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Google Analytics’ new User Explorer report shows individual, anonymized website interactions
New report rolling out to accounts now in beta, found under the Audience tab.
Google Analytics is slowly rolling out a new feature called User Explorer that offers website owners a chance to see, on anonymized basis, very specific visitor interactions across their website.
Here’s how the feature is described in Google’s latest release notes earlier this week:
User Explorer Reporting: A new set of reporting in Google Analytics that allows customers to anonymously analyze individual interactions to their website. User Explorer utilizes your existing anonymous Google Analytics data to deliver incremental insights [and] helps marketers obtain valuable insights need to improve and optimize their site. The feature is now available in the Audience sections. Anonymous Client ID and User ID will be surfaced in this report as a part of the release.
The main User Explorer page shows a list of client IDs collected from visitors’ devices and browsers, along with basic data including session count, average duration, bounce rate, revenue, transactions and goal conversion rate. Things get more interesting on the individual report for client IDs, where Google Analytics shows the user’s activity history and time-stamps each site interaction. This client ID view can be filtered by PageView, Goal, E-Commerce or Event, and individual entries can be clicked for additional data. Here’s an example of one of our Marketing Land visitors yesterday. (I’m blurring the client ID to be safe.)
In this example, we learn that this anonymous visitor read our Facebook F8 live blog at 12:56 p.m. ET and then again at 2:25 p.m. (after we’d renamed the article). The visitor came back at 6:57 p.m., read the finished story when the live blogging was finished and it had its final headline, and saw an overlay ad promoting our Social Pro conference this summer. About 15 minutes later, this user returned to our home page and clicked the link in our mosaic (what we call the visual collection of featured articles atop our home page) to read the story one last time.
Google Analytics users have been kicking the tires with this new report for a couple weeks and have called it stunning, exciting and long-awaited. On Twitter, one user said it could be bad news for platforms like Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot.
Users seem to have begun noticing User Explorer in late March. Some of the accounts that I have access to have the new report now, but not all. It’s located in the Audience tab, right after another beta report, Cohort Analysis.