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Geographic Performance Reporting from Google: Don’t Take This Feature Lightly!

Published: September 5, 2008

Author: David Rodnitzky

Google recently launched a new report in AdWords: the geographic performance report. This is going to be a fairly brief post, so let me tell you exactly what I think about this report: if you have the Google Conversion Tracker installed, you are an absolute idiot not to check this report on a regular basis.
Could I make that point any more forcefully? Geographic performance will show you – down to the suburb if you want it to – the relative performance of different geographic regions. Let me give you an example of the power of this report. I have a client that has a service business in Arizona. They were buying keywords on a national level and appending the keyword with their location name (for example: “Tucson Chiropractor”). We bid lower nationally because the conversion rate was lower than a local campaign.
I ran the geographic performance report last night and did an analysis of performance by state and then rolled up the data to regions (i.e., West, East, Midwest, South). The south and the west were performing well, the midwest was slightly above average, and the east was absolutely horrendous. In fact, the east was 4oo% over the amount we were willing to pay for a lead. By pausing these eastern states, we’ll be able to raise our bids in the south and west. In other words, we’re no longer paying for bad traffic, but we’ll get more market share of the good traffic.
This geographic performance report is an absolute must. Congrats Google, you are once again light years ahead of your competitors. Now here’s two suggestions for the next iteration of this tool – first, enable geo-parting – allow us to vary our bid by state, city, or metro area. You could even offer a “radial bidding” tool, which would allow me to bid more for clicks coming from a short distance from my location, and less and the radius expands. Second, why am I only able to run a report on a daily basis and not summarize data up to the month or even all time? Someone at Google owes me a t-shirt for this suggestion!

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