How to get more insight into your audience with Google Analytics


Google have a brilliant tool in Google Analytics which gives you an insane amount of insight into your visitors. In this post we review why it is important to know your audience and then show how to leverage this tool.

Why have a target audience?

Having a good idea of your target audience is an essential element of any marketing initiatives. Knowing if you are selling to men aged 18-24 from London using mobile phones or women aged 35-44 from Texas and visiting the site on iPads is gold from a marketing perspective. Why? Because it allows you to refine your messaging to your audience. It allows you to further build a unique experience which will be in accordance with their interestes. It allows you to delight and excite them based on their interests. All of the insight we can therefore get about our audience we should grasp with both hands.

You cannot be all things to all people. As a brand you have to stand for something. That "thing" needs to resonate with your target audience. If you become known for standing for something people will join (not buy) your brand and you will gain longer lasting traction because there is meaning to your brand. People will follow your brand.

Obviously when you stand for something it also means you do not stand for something else. You therefore need to understand your audience when you are making key brand decisions or building out your next advertising campaign.

Why create buyer personas?

Buyer personas help you do this. They help you make informed decisions based, not around your businesses short-term needs but around your customer for a longer term strategy.

If you don't yet have buyer personas built out for your business you might want to make this a priority this week. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representative buyer. A documented profile of a prospective customer. 

A buyer persona though is not simply a description of your ideal customer. It goes deeper. It defines the attitude, concerns, challenges, story and criteria that drive your ideal customer to choose you.

This in turn helps your marketing and design teams produce work which is very relevant to these buyers as they are seeking solutions to their various challenges and are seeking to hit their goals.

Googles demographics & interests reports

One way that can really help to build out buyer personas is Googles "demographics and Info reports" in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics has always been great at tracking and reporting what users have been doing on your website - and it obviously still does this incredibly well out of the box. However with the standard information Google gathers you have no idea whether you are attracting your ideal buyers to your site. Are the visitors our idea target market? Are they the right age? Do they share the right interests? To enable us to discover the answers to these questions Google launched it's Demographics reports in 2013. This meant we can now get 'our mits' on some very powerful data about users, helping us to understand our audiences more accurately.

How to enable demographic & interests reports

It's really easy. Login to Google Analytics and browse to "Audience" in the left hand menu panel. From here you can Enable "demographic & info reports" by hitting the blue button:

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Note: Google recommends updating your privacy policy before doing this.

Once you have done this you will receive a nice confirmation message. It can take about 24 hours to begin to gather data.

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Why demographic & interest reports are useful

The data gleaned from this is powerful. It enables you to really get an understanding of your current visitors and build out insightful buyer personas. Although it will tell you a lot about the "what" of who is coming to your site and not much of the "why" it is still very very useful. You may discover that your marketing strategy is spot on and get confirmation that your current marketing initiatives, brand positioning and messaging is spot on for the users on your site. Or you may unearth some gaps which might need to be closed. You may even find that your audience is not who you think it is!

The insight you can glean is incredible. For example you can understand age and gender stats - useful in terms of the story you tell and images you use:

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Google also shares information on user interests - helpful if you were thinking of collaborating or advertising in other places:

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Knowledge is power because it puts you in the driving seat in terms of ensuring your website, brand and content are authentic and appeal to your target audience. Use Google Analytics demographic and interest reports to help build out your buyer personas.

 

So - now you know about Google Analytics demographic & interest reports we wish you the best of luck gathering your data and making more informed marketing decisions.