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5 Tips for Learning About Your Audience With Google Analytics

Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff

Looking for a way to learn about your target audience? You can gain valuable insights on how people engage with your website with Google Analytics.

Flourishing businesses across all industries have one thing in common: They know how to reach their target audience. The pivotal point of creating compelling blog content and effective marketing material is the ability to understand the people who visit your website. 

Learning about your site visitors gives you the option to compile the data you've gathered into customer personas. Customer personas are fictional profiles that describe the different types of people who shop with a business. For example, a clothing retailer that sells a variety of clothes would likely have multiple personas based on factors like the gender, ages and style preferences of their customers. With this information, the business owner and marketing team can offer personalized product suggestions and improve the overall user experience. 

Google Analytics allows business owners to look at over 200 different metrics on their site. Marketers and developers use this data to learn about their customers, which helps build rapport and leads to more sales. 

Let's look at several things you can do with the data to gain a better understanding of your audience. 

1. Review your Demographics and Interests reports.

The Demographics and Interests reports on Google Analytics are packed with information you can use to start building customer personas. Standard reports on demographics will show you the different age and gender groups that visit your website. Take this information into consideration when you're thinking about your brand voice and how you engage with your audience. 

Interests reports are more detailed, showing you the hobbies and personality traits of your site visitors. You'll have the option to see behavior, acquisition and conversion data for users based on what they enjoy. 

The clothing company in the earlier example would look under these reports to get a general overview of its customer base. If the company sees that a majority of its customers are females 25-35 years old who like going to nightclubs, it can make outfits that meet the needs of this specific segment. 

Review this data frequently, but the demographics and interests of your site visitors can shift over time based on your audience size. The more people visit your website, the more you can learn from these helpful reports. 

2. Learn the cause of your high bounce rate.

Your bounce rate represents the percentage of people who visit your site and don't click beyond the first page they land on. If someone reads one blog post and leaves, this negatively impacts your bounce rate. If the user signs up for your email list at the end of your post, their interaction positively impacts your rate. 

There are several ways to find your bounce rate with Google Analytics. Technically, each report will give you different insights on how people behave on your site. The Audience Overview report shows your overall bounce rate across all pages, but you can also check out the Channels, All Traffic and All Pages reports for specific bounce rate percentages. Learning where consumers tend to bounce from your website will give you a better understanding of their thought process, pain points and goals. 

If you see a high bounce rate on your blog, it could be a signal that you're not putting your call to action on display. In this instance, you could start testing different placement options until you find a spot where more consumers interact with your CTA, which means people are staying on your site longer and engaging with your brand. 

3. Build on your top pages.

Next, let's talk about the Top Pages report. When you know what pages are popular on your site, you can build on that success. This is a common tactic for marketers who want to create more relevant and interesting blog posts. Content marketers know that 47% of people read 3-5 blog posts on a business site before making a purchase, so it's crucial to know not only what your most popular pages are but also how to build on them. 

You can find your top pages by going to Content Optimization > Content Performance > Top Content from your account. This report will show you what pages get the most interactions, screen time and traffic. 

When you dive into these reports, you'll start to see audience preferences for certain topics and styles of content. For instance, if the clothing company we mentioned earlier notices that its top posts are always its virtual fashion shows, it now knows what its audience likes. Using this data, the company can come up with new and creative ways to keep their audience captivated. 

4. Leverage the power of Google Search Console.

A big part of creating an excellent experience for your users is optimizing your site for search engines. Imagine taking a test that you studied for, only to find out you studied the wrong book. Similarly, if your site is ranking for all of the wrong keywords, you will have a hard time learning about your audience. Mastering SEO can help you consistently deliver high-quality content to people who are genuinely interested in what you offer. 

One of the best ways to improve your SEO is with Google Search Console. You can use GSC to optimize your content, improve your rank in search results and even adjust how Google bots read your website. 

You'll definitely want to use GSC if you have an active blog. Businesses that blog generate 126% more leads, which means they usually see more traffc from search engines. Your goal should be to position yourself on the first page of Google results for your chosen keywords, and GSC can help you gear your SEO strategy toward your target audience. 

GSC has plenty of other cool features, such as the ability to improve your local SEO and get you in touch with more potential customers who live around your business. 

5. Compare mobile and desktop users.

The last tip we have for you today centers on the devices your customers use to browse your site. There was a lengthy debate over whether businesses should optimize for mobile or desktop users, but that conversation closed with Google's mobile-first announcement. Couple that information with new statistics that say the average mobile user spends 3.5 hours on their device every day, and it's clear that mobile devices are growing in popularity. 

You'll see how many of your users are using smartphones, tablets and PCs in your Google Analytics overview. Compare this data with your bounce rate, sales and other vital metrics to discover gaps in your design. If most of your mobile users are bouncing but desktop users are staying, you can assume there's an issue with the mobile version of your site. 

After you fine-tune your mobile design, you can start comparing accurate representations of your mobile and PC users. Use this information to create mobile-friendly ads that appeal to your audience. It's hard to gauge how to proceed with your mobile marketing campaign without this helpful information from Google Analytics.  

We've covered a lot of information today, but there's much more you can learn from your Google Analytics account. We suggest analyzing different reports to get more valuable insights about your target audience. You'll find that it takes some practice to learn where everything is located, but you'll get the hang of it.

Building your brand around your audience's needs is essential, especially with so many online businesses popping up over the past several years. Using Google Analytics, you'll have a much easier time building comprehensive customer personas, which leads to more effective marketing campaigns. 

Image Credit: DisobeyArt / Getty Images
Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff Member
Co-Founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.