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16 Jun

Getting to know Google Analytics: Audience Reports

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a useful tool that gives you a comprehensive insight into your website’s performance. It brings together data from a wide range of sources, including other Google tools such as Ads and Search Console, and gives you an overview of how your website has performed over time.

Once your Analytics account has been set up and connected to your website, a huge amount of data will become available to you, which can be overwhelming and confusing at first. This introduction to the Audience reports of Analytics should help you familiarise yourself with the different categories of data you can see.

Audience overview mockup

Some of the key terms you will need to understand for Analytics are:

  • User: Users are unique individuals who have visited your website, and are only recorded once per day.
  • Session: Sessions are individual visits to the website from a user, and figures include multiple return visits from users within a day.
  • Average session duration: This is the average amount of time that users spent on your website each session.
  • Bounce rate: The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that exited the website after visiting one page.

Key Reports in ‘Audience’

We won’t be going over every single report in the Audience section, but instead focusing on the ones you are likely to use more often. There are some features still in BETA, and others which we rarely use.

audience overview screenshot

Overview

One of the key sources of information that you should be familiar with on your Google Analytics account is the Audience Overview page, at the top of the list. It gives a broad overview of the number of visitors to your website and their engagement with the site during a specified time period.

For this and all of the following reports, you can click the dates at the top right-hand corner of the page to change the date range so that you can view the data on a specific day, or over a week, month, or longer.

Date range analytics screenshot

Audiences

Here you can view the data for a specific group of users, an audience. Creating audiences and segments with certain age ranges, genders and interests is helpful for seeing how your ideal customer is interacting with your website. For guidance on how to create an audience, take a look at Google Analytics support.

Demographics

Demographic mockup

In the Demographics Overview, you can see two basic graphs that show the percentage of users on your website who are male or female and the percentage of visitors in each age bracket. There is more detail within the ‘Age’ and ‘Gender’ tabs. For example, you can view the average amount of time 25-34 year olds spend on your website, as well as the average number of pages they visit per session.

Interests

Find out what your website visitors are interested in, from leisure activities and sports to professional interests. You can even see recent Life Events – it can be helpful to know if you are attracting the right kind of people to the site. For instance, a wedding planning business will want the majority of their visitors to have the Life Event, ‘Getting Married Soon’.

Geo

Analytics Geo Screenshot

The Geo section is probably most useful for businesses operating in multiple countries, but it is interesting for any business to see their global reach. In the Languages report, you can see which languages users are browsing in and check their levels of engagement. In the Location report, you can view the different locations that users are browsing from on a world map and see data on user engagement.

Behaviour

Here you can compare the number of New vs Returning visitors, check the Frequency & Recency of sessions and pageviews, and check Engagement with the site. The Engagement report is particularly useful for breaking down the average session duration as you can see how many sessions lasted more or less than a minute.

Mobile

The Mobile Overview report is useful as you can see which device is being used by the majority of users, and how this affects how they interact with the website. If there is a high bounce rate on mobile for example, you can look into improving how your site works and looks on mobile to try and reduce this.

google analytics mobile

As mentioned previously, these are not the only reports in the ‘Audience’ section, but they are some good ones to familiarise yourself with when getting to know Google Analytics.

We’ll be going over other report groups such as Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversions in future blog articles - watch this space!

Emily

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