The Visitor Map Overlay report shows you where your visitors are coming from, allowing you to analyze metrics by geography. This report uses the visitor’s IP address to pin-point their location. The data is typically quite accurate, but keep in mind that is may not always be available and a certain number of visitor locations will show as “not set,” meaning GA was not able to determine where they were coming from.

Navigate to this report from the menu on the left. The default view will be visits by country. Each country is color coded by density with the darker the color the higher the reported metric from that location. A density key is in the lower left corner of the map.

Roll your mouse over each country to view the exact metric for that location.

Change the metric displayed on the map by opening the menu in the upper left corner of the map and selecting a new metric.

In this example I selected the new metric of bounce rate and the map below reflects these rates.

To drill down into more detail for a specific country click on it and your map will change to that country by itself. Keep drilling down to a smaller region (such as a state) and finally down to city by clicking on the territory or region.

Keep in mind when viewing the Map Overlay reports that aggregate metrics can be a bit misleading. Notice how closely this visits map matches a basic population distribution map of the United States. It stands to reason that you will get more visits from highly populated states such as California and while North Dakota, with its smaller population, results in fewer visits.

Percentage or per-visit metrics can be much more useful. When looking at the Percent of New Visits on the map below, North Dakota has a very different story than on the map above.

Up Next: Visitor Reports – New vs. Returning