Google Analytics for Small Businesses [Series]

Today, I’m writing the first post in a series that will guide small business owners and entrepreneurs  in understanding the important customer data that Google Analytics provides. We’ll look at where to find the data in Google Analytics and how this information can be useful to your business.

Google Analytics is a great tool for analyzing the traffic that shows up on your website. This will give you fantastic insights into who is coming to your web site, all the other related pages, and how they’re getting there. It displays so much useful information, and with just a little training, you too will be able to use Google Analytics for your business. We won’t go into the details of how to setup Google Analytics for your site – but here’s a great article on Mahalo that shows you how to set it up for free.

Google Analytics MenuToday, we’ll start with the Visitors Map overlay. With the Visitor Map, you get a World Map graphic that captures website Visitor numbers by region, country and state. The Map Overlay can be accessed by clicking on the Visitors tab, and then the Map Overlay underneath it. You can also select different Detail Levels of the world map in City view, Country/Territory view and so on.

The Map Overlay displays Visits as the metric in the default view with  the countries rendered in varying shades of green. Countries with the darkest shade of green indicates the greatest number of visitors in terms of website traffic. While some other countries have no shading at all, this indicates the site has never had a visitor.


The metric displayed on the map can be changed from Visits to Pages/Visit, avg. Time on Site, % New Visits, Bounce Rate, and Goal Conversion Rate. You can also drill down to see more detailed information within specific regions, either by clicking on individual countries on the map or selecting a different Detail Level. Look at the image below for an example of an Overlay Visitor Map drilled down to the Country/Territory detail of Brazil.


Are you wondering how Google knows which country a visitor comes from? Well, the answer is no rocket science, Google simply looks at the IP address of every visitor to determine from country/place in the world they are coming from. In the map of Brazil above, it tells us that Sao Paulo is the largest market in Brazil, followed by Rio de Janiero.

More interestingly, an Advanced Segmentation feature is now available in Google Analytics. This enables you to analyze subsets of your traffic. You can either choose from the pre-defined segments such as “Paid Traffic”, “Visits with Conversions”, “Referral Traffic” or create your own custom segments and then compare up to four segments develop a great understanding of your customer’s behaviour on the site.

With the Advanced Segmentation features you can also create new segments with the Segment Creator. Simply drag and drop dimensions and metrics into the boxes to create a visit segment. Then, you can apply one or more of these segments to data, and compare the segment performance. By setting up an advanced segment for just “Sign-up from Sao Paulo” for instance, you could drill down and analyse the behaviour of the users who signed-up from Sao Paulo.

Check out this video for more details on how the Advanced Segmentation works.

The geodata collected through Analytics helps to identify lucrative geographic markets and identify new locations for potential marketing campaigns. Targeting specific users geographically will undoubtedly increase the success of your business. I hope you’ve learnt the importance of the Map Overlay and how it can help you reach customers from around the world.

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Software engineer turned tech evangelist. I handle marketing stuff here at Creately including writing blog posts and handling social media accounts. In my spare time, I love to read and travel.


  1. Ari

    Great article! I think that a lot of small business owners miss out on opportunities like Google Analytics because they feel that it’s just too hard to figure out, so it’s great to see this kind of article. It could also be cool if you did an article on Google Webmasters and other online tools.

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