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How To Use Analytics to Drive Business Decisions Part 2: Audience

Previously on the SilverTech blog we talked about how you can get actionable insight from your website analytics, specifically for mobile metrics. This time around, we are going to take a look at one of the most underutilized information sources available to digital marketers in Google Analytics; audience data.

Before you say, “hey wait, I already know who my audience is, I don’t need this blog,” hear me out. You may already know who your user base is from demographic information, but the real trick is HOW you use this information. Read on for some ways you can take this data and turn it into actionable information that can turn your website into a lead generation (and sales) machine.

One of the best ways to use your demographics data in Google Analytics is for persona development.

A surprising number of people either don’t know that you can get demographics information about your visitors, or don’t want to take the extra step to get it. It’s actually very simple. In order to get demographic information about your visitors like age, gender, and interests all you need to do is:

  1. Go to the admin area of your analytics account, click on Property Settings, and under Advertising Features, set Enable Demographics and Interest Reports to "On."
  2. Then, you will need to make a small change to your analytics tracking code by adding the bolded line shown here: ga('require', 'displayfeatures');
  3. Once this is completed, navigate to the reporting tab of your account and click on Audience>Demographics>Overview and click "Enable." You will now be able to collect demographic data on the visitors coming to your site.

Now that you are tracking this data, there are a lot of different ways that you can use it. The first being...

Persona Development

One of the best ways to use your demographics data in Google Analytics is for persona development. Personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers that are based off of research and analysis of current customers, as well as user behavior and user goals on your website. Personas are helpful for developing content on your website, segmenting contacts for email campaigns, and targeting your potential customers in general. They are essential for delivering the right message, at the right time, to the right audience.

By evaluating your demographics information, you will be able to determine who is really coming to the site, if it is inline with who your current customers are, and what their interests are. This data will serve as a baseline for developing your personas and, in turn, help to optimize your website for future conversions.

How to Create a Successful Google AdWords PPC Campaign

Content Strategy

Another way that you can use this data in conjunction with your buyer personas is to determine how each segment is interacting with the content on your website. For example, let’s say you have a buyer persona who is in the 25-34 age demographic and you want to determine if they are engaging with a specific piece of content. All you need to do is go to that specific page in your analytics account and add age as a secondary dimension. Now you will be able to see how many people from that segment are viewing your content and how they are engaging with it. Having this information at your disposal will be helpful in developing a content strategy for your website because you will know what types of content are most interesting and useful to each specific segment you are targeting.

Conversion Optimization

Knowing who is coming to your website and what they are looking at is interesting and all, but what about conversions? Knowing your demographic information can help with this, too. Much like how we segmented our content in the previous example, we can do the same thing with the goals we have in Google Analytics. For example, let’s say you are getting lots of pageviews on a particular piece of content from your target persona, but once you check out the conversion information you realize you are getting limited form submissions or purchases. This lets you know that your CTA or offer isn’t compelling to this segment, even though they are engaging with your content. Doing this type of analysis throughout your website can help to show what areas are converting and which ones need to be improved upon.

There is a staggering amount of data and segmentation that can be done with the demographics information we have discussed here, and the examples above have only just begun to scratch the surface. Experiment with different segmentation of demographics throughout your analytics data to really dive deep into how your visitors are interacting with your site. If you need some help on how to get started with deciphering your site analytics, you can always give us a shout here, and be sure to stay tuned for part 3 of our series on how to drive real business decisions with analytics.

Sean Howe, Digital Strategist
Meet Sean Howe, Digital Strategist

Sean is a seasoned digital marketer with expertise in content strategy and development, SEO, social media, and analytics.

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