Updated 8 April 2013: Google Analytics changed the way reports are shared and therefore invalidated the links I previously shared. The links are now updated and should work with the latest version of GA. Enjoy!
As I’ve written before, unique visitors and visits can be misleading when used under the wrong circumstances, so it’s important to understand both metrics and track and measure the one that matters most to your business. Chances are, conversion rates by unique visitors mean a lot for your business – but how do you measure it when Google Analytics only measures conversion rates by visits.
3 Reports to Help Measure Unique Visitors by Dimensions
- Unique visitors by page (add to Google Analytics)
- Unique visitors by custom variable and page (add to Google Analytics)
- Unique visitors by keyword (add to Google Analytics)
And… here’s why you should use them:
1. Unique visitors by page
Google Analytics’ content reports will only show you pageviews (effectively useless) and unique pageviews (quite good) – neither of which will help you calculate your uniques conversion rate. But this can…
Calculate your unique visitors conversion rate
This is an awesome metric that I can hardly believe is left out of Google Analytics. Simply take the number of unique visitors for the report as a whole, filter the report for your goal URL and apply the following formula:
Viola – there’s your unique visitors’ conversion rate.
Calculate split test duration more accurately
If you wanted to run an experiment on your site, calculators such as Google Website Optimizer’s (GWO) test duration calculator work best when you tell it how many unique visitors are going to be subject to the experiment, as well as your uniques conversion rate. Using visits or pageviews can give you an inaccurate indication of how long the test will take – this mistake could even negatively influence the design of your experiment.
2. Unique visitors by custom variable and page
This report lets you measure your unique visitors’ conversion rate by custom variable – assuming you’re tracking your website optimizer experiments in Google Analytics, you’ll be able to measure the performance of particular variations. It also assumes you’re using slot 1 for tracking your custom variables…
Since GWO, Visual Website Optimizer and other test platforms use unique visitor conversion rates, this helps you avoid using goal conversion rates which are based on visits. Just see how many uniques saw a particular combination and filter by your goal URL and plug the figures into your significance calculator. Try Visual Website Optimizer’s excel significance calculator.
3. Unique visitors by keyword
This custom report will truly show you which keywords are driving visitors to your site, in the context of visits and percent new visitors. Here you can see how many visitors use certain keywords to find your site, how often they return and of the visits from that keyword, what proportion first arrived through that keyword. Kinda neat…
Other Unique Visitors Reports?
Let me know in the comments which custom reports you’ve created (or augmented) with unique visitors.