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New User reports added to Google Analytics
26 January 2018
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Google has announced in a post on the GoogleBlog that a new set of User reports has been added to Google Analytics.

Google's simple explanation of this addition is:

"Analytics standard reports have been updated to focus on your users, improving your analysis work as soon as you log in. User metrics are an essential way to understand engagement with your customers, especially those who may have multiple sessions across multiple days. "

Underlying idea is: marketers need to focus on users - humans - more than simply on visit counts, since it's people who buy stuff.

To see the new User reports, after logging in to your GA account, in the left nav click Admin, go to Property Settings, toggle Enable Users Metric in Reporting on and Save as in this screencap:

With the Users Metric toggled on, here's how the Channels report looks:

This shows that for the set date range, 70 users came to this site, 48% directly (keyed in from browser bookmark, etc.), 19% via organic search, and 3 via referrals from sites other than search engines.

Also 16 of the 19 users who came from organic search were new users, and 84% of the visitors from organic search left the site from the landing page without going any farther in. Those that did venture deeper looked at an average of 1.47 pages over an average of 1 minute 39 seconds.

What do we learn from that? The site is attracting first-time visitors somehow, but that high a bounce rate likely means the landing page didn't contain what the user was trying to find and/or was in some way hard to use or otherwise offputting. Need to investigate that and fix it.

Another very interesting feature of the new user reports is the ability to go into Audience/User Explorer in the left nav, then look at what some individual users are doing.

Here's the usual User Explorer report, showing 10 individual people who visited the site:

For purposes of example, let's look at Client #3 who visited the site 18 times, had a modest bounce rate of 33.33% (left directly from the landing page on 6 of 18 visits), but spent an average of 11 minutes onsite on the other 12 visits.

Clicking on that client's ID in User Explorer with User reports turned on produces a report like this for that one unique visitor:

This report shows for each visit the date, time (in your default time zone); by mousing over the monitor icon the user's device type, platform and data source (you'll have to take my word for this: Desktop, Windows, Web); Direct/Organic Search/Referral; and number of pageviews (7, at right beside the eye icon). And if you click over the eye icon in the live version, you can see for each page visited the URL and visit time.

How cool is that??

Plus, if you have set up Audiences and Conversions in GA, you can also get:

  • For the first time, Audience reports directly in GA, and
  • An all-new Conversion Probability metric calculated by machine learning for all your individual users across Channel and other dimensions. (This feature will be rolling out in Beta over the next few months.)

What will Google improve next? Stay tuned.

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David Boggs MS    - David
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