What Is Cohort Analysis: A complete Guide

Cohort Analysis In Google Analytics

Google recently included a cohort analysis report in the Analytics’ audience section that takes the data from a given website or app. Rather than looking at all users as one unit, it breaks them into related groups (Cohort Type, Cohort Size and Metrics etc.) for efficient analysis.

You can access Cohort Analysis by going to the Audience tab in Google Analytics.

Cohort Analysis

The report, which is in beta release, may help marketers and analysts identify time-based trends like testing the effectiveness of forms, content, products, or ads.

While cohort analysis is sometimes associated with a cohort study, they are different and should not be viewed as one in the same. Cohort analysis has come to describe specifically the analysis of cohorts in regards to big data and business analytics, while a cohort study is a more general umbrella term that describes a type of study in which data is broken down into similar groups.

How Do You Do Cohort Analysis In Google Analytics?

It might seem complicated but you can easily do a cohort analysis in Google Analytics. GA provides four different ways to display the cohort data:Cohort analysis

  1. The Cohort Type: Where you mention the grouping of cohorts
  2. The Cohort Size: That is measuring the number of cohorts,
  3. Metric: The number of times a cohort visited the page,
  4. Data Range: The time period of measuring cohorts and data.

The Cohort Size:

The dimension that’s the basis of the cohorts. You can only select one dimCohort Analysisension at a time.

The Cohort Type corresponds to the table column that includes the total number of users in a cohort.

For example, if you select Acquisition Date, the cohorts are grouped based on when users joined your website or app. Acquisition Date is the only option that’s currently available.

The Cohort Size:

The time frame that determines the size of each cohort. This corresponds to the date and number of users in each cohort cell in the dimension column.Cohort Analysis

For example, if you select Day, the cells in the dimension column display a single date and the number of users organized into the cohort for that day.

If you change your selection to Week, a date range appears, and the number of users organized into the cohort for that week also appears.

Metric:Cohort Analysis

The metric that’s being measured for each cohort. You can only select one metric at a time.

The metric corresponds to all columns in the table, except the Cohort Type column, which displays the dimension.

For example, if you select Session Retention, each Day displays the percentage of users in each cohort that had a session that specific day.

Date Range:Cohort Analysis

The time boundary that determines what data appears in the report. This corresponds to the number of rows in the table.

For example, if you select the Last 7 Days, there will be a total of 8 rows in the table: one for each of the past 7 days, and one for sum of all cohorts.

What Do Charts Mean: Understanding Cohort Charts

Cohort Analysis

This is the most important part: understanding what these cohort charts mean! I don’t know about you, but this isn’t really immediately clear to me, so let me walk you through how to look at it.

Understanding Cohort Chart

The cohort chart is a line chart which shows the cumulative metric values for the selected cohorts. To start, in the example below, 27.03% users have been retained the next day and only 13.96% users the day after that.

Cohort Analysis

Through the menu you can select and compare up to four cohorts on the cohort chart.

Cohort Analysis

You can apply up to 4 advanced segments (both default and custom) to the Cohort analysis report and these advanced segments are reflected in the Cohort Chart:

Cohort Analysis

Understanding Cohort Table

Here is a screenshot of the cohort table. Each row represents a cohort. For example, May 18, 2016 is one cohort and May 19, 2016 is second cohort and so on.

Cohort Analysis

If you select date range as ‘7 days’, the data table would contain 8 rows.

The first row or the top row shows the total or average value of all the cohorts for each column. The remaining 7 rows show data for each cohort. Similarly if you select ‘Last 30 days’ as the date range then the data table would contain 31 rows.

Each column in the Cohort Data table represents cohort size: one day/week/month of data.The data table contains fix number of columns which is 13.

Each cell in the cohort data table contains the value of the metric you selected through ‘metric’ menu. For example, if you selected pageviews metric then each cell would contain total number of pageviews per cohort per time increment.

The color intensity in each cell visually indicates the magnitude of the metric value relative to other values in the cohort.

Cohort Analysis

So what does the above table mean? I’ll combine all the points and give proper analysis:

  1. The table depicts the user retention for the past 7 days. That is why instead of numbers, percentage is showing.
  2. If you see the 2nd row (May 18, 2016), 582 users came to the website out of which 30.76% users came back on 19th May and 20.96% users came on 21st May.
  3. If you look at the color of the Day 2 on 19th May, it is darker than the Day 2 on 18th May. This depicts that user retention was better on 19th May than on 18th May.

So there you have it! Hope you have a better understanding about cohort analysis now. If there are any questions about cohort analysis, Google analytics or digital marketing in general, please write to me. I will be glad to help you out.

Here is short video by PPCHeroBlog explaining Google Analytics. Enjoy!

Best Digital Marketing Tips For Startups

Digital Marketing Tips

Many people have requested me to write about what Digital Marketing tips and tricks they should use for their startups. Today if you are not digitally active, you cannot survive. If you are expecting some sort of magic tip that will take you to the top, close the page.

The truth is there are no cheats or shortcuts for the Digital Marketing. That being said, it is not too difficult to understand how Digital Marketing works and implement the strategy to grow your startup.

The main issue that companies face in today’s competitive environment is gaining visibility. Remember you are competing with millions of marketing messages that users get bombarded with every day. Apart from that, for a startup funds is also a bottleneck. You have to be smart in utilizing the money.

So what a marketer has to do to make the startup a digital success? Here are some points to guide you:

Get on Social Media

This is a no brainer. You just can’t beat the competition withoutsocial media social media presence. It is also one of the most efficient and cost effective way to reach millions of users.

According to makeuseof.com Over 75% of all Internet users use social media. This should give you an idea how important the Social Media is. 

It will give you the platform to promote, engage with the users. Also you can use Social Media for promotion and customer service.


Frequency and Consistency is the key


So you have come on Social Media.  Now what? Simple- Post on Facebook, Tweet on Twitter, Pin on Pinterest. You get the idea.

But be regular with your posts. Identify the best time to target the users (using analytics and research) and post consistently. Keep the messages to the topic. Do not divert. For example it would be disastrous if an IT firm starts posting about irrelevant topic, say, movies!

One more tip regarding the posts. Do not get over excited and flood the profile with content every 5 minutes. Maintain an optimal number of posts daily, on regular intervals.

Buffer App reports that the optimal number of posts to Facebook is between five and 10 times a week, Twitter is five tweets a day and LinkedIn and Google+ tied for one time a day.

Customer Focuscustomer focus

Remember you are sharing content for the customers. If you keep on promoting your brand/ product, customers will get fed up and ultimately stop following you.

Users have to feel that they are getting value out of the time they are investing in reading what you have shared.

So keep sharing information related to the business you are in. To give an example, a travel company will share information such as best places to visit in a region.


The social media users are your prospective customers. You have to leverage them and make them feel valuable.

Engage with users. If a user compliments or praises the services/ product, thank them. If a user doesn’t like your product and posts negative about you, don’t be afraid. Ask what went wrong and fix it.engagement

Best thing about this is that the users will feel that their opinion is being valued and that your company is empathetic.

You have the capability to turn a negative incident into a positive one. You have the opportunity to show users how good your customer service is!


Today if you have to reach the maximum audience you have to invest some amount in promotion as well.

Be it Facebook ads, Sponsored Tweets, Google AdWords or Premium services on LinkedIn, you have to pick a right platform and start promotion.

The best part is it is not expensive. A good number of people can be reached by investing just few dollars.


You must have heard- Content is the king. It is true! What good are your strategies if you are not able to convey your message to people!

Think about what you want to convey!content is kingPeople today have a very short attention span. With so much information available, it is very easy for a user to miss or ignore your message. If your content is not well formulated, you’ll struggle.

Keep the content to the point and be precise. Hire a good content writer that can help your company.

Be Creativebe creative

You must have seen infographics, short videos, memes, etc. getting viral on the internet. They serve better purpose of generating awareness about a brand than the usual (boring) text.

There are many free online services that you can use. For example explainer videos are one of the best ways to convey your message to the user.


growth How would you decide what users should see? What should they do after they land on your website? Or more importantly what is bringing users to your website?

For this thee are several free tools that a startup can use. For example Google Analytics is one of the best and most widely tool used to understand what is happening on your website.

Now you have an idea how to grow digitally. Keep in mind, it will take some time to get the desired results. Be patient and expect results in 6-12 months depending on your strategy.

Here’s a short video by iQuantumAustralia explaining few Digital Marketing tips.

How Search Engine Works? Google, Bing or Any Other

Google Search


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!

Google Search

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:

  1. Crawling– content is discovered;
  2. Indexing– where content is analysed and stored in databases
  3. Retrieval–  where the query submitted by a user fetches relevant results in the form of pages.



The journey of search enSpidergine 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 wDatabasehich 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.

Google Search Result

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.

How SEO Works? Download SEO Checklist

Understanding SEO!

SEO checklist
S.No Common SEO issues Importance
1 Title Tag For google bots to search the website
2 Meta Description For google bots to search the website
3 Google Search Results Preview How our website looks in google search
4 W3C Validation Test W3C is an organization that was created in order to develop and maintain the standards of the Internet
5 <h1> Headings Status Help to indicate the important topics of your page to search engines
6 <h2> Headings Status Help to describe the sub-topics of your webpage to search engines
7 Robots.txt Test It tells bots which pages to access and index on your website and which pages not to
8 Sitemap Test For navigation and  inform search engines immediately about any changes on your site
9 Underscores in Links Test  Overuse of hyphens and underscores in URLs can be seen as spammy
10 Image Alt Test If image doesn’t load, it provides alternate information
11 Google Analytics Test For analytics and giving more authentication to website
12 Favicon Test Easier for users to navigate to our website through bookmarks
13 SEO Friendly URL Test Easier for bots to search our website
14 Social Media Check More accurate relevancy for  searches
15 HTML Page Size Test (Code to text ratio) faster page loading time
16 Page Cache Test Cached pages serve up static html and avoid potentially time consuming queries to your database
17 Flash Test  Flash content does not work well on mobile devices, and is difficult for crawlers to interpret.
18 Nested Tables Test This speeds up page loading time and optimizes the user experience.
19 Frameset Test Absence of frames helps in indexing by bots
20 URL Canonicalization Test Bots might think of it as spam
21 HTTPS Test Security
22 Safe Browsing test Security
23 Server Signature Test Turning off server sigature is good for security
24 Libwww-perl Access Test  By blocking access from libwww-perl you can eliminate many simpler attacks
25 Media Query Responsive Test This is base for responsive design functionalities
26 Mobile compatible Mobile browsing

As we read on SEO Simplified, SEO is all about optimising a site so that it reaches highest possible rank whenever a user does an organic search.  Remember, it is not same as a paid search marketing. If you have to spend money to appear on the top of a page, you are doing Search Engine Marketing (as shown in the picture). Although both SEO and SEM are related, they are not the same.

Before understanding how SEO works, you have to know how search engines work. In short, Search Engines use an algorithm to check the relevancy of the website and the content to a search term or keyword that a user has entered. The algorithm check for the trustworthiness, originality, and quality of the content being presented.


So, for the SEO strategy to work best you have to ensure that your content is awesome! You should not put any irrelevant content just to get the visitors. It will backfire! If you have a Title tag, URL, Awesome content and Image text attributes managed, half of your work is done.

To read the complete SEO Checklist click here.

A Digital Marketer has to keep this thing in mind while making SEO Strategy.

Here’s a short video by Digital Resource on how SEO works to help you understand the concept better.


seo digitalenthu

SEO or Search Engine Optimization- The Introduction

SEO Simplified!

SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization and is one of the important aspects of Digital Marketing. It is the name given to the process that attempts to improve search engine rankings in Google.seo digitalenthuA simple example: if you want to buy sports shoes online. You go to Google and use the keyword “Buy sports shoes”. As shown in the image, the reason why Jabong is at the top and Amazon is second, is SEO!

All search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) have search results which are shown to the user. These results are ranked on the basis of relevancy. This is another comprehensive study as to how Google ranks pages.


How SEO Works?

In short, Google bots search for the relevant content (shared in blogs, Facebook posts, Tweets, etc.) and these bots pick up the authority signals which determines page authority of a website. Higher the page authority of a website, higher Google rank and better probability of getting achieve a high ranking on search engine return pages (SERPs).



What Affects SEO?

A website can ensure a good SEO strategy by incorporating search engine friendly elements into a website. And it is not that difficult.seo digitalenthu

Just keep the following things in mind:

  1. Write quality content.
  2. Distribute and publicize your content.
  3. The community interacts and shares your content.
  4. Links to the content are built on other sites.
  5. Your online reputation increases, and with more people “talking” about you, your rank goes up.

To read about SEO Checklist for your website, click here.

Types of SEO

seo digitalenthu

In a nutshell, SEO can be categorized in:

White Hat SEO                     Black Hat SEO

On Page SEO                         Off Page SEO    

Paid SEO                                 Unpaid SEO


Please read all the components of the SEO to get more comprehensive knowledge about SEO.

Here’s a short video by Viral Cast Media which will help you understand it better!


Remember SEO is a gradual process. You can bypass the right way, but it won’t get you far. It will give only temporary results. So be patient & expect results in 6-12 months!