This could be one of the most important sections of the Google Analytics’ dashboard. It focuses on the audience meaning who is actually visiting your website. You may already have an idea of what type of customers use your services or buy your products but, in truth, your website audience might be different from the clientele who walks through your front door (should you have a brick and mortar business).
One important note about the left end side menu for the Audience Tab is that it is quite long so make sure to use the scroll bar by mousing over the menus to see all of the options.
The overview is self-explanatory. It is an overview of the data about your website audience. It defaults to your visitors in the past 7 days though you can easily change the date range on the right end side of the panel from hourly, to today, week, or month.
This tab right below the overview tab tracks active users for the past 1, 7, 14, & 30 days.
It shows how valuable visitors are to your site based on lifetime performance. One big advantage is that you can view the lifetime value of site visitors you gained through your online marketing efforts, either with a paid search, email marketing, or other. This enable you to assess the efficiency of such efforts.
The data shows how many direct hit, referral traffic, and organic search the pages received.
It groups together the visitors who have a common characteristic. By doing so, the report helps identify specific group behavior might be worth noting. Both Lifetime Value and Cohort Analysis are still in Beta mode meaning Google is evaluating their worth.
It is split into 3 categories: Overview, age, and gender. This is very valuable as you can imagine. You have to enable it in order to view that information. To do so, simply click on the blue button “Enable”. By knowing if your visitors are mainly men or women and their age group, you can really target your next marketing work.
This is similar to the demographic section. The affinity category places people into groups like sport fans, interior decorators, etc. By knowing their interest, you can focus on specific network like Houzz or Pinterest for decorators for instance.
This is most important if you have an international audience and target different markets around the world. Knowing where the visitors come from, what language they use, and so forth. For instance, if one of your markets is in France and you see a great amount of traffic from France, you may want to consider a secondary website fully translated in French.
Behavior (New vs. Returning, Frequency & Recency, Engagement)
This data shows how many returning visitors you have. If you sell online, having returning clients is huge for your business. By analyzing this data, you can see if visitors like it enough to return again and again.
Technology (Browser & OS, Network)
Though this can seem technical, it has value. Know what browser your users are viewing your site with is important to your webmaster. If most visitors use Firefox, you want to make sure the web page look perfect on that browser.
We have said many times before, your site has to be responsive to mobile devices. Even if your audience does not use a mobile device to view your site, Google bot will penalize your site’s ranking if it is not 100% mobile responsive.
Beyond this fact, by knowing how many visitors use a smart phone or a table is very valuable. These devices are here to stay so, evenhough, you may not personally find them important, your visitors most likely will use a mobile device to view your pages.
Custom (Custom Variables, User Defined)
This is a tool use by Google Analytics experts. Indeed, you can use custom variables to apply to the segments and user-level variables can help analyze better visitors by aggregate behavior.
This section compares your site’s data with your industry’s data. By comparing to others in your industry, you can better appreciate how well or not so well your website is doing.
We love this graph as it clearly shows the flow of the site visitors from where they enter the site, which page or pages they visit next and which page they exit from. By reviewing in detail this information, you can re-evaluate if the links in your menu are well organized, is each page making sense to your visitor, and if your site in general funneling the visitors where you want them to go.
Wow, we can’t believe you made it to the end. In truth, this post is merely an overview of each point available in the Audience Tab.
We like to say it is a full time job to be an expert in Google Analytics and it is true.
If you have questions or need help with analyzing your data, contact us directly.