Why do I love Map Overlay so much?

MoreVisibility - May 28, 2008

Why is it that I love this Map Overlay report (in the Visitors section) in Google Analytics? Does it give me deep insights as to what my website visitors want? No. Can I measure Key Performance Indicators (KPI) off of it? No. Will it help me discover what keywords are performing well in my paid search campaigns, and which ones I should drop? No.

Is it really cool to play with and spend minute after minute…after minute…rolling over each city in each state in each country, and then zooming out and doing it again on another state or country? Yes, absolutely.

Geo Map Overlay of Florida, USA

(Editors Note: I am not suggesting I am slacking off while at work. It is merely a hypothetical situation :))

There are a few things that you can do with the Map Overlay. Toward the top-right corner of the map, it should say “Visits”, with an arrow pointing down. Clicking on that will open a menu where you can change the metric that you’re currently viewing. So, instead of Visits, you can view the Bounce Rate, G1 Goal Conversion, or even Revenue, if you have Ecommerce Coding Enabled.

You can also change the detail level of the map. By default the Map Overlay shows you corresponding detail level (so, if you’re looking at the individual country level, your detail level will also be set at country). If you change this option to “city”, towards the bottom-left hand side of the page, directly below the actual map, you can get the very popular “chicken-pox” view of the map:

Geo Map

See how the fun just never ends? Maybe I just like Geography more than the average person, I don’t know. I think that everyone should think about what their favorite report or reports are, and think about why they are your favorites. I would say that the Map Overlay report is my favorite because of functionality and ingenuity. I’m probably not alone in feeling this way. Can you imagine a Google Analytics platform where more [important] reports were as cool to use and as friendly as this one?

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