Not everyone is destined to be a Google Analytics expert, but armed with a little knowledge and access to a few standard reports you can learn more about your audience, their interests and how they engage with your brand.

Understand Your Customer

The work you’re doing – whether it’s a new ad campaign, an app or a fresh website design -- is for your customer or the potential customer you're trying to reach and engage. You need an understanding of your target audience by learning about their demographics, interests and buying habits.

The Audience reports in Google Analytics are great for helping you to understand your audience, offering valuable insight into how they can be reached, how they consume content and what their engagement is with your brand. The Audience reports in Google Analytics provide a detailed breakdown of:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Affinity Categories: Categorizes visitors based on their lifestyles -- technophiles, music lovers, gamers, etc.
  • Other Categories: Categorizes visitors based on the content they consume and how recently/frequently they’ve consumed that content

Use this information to paint a clearer picture of who your site is currently reaching.

For example, in the screenshot below, we see our audience is predominantly males between the ages of 25-44 who identify as being interested in real estate. Based on this information we can make certain choices about the content we’re creating, the communities we engage in, who we approach for guest posting opportunities, the cultural references we make and the problem they are coming to our site to solve.



Once you have this understanding of your audience, use Google Analytics to create an advanced customer segment that pulls out this customer’s data [purchases from males aged 25-34] to see how those customers find your site, what they’re reading before making a purchase, what their conversion cycle looks like and what they’re viewing.

Advanced customer segments can be used to group visitors who share common characteristics -- from details about where they come from, the browser they use or the types of pages they view. Creating an advanced segment based on this user will help you use key psychographic data so you can optimize for their experience and attract more of this type of customer. KISSmetrics has a great post on using advanced customer segments for more information.

Drilling Down to Answer the Questions

Google Analytics contains data that can inform future decisions and help answer some of the many questions you may have.

Questions like: 

What social sites bring the most engaged customers?