Google Analytics has a very useful new feature called User Explorer. The new feature lets you track individual users behavior on your website. The data is anonymized, so you will not see names of users, just a “Client ID,” a unique number assigned to each device that visits your site.
You’ll find User Explorer within the Audience section of your Google Analytics account:
The default report tracks the number of sessions, average session duration, bounce rate, revenue and transactions if you’re selling stuff, and goal conversion rate. You can, of course, slice and dice this data by applying segments to your report.
More interestingly, though, are the individual User Reports.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the User Report will show you number of sessions the user has had on your site, the total duration of those sessions, the date the visitor was acquired, through which channel, and on what type of device. Each session is date-stamped an accompanied by a notification of how many pages were viewed during that session.
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Clicking on an individual session will show you the pages on the site that user visited during that session accompanied by a time stamp. The report will also show you any conversions that occurred during that session accompanied by the monetary value you’ve assigned that conversion, if any.
The beauty of this report is that you can now examine specific individual visits to your site and gain insight into how people consume your content and make their way through your site. Use path analysis to find in aggregate the common paths people follow through your site, then drill down into individual user reports to gain greater insight into that experience.
Couple that analysis with website visitor recordings as well as taking that very same path through your site, so you can experience what your users are experiencing. This will give you much deeper insight into what works and what doesn’t on your site and it will help to unearth hidden content and conversion opportunities.
Google Analytics Fundamentals Course
Google Analytics continues to evolve and improve. Professional communicators should have a deep understanding of what these tools can do in order to measure our effectiveness and report our successes, let alone identify opportunities or obstacles.
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Google Analytics has an 83% market share, so it’s a good place to start. Here’s a Google Analytics fundamentals video playlist that will get you up to speed:
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