Analyzing website visitors including the task of determining who they are, why they come to your website and how you can improve their experience as users are among the most challenging parts in creating visibility for your brand or business on the web. Good thing is, there’s one very useful tool that has become the ultimate solution when it comes to analyzing online customer and prospect’s personas. It’s no other than Google Analytics.
Google Analytics and Small Businesses
Google Analytics is particularly popular among small businesses. Aside from the fact that it is free, it also has powerful and compelling features that enable marketers and entrepreneurs alike in gaining insights not only about the number of visitors their websites receive but also in identifying their intent and background. According to BuiltWith.com (http://trends.builtwith.com/analytics/Google-Analytics), as of May 2015, there are 496,424 sites that are using Google Analytics.
Demographics and Affinity Signals are two of Google Analytics features that can help you create personas to group website visitors with the same background, intent, and want. To learn more on how to do this, continue reading below.
What is a Persona?
In a marketing perspective, a persona is a kind of a pseudo or fictional character. It is created to give a representation for a particular type of users. This is quite helpful if you want to categorize the users who are visiting your webpage to further refine your targeting strategies. Here’s how Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persona_(user_experience) exactly defines it.
“Personas are fictional characters created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. Marketers may use personas together with market segmentation, where the qualitative personas are constructed to be representative of specific segments. The term persona is used widely in online and technology applications as well as in advertising, where other terms such as pen portraits may also be used.”
Learning to create personas out of your website visitors through the use of Google Analytics is the first step in gaining more and deeper insights on how you can improve user experience and answer the needs of your target audience.
Tips on Creating and Analyzing Website Visitor Personas
Checking the Demographics and Affinity Categories
Two of Google Analytics features you need to check first if you want to create and analyze the personas of your website visitors are the Demographics and Affinity Signals. To see the Demographic reports, you only need to enable it so that it can be easily accessed every time you log in into your Google Analytics account.
The first report you will see is about the ages of your visitors.
In the screenshot above, it is apparent that most of the visitors of the website are of ages 25 to 34.
The next report under the Demographics section shows the Gender of most of your website visitors.
In the screenshot above, we can tell that most visitors of the website are females.
So far, there are two main things we know about most of the website’s visitors – they are mostly females ages 24 to 35. These data are very important in creating their persona but these are not enough. We need more information, thus we need to check another set of reports in Google Analytics called the Affinity Categories. This report can be found under the Interests section.
Taking a Closer Look at the Affinity Categories
The Affinity Categories reveal a lot more about a website’s visitors. In the screenshot above, the data show that most of the visitors are Movie (6.29%) and TV lovers (5.79%).
The data we have so far revealed that most of the traffic received from that website are from women who are in their middle twenties to early thirties. They are mostly movie buffs and couch potatoes. These data should be enough but Google Analytics provides another in depth data that can help you see what these visitors are looking for.
The In-Market segment under the Interests section (see screenshot above) shows that most of the website visitors have been actively looking for information about employment, travel, and gadget phones.
With these additional information, you can now create a persona of a target audience that are mostly composed of movie buffs and TV-loving millennials who arrive at your website while they are actively looking for information about employment, travel, and gadgets.
Looking at these data, we can create another slightly different persona. They are young women professionals who are either working in the office or actively seeking for a job. If they are working, they are probably looking for information such as reviews of the latest gadget phones or information about travel destinations that they are planning to visit. This group of young women professionals are also the type who frequent in online Movie or TV sites such as Netflix and Hulu.
With these highly detailed information, website owners and marketers can have a better understanding of what are the needs of their target audience and how they can serve them to improve their user experience.
Questions You Need to Ask to Build Your Personas
According to Bryan Eisenberg (http://searchengineland.com/behavioral-targeting-google-analytics-how-to-create-personas-31063), an online marketing pioneer, there are some important questions you need to answer to build your personas. They are as follows.
- What are the daily activities of this persona?
- What is this persona’s life motivation?
- What this persona’s unspoken questions about your product or service?
- What are his/her expectations from your product or service?
- What kind of information this persona needs to be convinced to take action?
- What is she/he motivated to this this action?
- What actions you want this persona to do, and how you will convince her/him to do them?
Read more tips on how to create personas using Google Analytics here (http://searchengineland.com/behavioral-targeting-google-analytics-how-to-create-personas-31063).
Creating personas to learn more about the needs of your target audience is definitely a very important step every online entrepreneur should not miss doing if they want to improve their online marketing strategy. Learning how to create personas through the use of Google Analytics is an essential skill that can help you not only understand the behavior of your website visitors but also what your current marketing platform needs to change or modify to improve their experience while consuming your content.
If you are still confused or haven’t absorbed well how creating personas is done, then it is high time you contact a seasoned digital marketing consultant to guide and teach you how the whole process is being done. Good luck!
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