Understanding user behaviour on your product using Google Analytics

Everyone is building a new product but just how much priority are you giving towards understanding user behaviour.

Recently, I saw this tweet and I’ve mentioned it in almost every conversation I’ve had regarding building products and developing marketing strategies that drive action within these products. I reference it a lot because I find that when I get on brainstorming calls or have calls with prospective clients, they can’t answer the question “Who are you building your product for?”. About 70% of the time, I get a vague demography based response to this question but the true test to find out just how much investment has been made towards understanding user behaviour is the question “Who do your users behave?”. About 90% of the time, clients are not sure what answer to give and guess what just about 2–5% of clients actually have a clear understanding of how their users behave.

Tracking revenue in Google Analytics

I work in digital and growth marketing so I know a lot of people who use Google Analytics for measuring all sorts of metrics but I also notice how people are tracking only revenue or conversions. It’s almost like people forget how important understanding user behaviour is when trying to design and optimize products. User behaviour describes how people interact with your product when they use it. You should track how much time they spend on a page, how many actions they take, such as watching a video or signing up for a new subscription plan.

What most people fail to realize is that while it’s not a bad idea to track revenue, If you understand how your users are using the product, then you understand the problem and then you are one step closer to optimizing your product for success.

In my experience, FireBase by Google is your best bet. It’s free, effective and perfect for understanding how people use your web, iOS, or Android app. A number of events and user properties are automatically captured by the SDK, and you may also define your own custom events to monitor things that are unique to your business.

What this means is, if implemented correctly, Google Analytics (GA) can give you extremely detailed infographics showing how your users are using your app. It’s also critical to be user-centric when looking through your google analytics by tracking metrics like these:

What Activities are my users spending time on?

I downloaded an app recently, Eden Life, they describe themselves as “a tech-enabled service that puts your home’s chores on autopilot.” but quite honestly, to me, they are just the service that delivers food to my office every working day. I only spend time on the food section of the app and that’s because I am not sure of the value gained from outsourcing laundry and cleaning services. If the company is executing their strategy right, then they most likely have a persona with my friction drafted somewhere with a detailed plan of how to convert me to a full-blown Eden user. Now let me ask you, how useless would that persona be if Eden didn’t track what pages I spend most of my time on?.

It’s impossible to optimize your product for your customer if you are not clear on how they presently interact with your product

How much time does a user spend on my App?

Average visit time is the average duration of your users’ sessions. Screen views per visit tracks how many app screens a user interacts with during a session. Both give a glimpse at how engaged your active users are with your app.

In general, the longer time your users spend in your app and the more screens they interact with per visit the more engaged your users. This is where creating an experience rather than focusing just on features will help you. This strategy will require you to create a roadmap to plan out what your future features will look like and account for adjustments based on user feedback. We’ve previously addressed this topic and other app engagement techniques.

What devices are my users primarily using to access my product?

The Tech overview report in Google Analytics displays your app by your visitor’s technology, such as platform, operating system, screen resolution, and app version. You may think that this is a vanity metric but understanding visitor’s technology is a priority for your design and engineering team.

Too often, people are checking this metric with just technical optimization in mind, however, this metric can also give a good sense of where your users spend their day, are more people using the web app because the mobile app is faulty or just because that’s their very first interaction with the business?

Are the users returning to my app after their first visit?

Do you know how you google a topic and see a blog post with a title that seems tailored to your search only to open it and find out it’s just not good enough? That feeling that’s in between disappointment and satisfaction can be measured by this metric.

According to a 2017 Localytics study, on average 43% of users return to an app at least once within one month of downloading it. That number drops dramatically in the second month to 34% and slightly again in the third month to 29%. These rates, of course, vary by industry. To help diagnose why users aren’t returning to your app, measure your retention rate over a daily, weekly, and monthly period.

A strategy such as this will allow you to attribute losses or gains back to specific marketing campaigns or known issues, or other potential causes.

Are my users carrying out specific action?

Events are usually used in apps to understand how users share content with others when they select specific content and even use the search function within the app. On websites, events can track gadget interactions, file downloads and shared content. You want to know all of this information.

In Conclusion, user behaviour is vital data when it comes to improving your overall marketing performance as well as your revenue. If you aren’t already tracking user behaviour on your product, your next step should be to choose and install an analytics tool, preferably Firebase by Google Analytics. Once you’ve installed analytics tracking on your site, it’s time to start collecting data with user behaviour in mind.

Hi, Onyinyechi Nneji here! I am a user-focused growth and digital marketing professional. I create strategies with one goal in mind, driving users to perform actions that align with business goals. If you’d like to reach out, follow me on Twitter or send me an email.

I am a Marketing professional passionate about building brands, telling stories and female rights. I also run some small businesses.