Advanced Targeting with Google Analytics Interest & Demographics Reports

Advanced Targeting with Google Analytics Interest & Demographics Reports

Google has recently added some pretty awesome new reports to Google Analytics. You may or may not have noticed this, but you can now drill down deeper into information about your website visitors.

I’m talking about the new ‘interest and demographic’ reports that allow you to see data, such as the age, gender and interests of your visitors. Pretty great, right?

Before I go into how you can make use of this data, you need to make sure that you’ve updated the Google Analytics tracking code that is on your website to ensure that you can gather this extra data. It’s really simple to do, so I’ll quickly show you.

Updating Your Google Analytics Tracking Code

The first step is to go into Google Analytics (duh) and navigate to your website’s profile. Once you’re there, click on Audience > Interests > Overview. You’ll then be presented with this message:

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You need to click the ‘enable’ button.

Once you’ve done this, Google will ask you to update your tracking code (that’s placed within your website’s code). This is a really small change that you need to make, so don’t worry if you’re not the most code-savvy.

If you haven’t got the universal tracking code installed on your site at the moment, then you’ll need to do an extra step. To find out if you have, click on ‘Admin’ in the top right of your screen and click on Tracking Info > Tracking Code under the ‘Property’ column.

If you haven’t installed the universal tracking code, you’ll be presented with this message:

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You can then click on ‘Universal Analytics Upgrade’ to begin the process of transferring to the new tracking code (as shown below):

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One thing to note here is that it usually takes about 24-48 hours to update, and then you’ll have to add the new tracking code to your website. Also, you won’t lose any data during this time, so don’t worry.

Once you’ve successfully upgraded, or if you didn’t need to upgrade, you’ll need to install the tracking code that will gather extra demographic and interest data from your visitors.

This couldn’t be easier. Simply go back to the Tracking Info > Tracking Code tab (under the ‘Property’ column within the admin area) and then copy your updated tracking code and paste it into the <head> section of your website.

UPDATE: As the new Universal Analytics code doesn’t support the use of dc.js (the script used for remarketing, interests and demographic data, etc.), you will have to manually add this.

Again, this is really simple and you just need to change one line of code. Read exactly how to do this here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2444872?hl=en-GB&utm_id=ad

Note: If you use a third-party plugin to dynamically pull in your Analytics code to your website, then this should be done automatically.

The final stage is to go back to the Interests and Demographics section within your website’s Google Analytics reports and click on the button that says ‘Validate Tracking Code’.

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If all goes to plan, you will start gathering extra information on your visitors from this point forward.

Note: If you’re using a third-party plugin to handle the Analytics code being placed on your site, then you may find that you get a message saying that the code couldn’t be validated. If this is the case, press ‘Skip validation’ and it will start working.