Google Analytics can be confusing for most entrepreneurs. That’s not exactly a shocker, considering the overwhelming hodge-podge of data embedded in its reports. In fact, the Audience section alone has at least 15 subsections, along with a bunch of reports in them. 🤯
The good news is that you don’t need to understand all 15+ subsections. What you need to understand about your audience (read: metrics that impact your business) can be found in a few reports in the audience section.
In this blog post, we’ll be diving deep to some of the vital subsections that you need to get to know your audience. But first, a brief overview…
What are audience reports?
Audience reports tell you more about your audience (duh). It tells you things like the number of new and repeat visitors coming in your site, bounce rate, pageviews, your audience demographics and many other insights about your audience.
Using audience reports will give you answers to pressing questions like:
- How much traffic is coming to your site this month? this week? today? the past few hours?
- What are the general interests and demographics of your audience?
- How many of your visitors are new?
- Are your visitors on mobile when they’re viewing your site?
Now let’s have a quick tour so you’ll know where to navigate to find answers to these questions.
The Overview Section gives you a 30,000-feet view of how your audience is interacting with your website. More specifically, this report displays data on the following metrics:
It’s basically the amount of traffic that visited your site. You can also see how many of these users are new by simply looking at the data under ‘new users’.
If you’re wondering how many times were the pages in your site viewed by users, this metric is where you need to look at.
This refers to the average amount of time a user spends in your site. A longer session duration is usually indicative that the content in your site is relevant to your audience.
In a session, a ‘bounce’ happens when a person lands on your site and leaves immediately without any interaction with it. Bounce rates vary from industry to industry and it’s usually something you shouldn’t worry about too much – unless it’s extremely high (90%ish) and you’re not making enough sales.
There is a lot of terms you may not be familiar with, receive a copy of my Google Analytics Glossary in your inbox. It’s a quick handy reference guide to have on hand.
Under this section, you’ll be able to see what age bracket and gender most of your audience belong to. Why is this important? For starters, your audience demographic is a vital information you need to craft offers that are irresistible to your prospects. Just think about how different your offers would be if you found out your actual audience belongs to the boomer generation instead of say, women in their 20s!
Also, knowing what age bracket and gender your prospects belong to is important in creating your sales messages. If you’re writing a promo email, you wouldn’t want to include Taylor Swift references because it’s not going to land if the people in your list are male and at least 60 years old.
In short, demographics matter. While there is some debate about its accuracy, these reports are still worth taking a look at considering the amount of data Google collects everyday.
Google also collects data on the browsers your audience are using when they visit your site. But what about it?
Well, they’re useful if you’re trying to find out how optimized your website is across different browsers. I once worked with a client who’s operating an e-commerce store. When we looked into the technology section, we found out that the conversion rate for users who are using Safari was a lot higher than Google Chrome users. The problem?
It turns out Google Chrome users are having a hard time loading their view cart pages. If we hadn’t looked into this data, we would probably have left money on table.
According to a report by CNBC, there are about 2 billion people in the world who currently access the internet only through their phones. That’s a lot of people.
And that’s exactly why it’s worth knowing what devices your customers are using to visit your site, whether it’s to consume your content or make a purchase. Knowing for instance, that 70% of your visitors are mobile users means that you ought to make sure that your website is 100% mobile-friendly.
In a world where people are growing more impatient, it’s always a great idea to make sure that the user experience in your site goes as smoothly as possible – especially in the devices that your audience are using to reach you.
Audience reports are extremely helpful in keeping track of your website’s traffic. Plus, you can also gauge the progress of your traffic-generation efforts over a given period of time. If the data shows you zero increase (and possibly even a decline) in traffic, there’s a good chance you’ll have to make some adjustments.
Beyond that, the audience section is also full of valuable insights you can use for improving your conversions. For instance, you’ll know if you need to make your website more mobile-friendly simply by looking at the mobile section. Also, if you view the technology section, you can easily spot if users are having trouble accessing your site on a specific browser. In a nutshell, you’ll know what’s working and what needs fixing.
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