The Google release notes for April 11, 2016 bought a nice little surprise. Google has introduced a new feature named User Explorer Reporting. It is quite an awesome feature that shows very specific visitor interactions across the website.
What Is User Explorer?
According to Google’s latest release notes, User Explorer Reporting is a new set of reports in Google Analytics lets you perform analysis of anonymized individual interactions with your websites and apps.
User Explorer utilizes existing anonymous Google Analytics data to deliver incremental insights that marketers need to improve and optimize their sites and apps.
The feature is now available in the Audience sections. Anonymous Client ID and User ID will be surfaced in this report as a part of the release.
Too much technical? Alright lets simplify things like we always do!
User Explorer Reporting Guide
You can find this report by navigating to Audience menu > User Explorer in your Google Analytics view.
Landing Page Overview
After you click, you will see the following screen.
As you can see, you now have access to information based on individual users (client ids). Client Id is a unique ID that Analytics assigns to each device from which users engage your content. Of course you won’t be able to know who the actual user is, but you get a better idea as to what a particular user stats are.
You will also notice a box (like a chess) below the date range option on top left. This is an important feature that lets you control the sample size of the number of sessions used to calculate this report.
In Analytics, sampling can occur in your reports, during your data collection, or in both places. Sampling your traffic allows for accurate reporting without a decrease in processing speed.
All the other options like sessions, bounce rate are self explanatory. Lets dive deeper into the user reporting part.
Introduction to User Report
The ‘user explorer’ report is made up of several individual ‘user reports’. Each client Id will give you an individual report. The report provides details about an individual user like attributes Acquisition date and Acquisition channel.
After selecting the 1st client id you will see the following screen.
Lets go through every thing in this page and understand what it means:
It shows the date range for which you want to see the the report.
It depicts the client id which you selected.
This shows that the user was first acquired on 15th April, 2016.
The user came directly to the website. (This can be social and organic)
The device used to access the website was a Desktop (or Laptop).
If you want to go back to the main user explorer page select this.
This user has generated 106 sessions in total so far and has spent 31 hours 39 minutes and 40 seconds on the website. The user has not generated any revenue.
You can combine two dates to form a segment to view common results.
You can opt for how many filters you want to apply. It is better depicted in the image on right.
You can select descending if you want to see report from finish to beginning or ascending if not.
This shows the last time the user was active on your website and how many sessions took place. In this case the user last came on 20th May, 2016 and had 3 sessions.
Did you find any analysis that I have missed? Please write in the comments below.
How to use the ‘User Explorer’ report
Now once you know what a user report contains, the most important question still remains: What do I do with this? How to use the report?
With the report you can:
Generate thousands of reports for each user.
See which particular user is more active.
See how many people are making a purchase completing a goal.
Get a better understanding about the conversion path
Sort the report by sessions, session duration, bounce rate, revenue, transactions and goal conversions
Get report on Pageviews, Goals, E commerce and Events.
Hopefully you have a better understanding about this very useful feature. Please implement it yourself and if you face any challenge or have any questions, feel free to write to me.
Here is a short video by Measureschool explaining User Explorer. Enjoy!
Internet means Google (at least for most of us!). It is the default page and first place to look for information. “Google It” as they say. You just type literally anything and Google won’t disappoint you!
Here’s a screenshot of a simple search query that we ran. The results it is showing are about 1,98,00,000 results and that too in 1.03 seconds. That’s crazy!
So do you have an idea how Google or any other search engine is able to find so many relevant results (read websites) for you in such a short duration?
The reason why it is important to have knowledge about this is that it helps you in managing your SEO better. Only if you have a working knowledge of how search engines work, you’ll be able to make Digital Marketing strategies work the way you want it.
In a nutshell there are three stages associated with any search engine:
Crawling– content is discovered;
Indexing– where content is analysed and stored in databases
Retrieval– where the query submitted by a user fetches relevant results in the form of pages.
The journey of search engine begins with crawling. Crawling includes scanning the site and getting every information available which includes page title, images, keywords in the website and pages the website links to.
And all this is done using crawlers or bots or spiders. This bot or a spider searches every website available, very very very quickly! It then adds the list to a database in addition to re-crawling the websites to double check. It catches any related websites with matching keywords, websites linked to other sites. But if your content is not in the homepage but is present after many clicks, the bot may five up and your website may not show up the search pages.
The next and perhaps one of the most crucial tasks is taking all the data which is crawled and put it in a huge database. Just to give an idea how big the database is for every
search, imagine a library big huge number of books. Now you have to make a list of the books, authors, and their titles. And now imagine you doing this for all the libraries in the world! Sounds mind boggling. Right? But this example is a very small scale version of what Google does!
All the data is stored in vast data centers around the world. Hers an image of a data center.
This is the last step and the one which determines whether users come to your website of not. It is what you see after you type in the search query. The search engine tries to display the results based on the crawlers’ judgement of relevancy of the content to the user.
Different search engines differ in this step. Some use keywords as the deciding factor while others work with advanced options of keyword proximity, age of the content.
Few years back this was a very simple process following a simple transparent logic. After entering the keywords, search engines looked at website titles, post titles, keywords within the website content and superficially looked at the number of links leading to the website.
But now the algorithms that drive search rankings are quite refined. To give you an idea here’s a video by Google explaining how search works.