The reporting capabilities of Google Analytics makes it a powerful tool to track all your customers on all your digital platforms. Making sound data-driven digital marketing decisions is easier with the help of Google Analytics aggregate reports and metrics. While aggregate reporting is great, sometimes you want to dive deeper into individual user behavior on the site and analyze how these individual users are going through your platform.
For example, your customer service team wants to provide better service by understanding the customers they help over the phone or email, as they interact with your platforms. Or maybe your sales team wants to have a greater understanding of the actions, pages, and navigation used by the customers that buy the most use on your platform.
The User Explorer Report provides the ability to isolate and examine individual user behavior rather than aggregate behavior. Understanding aggregate behavior is important when you are analyzing large-scale efforts like campaigns that target large geographic areas. However, an understanding of individual behavior is important when you want to give the user a personalized experience, or when you need to gain insight into or troubleshoot a specific user experience.
The two types of User Explorer Report views are listed below.
A browser ID (for websites) or device ID (for apps) is set automatically by Goggle Analytics called a “clientID” whenever Google Analytics loads on a website or mobile app. This ID is persistent and tied to the browser or device used originally and then for every time the user returns to the site/app on the same browser/device. Google merges multiple sessions and hits under a single user with this clientID and can display metrics against new vs returning users. A new clientID will be set for each new browser or device if a user uses multiple browsers or devices. Google does not have the ability to know if it’s the same user and a new clientID will be set for each new browser or device.
For Standard Views, Google Analytics takes the clientID and lists all of them out so you may drill down into any individual user and see all sessions and actions that may have occurred within the date range you set. This is an extremely helpful tool for understanding the behavior of individual users.
While ClientID is very useful to gain insights into individual users, it is anonymous. If you would like to see the actual UserID for every person who logs onto your website or mobile app, you will want to use the For User ID Views report outlined below.
If your website or mobile app has user-login capabilities you can apply a userID to that person which is in turn tied to your user database or CRM system in the Google Analytics tracking. This will provide you with cross-device analysis for those users that log in across different browsers or devices and takes the user explorer report one level deeper. In this userID view, you can drill down into known users navigation across your platforms.
The user ID views of the User Explorer report takes the “userID” set when a user logs in and lists all of them. You then have the ability to drill down into any individual user and see all sessions and actions that may have occurred within your set date range. For known users, you can map back the individual user’s behavior in your user database!
In the User Explorer reports, at the aggregate level you’ll see the following data for each client id or user id:
Then when you drill into an ID, you will see the acquisition date and channel for the user, as well as an activity log that details which actions the user took on your site during each session.
Being able to isolate and examine individual users as they come to your platforms, you will be able to:
By examining individual session behavior, you can see when your users don’t complete conversions and abandon or what their activity and navigation actually looks like. This information can point out opportunities to remarket to those users with specific information related to their experiences and/or better understand the best segments to show relevant retargeting ads.
When looking at the user ID dimension and not just client ID (anonymous browser ID), you can see the individual users behavior and find opportunities to upsell individuals based on their interests- through your sales or customer care teams who have direct customer contact.
If part of your marketing strategy includes different marketing personas, you can apply a segment of these personas to the user explorer report. Then you can analyze the behavior of these segments specifically so you can understand differences in interests or navigation of the various customers you have coming to your platforms.
Interested learning how to get more out of your Google Analytics reporting? Contact your Infotrust consultant for more information!