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How To Use Google Analytics Demographics And Interest Reports

We have delved into using Google Analytics (GA) to monitor and analyse your web traffic to understand how your site is being used and provide insight into areas for improvement.

But as I'm sure you've noticed Google Analytics produces a large amount of data that often goes overlooked. 

One feature of GA that can provide useful information to delve deeper are Demographic and Interest Reports.  This feature adds insight of what type of people are visiting your website.

In this post we will cover ways that these reports can be used to improve your knowledge of who is visiting your website and some characteristics about them.

 

How To Setup Demographics And Interest Reports

Firstly you will need to ensure that your Google Analytics is setup to record the demographic and interest data of your web traffic.

To do this:

1. Sign into GA at www.google.com/analytics

2. Update Google Analytics to support Advertising Features

 

3. Click Admin > Property Settings > Enable Demographics and Interest Reports

4. Navigate to demographics in Reporting.

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What Kind Of Data Can You Get?

With the demographics and interests reports turned on you now have detailed characteristics of who is browsing your site.  

The key data collected can detail the following areas:

Age:

The age graph gives you a visual representation of the age brackets visiting your website over time.  From this data you can see changes in age group activity, identify your largest audience which can guide you to new opportunities.

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Gender:

Again the gender data is presented in a visually useful graph tracking changes in the split between male and female browsers.  

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Location:

The location visual will be of particular interest those businesses focusing on specific countries and could be useful for demonstrating the effectiveness of location targeted campaigns. 

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Interests:

1. Affinity - Offers a broad description of your browsers based on an interest in a particular topic.

2. In Market Segments - Description of people based on what they are actively searching for a particular product or service.

3. Other Categories - Describes your audience based on what other interests they also have demonstrated online. 

This data is reported as a list of categories similar to the one below.

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What Can Demographic And Interest Reports Be Used For?

Understanding Key Audiences - Digital marketing often means you have a lack of in depth understanding of the demographics of your audience.  Using the information from these reports will help inform the creation of your customer personas.

Creating Segments - By narrowing the data you can gain information about things like:

  • Which social media drives the most traffic for a certain set of demographics.
  • What interests account for the largest numbers of website viewers.
  • What pages viewers visit and for how long.

 

To create a segment click on +Add Segment.

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A/B Testing For Best Content - Using Google Analytics Content Experiments you can create an A/B test that can test different versions of a landing page.  Combining this with the segment tool above you could tailor your test to produce results for different age groups, gender or interests to establish which content works best for which segment. 

Identifying Which Demographics Are Converting - Looking at which demographics are converting (or not) on goals setup in GA will help investigate barriers for conversions. 

Package Data For Potential Advertisers - If you are a publisher these reports will be incredibly valuable data for supporting any advertising proposal offering banner space on your website.