In order to market in meaningful and compelling ways, you need to know your audience–who they are, how they want to engage with you, and what they respond to. Gathering this data helps inform important marketing decisions, such as what type of content to create, where you should advertise, and what audiences to target for future marketing or advertising efforts.
Luckily, there are free tools, such as Google Analytics, that you can use to start building a more comprehensive understanding of your current audience.
You may already be familiar with some of the more popular functions of Google Analytics , which allows you to learn how users interact with your website. Beyond user behaviour on your website such as the amount of time and what pages they are viewing, did you know that you can also gain insight into who your visitors are?
Through the Audience Report in Google Analytics, you can learn details about your website visitors such as:
In a nutshell, the audience reports answer these questions:
Here’s how to unlock this information about your users:
Example of how to enable the Demographics and Interest Reports
Now that you’ve set up your Google Analytics account to report on this information, let’s explore the associated audience reports.
This report provides a breakdown on the age ranges and gender of your audience. This can give insight to who is most interested in your product or service. If you make bookings or sell services directly on your website, you can look at the demographics of users with the highest ecommerce conversion rates, and at the types of users that have the highest conversion rates for important activities on your website (based on the goals you’ve implemented).
The Demographic Reports have three associated reports (Demographic Overview, Age, and Gender).
The Demographic Overview Report shows a snapshot of your audience make-up. By default, this report shows the demographics based on users, but you can change the key metric to another usage metric, such as bounce rate or session duration to see how various demographics interact with your website.
Example of the Demographic Overview Report
Interest reports provides information on your online visitors’ interests, based on their web browsing behaviour across your website, and on other websites.
The Interest Reports can be located by going to Audience, then selecting Interests Overview. There are four reports available (Overview, Affinity Categories, In-Market Segments and Other Categories).
Example of the Interest Overview Report
The Affinity Categories Report displays the general interests of users, In-Market Segments reports on the interests of users who are currently shopping for a product or service, or are near the end of the buying process, and the Other Categories Report displays even more granular categories than Affinity and In-market segments.
Geographic reports give data on the locations and languages of your visitors, and are located by going to Audience, selecting Geographic, and then either Locations or Language.
The Location report, by default, reports on the top countries visiting your site. However, you can get even more detailed information by changing the main dimension from country to city. You’ll be able to see which cities are driving the most traffic to your site, as well what cities are driving conversions. Languages may be useful if you are wondering about translating any of your website content.
Behaviour reports provide data on the behaviour of visitors on your website. The top report in this section is the New vs. Returning Report. This report gives a breakdown on how many users are visiting your website for the first time, versus users who are returning to your website for a subsequent visit, and the differences in their on-site activity. You may find that returning visitors are more likely to convert, or that new users tend to view the website longer, for example.
Example of New vs. Returning Report
The Mobile Overview Report provides information on how many of your website visitors access your site via a mobile device, tablet, or a desktop computer. This can help to inform your marketing decisions, and to troubleshoot potential website issues. For example, if you find high bounce rates specifically for mobile device users, you may want to ensure that your website is fully-optimized for mobile.
Example of Mobile Overview Report
Google uses a third-party cookie within the Google ads network to collect demographic and interest information of users. These cookies allow Google to track user activity across many websites over time. Based on this information, Google makes assumptions about the age, gender, and interests of users.
While this is just a small sample of the power of Google Analytics, you can learn more by exploring the free Analytics Academy provided by Google.
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