Click on any of them and you will see a breakdown by city or, in the case of the U.S., by state. Then you can click down further for information about particular cities. 
Let’s take a look at the map overlay for the Latin American soccer site mentioned above.
(Click to see a larger image.) 
Based on the color intensity, California, Texas, New York and North Carolina have high interest in a Latin American site covering soccer. Within Analytics, you can roll the cursor over a state for more details.
When you click on California, you can see even more detail about the site’s users. 
Rolling the cursor over the dots in Analytics shows the city and the number of users. 
The users for this site are concentrated in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. This information could be used in a number of ways.
  • Potential website advertisers in the U.S. could be immigration lawyers, travel services, airlines, hotels, moving companies, financial services companies (money transfers) and so on.
  • On the editorial side, there are possibilities for reader polls that segment the audience by place of residence or stories about U.S. based fan groups.
  • What are some others? 
Related: How to tell what your core readers prefer and Going beyond metrics of page views and users. 

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