Guided Tour of the Audience Overview Report
(This is a slightly modified copy of Google’s Lesson available here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6382999)
At the top of every report is a date-range. This lets you set the time period in which you want to analyze report data. Click the date range to open up the date range selector.
Date range selector
This opens up a calendar on the left where you can select your date ranges. When you change the date range, it affects all of the reports in your view. So you can switch between different reports without having to adjust the date range each time.
You can choose between date ranges like last week, last calendar month, or last 30 days. But you can also set specific dates by clicking the start- and end-date fields and selecting calendar dates. If you’d like to select an entire month, simply click on the name of the month in the calendar to the left.
Date Range Comparison
You can also compare data from two different date ranges by clicking “Compare to” and adding in the date ranges you wish to compare. This lets you to see how your business changed over time.
At the top of the report, notice the segment picker. Segments are ways to look at a specific data set and compare metrics. We’ll cover this in an advanced course. For now, notice that the default segment includes all of the Users that visited your site in the given date range.
Below the segment picker are the different metrics of the Audience Overview report shown in different formats. The most prominent is a line graph that by default shows a data point for the number of users on each day over your selected date range.
If you wish to view this data more specifically, you can change the data points to show hourly, weekly, or monthly, as well. This can be especially helpful when looking at large date sets. If you are looking at data over a single day, the view will default to hourly.
You can change the metric shown from users to a different metric by selecting the drop-down menu under the Overview tab. Analytics lets you compare this to a second metric over the same time period by clicking “Select a metric”.
Notice the small arrow at the bottom of the line graph. Clicking on the arrow lets you annotate the graph with helpful notes to add business context to your data. Once you add an annotation, a small indicator will appear on the graph that can be viewed by other users with access to the view. Clicking any of the metrics below will show the data points for those metrics in the line graph above.
There are a number of helpful metrics beneath the line graph:
- “Sessions” are the total number of sessions for the given date range.
- “Users” are the total number of users that visited for the given date range,
- “Pageviews” are the total number of times pages that included your Analytics tracking code were displayed to users. This includes repeated viewings of a single page by the same user.
- “Pages per session” is the average number of pages viewed during each session. This also includes repeated viewings of a single page.
- “Average session duration” is the average length of a session based on users that visited your site in the selected date range.
- “Bounce rate” is the percentage of users who left after viewing a single page on your site and taking no additional action.
- “Percent of new sessions” is the percentage of sessions in your date range who are new users to your site.
New vs. Returning Users
To the right of the metrics is a pie chart illustrating the percentage of new vs. returning users.
Dimensions and Metrics
Clicking into the dimensions on the bottom left of the report, will allow you to see the top 10 dimensions and metrics in each category.
The default dimension selected in the Audience Overview report is “Language.” When Language is selected, note that the table to the right includes the top 10 languages and their sessions. You can also view top-10 metrics for Country and City.
To view metrics about what technology people are using to view your site, click Browser, Operating System, and Service Provider.