Since a few weeks, Google is providing a brand new feature to its users, allowing to go a little bit deeper into traffic analysis differentiation, especially regarding goals and conversion. This time-based beta release allows testing effectiveness of content, forms, products, or even ads : Google Cohort Analysis.
What is Google Cohort Analysis new beta feature?
In statistical words, a cohort is a group of users sharing some characteristic, experience, or time-bound event. For example, it could deal with tracking and grouping all your visitors who connected on a particular day. Among those who first interacted on the website on Jan.1st, how many of them converted a day after, how about one month later, or even three months? Google has the answer through this brand new Cohort Analysis beta-feature.
You’ll be able to isolate a group of people (cohort) and extract some trends in term of behaviour, based on precise data and metrics.
How it works
Google Cohort Analysis will allow you to configure your report based on different points.
Screenshot of Google Analytics – The first section “Cohort type” allows you to define your cohort. The Acquisition date (day of first interaction with your website) is the only possibility so far. The three other options are dedicated to what you want to extract (Metric), and the way you track (Cohort Size, Date range).
Through this button you’ll be able to tick “Acquisition Date”, giving an indication to Google Analytics that you plan to track users behaviour depending on the first time they interact with your website.
By day, week or even month, you will be more precise and define to which extent a particular user will be classified as being part of the “cohort” (Depending if you plan to track those who first connect on your website on a particular day, a particular week, or a given month). “Cohort size” is the button aiming to choose the level of accuracy your time-based report would be given.
This element aims to choose what you plan to measure.
In the current beta version of Google Analytics Cohort Analysis, the range of metrics available includes pages views per user, conversions per user, sessions per user, goal completion and other things.
This part of configuration is dedicated to the period you actually plan to track your visitors. It remains important to distinguish Date range and Cohort Size, as they are both time-related, the purpose is different though. While the first one will aim to select tracked users, the second one is actually something used to know how long you will track them.
One concrete example of the use of Google Analytics Cohort Analysis
The real advantage to use Google Cohort Analysis is to be able to run across segments.
You can for example look at the average session duration for visitors connecting through mobile device and compare data collected from those who connect via a traditional desktop. You used to be able to do it with the basic GA features, but the cohort feature will allow you to extract results linked with the date of first interaction of the user, and track the evolution across a pre-selected duration.
For the moment, Google Analytics Cohort Analysis is just a beta-release, but it gives an idea of the range of insight GA users will be able to extract.