While Google Analytics offers immense value and enables brands to observe onsite behavior and channel attribution, there are additional, non-standard reports available that can be activated with relative ease. These reports show data for both demographics & interests, and benchmarking behavior.
These features have been available for some time now, but surprisingly few web properties enable them. The first non-standard reports that we will explore are the Demographics reports.
By measuring the ages and genders across the different sections of a website, a brand can optimize the onsite experience as well as the personalized messaging of ads.
The Google Display Network associates gender using a cookie that is set on a user’s device. The age and gender information is attributed based on browsing habits.
The demographics reports have overview metrics that show age distribution and gender split. Depending on how varied your audience and conversions are, this data can help reveal what users are getting out of your content. This data can be used to discover content that appeals to specific age/gender groupings at multiple steps of the conversion funnel or different site sections.
The Google Analytics age reports can show trended age data for metrics like bounce rate, session duration, pages per session, and the percentage of new sessions. This allows the analyst to detect one time spikes and broad trends at a day, week, or month level.
Gender reports offer the same trended data available for ages, with the same benefits. Both the age and gender reports are accompanied with a metric explorer.
The interests reports group users up by a wide swath of interests – like travel buffs or movie lovers. These can be assessed by population size and performance to further tighten up messaging and site experience.
The three buckets for category metrics are affinity, in-market segments, and other categories:
More important information is available from Google’s official “Policy requirements for Google Analytics Advertising Features.”
The benchmarking report can help provide some context around how your competitors are leveraging channels, locations and devices.
The benchmarking report shows a conditionally formatted table that highlights which metrics are performing by channels, locations and devices.
To enable the benchmarking reports – log in to your Google Analytics account and click into the benchmark reports through the side bar. On the “Enable Benchmarking” callout, click “Update your data sharing sessions,” then confirm account name, review the content, and click the confirmation.
You are now actively tracking demographics, interests, and benchmarking reports. This information can be used in reporting, segmentation, and audience targeting. The value of this data is impressive considering the ease of installation and all of the available additions to Google Analytics. You can also contact MoreVisibility for Google Analytics consulting services to gain further insight on utilizing these reports.