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July has been Canada month at WebFuel. All our blog posts, Facebook posts – and most of our Tweets as well as our YouTube video have been from a Canadian perspective. Our topics have included SEO, Social Media – and now it’s time for Web Analytics. The most popular Web Analytics program in Canada is Google Analytics (same for the USA).

Google Analytics, Eh?
This is the first in a series of posts covering what data to analyze in Google Analytics if you are targeting the Canadian marketplace, starting with Map Overlay.

Featured Report: Map Overlay
The Map Overlay report displays location data. It tells you where your website visitors are coming from – or where they are not coming from.

How to find Map Overlay in GA
You can access Map Overlay via your Google Analytics Dashboard (just click on “view report” link) or select “Map Overlay” found under the “Visitors” section in the navigation bar (left hand side).

Country Level: Canada
By default, Google Analytics gives you an overview of the World map. It displays website traffic from a Country/Territory perspective indicated in green. The greater the percentage of visitors that come from that particular country, the darker the shade of green.

Note: Primary source of web traffic is from Canada

City Level: Canadian Cities
When you drill down from the  country level, you can access the city data. Popular Canada cites and territories include: Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Fredericton, Regina, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City, St. John’s, Halifax, Charlottetown, Yellowknife, Iqaluit and Whitehorse. Traffic from various cities is indicated in orange. Again, the darker the shade of orange, the higher the number of website visitors.

Note: Web Traffic from Canadian Cities

Note: The major cities may not include the entire geographic area. For example, if you are trying to get found in an Ottawa Search (as in Ottawa, Ontario), you will need to take into account Kanata, Nepean, Orleans, Gloucester, Vanier, Manotick, Carleton Place and maybe even Gatineau, Québec.

Province Level: Canadian Provinces
While Map Overlay shows you traffic by country all the way down to the city level, it is missing Canadian province data. If you are targeting getting found in a Canadian Search, province and territory data would be helpful. Especially if you are comparing traffic from Ontario to Québec for example. One option is to create a filter to only include traffic from a selected province. However, this is not ideal when you will need to navigate between profiles to compare each province.

Note: Web traffic from Canadian Provinces

Solution: Custom Report(s)
You can take all the cities in Ontario, and create a custom report. Simply select “country/territory” as dimension, and then “region”. Add the metric “Visits”, save and you’re done! To access this new report, just click on “Canada” and you will have access to Provinces and Territories of Canada. And… yes – if you wish to know all the traffic in the Ottawa area, a report can be created for this as well.

Web analytics is a powerful tool to use in terms of website Search Engine Optimization, especially if your business is targeting specific geographic regions. If you need data based on Canada, Ontario or Ottawa for example, the Map Overlay Report, and customized reports, can be very helpful. It is important to note however that the specific geographic location is based on where the servers are located. So… factor this into the equation when performing your analysis.