By Oliver Walker

Google Analytics has recently launched a huge new report, called the User Explorer report. You can now isolate an individual user, identified via their Google Analytics-generated Client ID and look at their interactions with your website across sessions. This opens up the possibilities for more granular user-level targeting and the ability to take action there.

Back to blog home

More in-depth knowledge of user behaviour

Found in the Audience section of Google Analytics, the User Explorer report will report on Client IDs, sorted by number of sessions, and then allow you to perform an anonymous, deep-dive into a single user’s interaction with your website or app. The initial report lists client ID (the Google-generated ID used to link sessions across a single device-browser combination) by sessions and core engagement stats, such that you can easily see the Users who have recently been to your website. This will help you to see a couple of key points at a glance:

  • Do you have a high proportion of users who have multiple sessions to your site in a given time period?
  • Is there anything note-worthy about these users, for example higher average order value or an increased goal or ecommerce conversion rate?
  • If so, you can start to think about the best way to take action on these users; by targeting them using different advertising creative on Display or bidding more for them on Search for instance.
User explorer report in action

A best practice tip

Although Client ID is listed as the primary dimension in the report below, it’s not (yet) available as a standard dimension you can use in segments or custom reports. As such, we’re still advocating passing the client ID into a custom dimension slot. 

Getting personal (anonymously!)

By clicking on a specific Client ID you are able to drill down to look at that specific User’s interactions with your website. As you can see from the below screenshot, in addition to their Client ID you get their acquisition date, channel and device, as well any values for user-level custom dimensions you are setting. You also get a full list of all of the interactions a user has fired, including pageviews, events, goals and ecommerce data. The “Filter by” option below allows you to isolate the interactions you’re interested in, if you’re keen to carve up the report.

GA user report

Taking action on your data

This new report follows the style of some recent additions to Google Analytics (for example, Custom Funnels) by providing simple one-click segmentation and audience creation functionality. By reducing the manual steps required to build a segment or audience, it means you have more time to generate insight and benefit from your decisions, so you can take a break (or Kit Kat, Twix, etc). The ability to move from a single view of a customer to a segment of users that share similar behaviour also makes insight generation a lot simpler too.

When do I get it?

The report has officially started to roll-out so go and check your accounts – you might have it already! If you don’t the roll-out should be complete by the end of this quarter so you don’t have to wait too long.

The other good news is that this is being rolled out in both standard and 360 accounts. However, whilst you will only be able to get the top 10k users in standard (based on your sorting criteria such as sessions or revenue), 360 accounts will be able to utilise unsampled reporting to get the full list.
A final FYI; there is a lookback window, which means you can only see user’s interactions from the most recent 30 days, despite their acquisition date being earlier than this. This lookback window is expected to grow as your report matures in age (like all the best things!).  

Next steps

For those of you who don’t have this report, it’s a case of holding tight! For those of you with access already, take a look around. If you have any questions or want to chat through use-cases, we’re always happy to go through with a brew and a biccy. 

Share this article