Understanding your audience may be the single most important factor to business success in today’s data-driven, personalized economy. Yet, 72% of marketers say they have trouble finding their target customers online, and 79% say these customers, once found, are difficult to capture.
Google Analytics can give you valuable information about who your customers are, how they behave, and what they want as well as who is not showing up to your party. More than a web traffic monitor, Google Analytics offers insights into your audience that help you build your business for the future.
(If you have no experience using Google Analytics, we recommend reading Neil Patel’s A Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics 5 to get started.)
Here are our top 7 tips to use Google Analytics in 2018 to better understand your audience. Plus, we let you know why this information is important, and we give you practical ideas for how to put it to use.
What Google Analytics Can Tell You About Your Customers
- Location and language – Google Analytics gives you a location report showing you the continents, cities, and countries your website’s visitors are logging in from. For a multi-national seller, this information is clearly valuable since it allows the company to present content that’s optimized for geography, linguistics, and ethnicity. For the small, national business, too, this information can be gold. Knowing your customers’ locations allow you to enhance your website content, emails, and social media posts in ways that are responsive to regional cultural variations. At the hyper-local level, knowing what part of town your customers log in from can help you identify your target market for your analog marketing as well.Knowing your customers’ preferred languages is a quick way to determine how to make sure your content accounts for regional dialects and communication patterns. It also lets you think about culturally appropriate packaging, loyalty programs, and upselling tactics.
In your Google Analytics account, go to Audience and then to Geo to check the location and language of your site’s visitors.
- Age – Google Analytics breaks down your website’s visitors by age category. Knowing your customers’ median age and overall age range gives you critical insight into their likely buying habits, values, lifestyles, and tastes. Not only can this information help you determine what products, features, and benefits to highlight, but it can also direct you to the right marketing channels. For example, senior citizens may spend more time indoors and more money on healthcare products than Millennials. They are also more likely to use a desktop than a mobile device and tend to prefer buying from a brick-and-mortar store to buying online. Millennials love online shopping primarily because they are the generation most motivated to save a buck. They’re also the most concerned about the social impact of their purchases. Younger Millennials, paradoxically, love brick-and-mortar shopping almost as much as their grandparents and great-grandparents do, and they are the most likely group to be influenced by receiving an old-fashioned catalog in the mail.
- Gender – Men and women bring distinctly different values, habits, and interests to the shopping experience. Men, for instance, tend to put off buying products as long as possible and are much more likely to shop online than women. By contrast, women are less likely to engage in impulse buys than men. While both sexes purchase many similar products, men and women have different needs in fashion and lifestyle merchandise. They also respond to different kinds of advertisements. For instance, men don’t respond to cliched expressions of masculinity, but they do love overtly male imagery and language. Overall, though, it’s women who decide what products a household will purchase.In your Google Analytics account, go to Audience and then to Demographics to check the age and gender of your site’s visitors.
- Interests – What do your customers like to do in their spare time, and why does it make a difference? Google Analytics can answer the first question for you. We can answer the second. Understanding your customers’ interests can help you determine why your customer is buying your product, for whom they’re buying it, and how often they are likely to need it. This kind of knowledge can help direct your overall marketing message as well as your individual pieces of content. Go to Audience and Interests and look at the affinity categories and in-market segments to discover more about the users visiting your website.
- What they want to know and what bores them – Which search strings are your customers using to find you? What articles are they lingering over? Which pages do they never click or bounce off within seconds? Don’t get lured into the long-form vs short-form content battle. Customers judge content on value not on length. Remember that your readers are the people who devour thousands of pages of Harry Potter, binge watch whole shows on Netflix, and are earning graduates degrees at a quick clip. If they aren’t sticking with you, the problem is not because of their attention span. The problem is your content, and you need to improve it quickly. Google Analytics can help you do that by letting you know what your readers like and what bores them.In your Google Analytics account, go to Behavior, Site Content, All Pages to get an overview of the web pages that get the most traffic, and other metrics like avg. time on page or bounce rate.
- Their preferred device – By 2021, there could be 11.6 billion mobile devices in the world. Millennials in particular – that generation of online buyers – reach for their mobile devices first. Is your site mobile optimized? What about your emails? Do you have a Google AMP page? Your answer to these questions can determine how many customers click away. Don’t be fooled by high numbers of mobile readers, though. According to Rostyslav Demush, a content manager at Perfectial, “Mobile accounts generate 42% of traffic and only 21% of revenue. From this research we can conclude that purchase decisions are made on mobile devices, typically, and then are being fulfilled on desktop.” One caveat is that these numbers can vary, depending on industry and type of product or service being sold.To understand what percentage of website traffic comes from which devices go to Audience, Mobile, Overview in your Google Analytics account.
- Which browsers they use – Are your searchers using Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer? If everyone’s on Chrome, you’re probably fine, but if you have a sizable number of customers who use other browsers, consider building a cross-browser website. To understand what percentage of website traffic comes from which devices go to Audience, Technology and then Browser and OS.
Knowing your audience is key to succeeding in business. Use that knowledge to create a crisper message, deliver content through the right mediums, and integrate your digital strategy with your analog marketing. Your knowledge of your customer will grant you access to the right social networks and direct you to the influencers who can be most helpful in your niche.
Google Analytics can open up a new world of data-driven, personalized marketing that can increase customers and drive revenue up, now and in the future. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be constantly checking your Analytics, so if you want to learn more about how this data can help guide your online business practices, reach out to Dave today!