One of the most interesting additions to Google Analytics in the last 12 months is the release of demographic and interests reports. Now you can see in Analytics the age, gender and interests of some of your visitors. In this article I’ll talk about the value of these reports, practical applications and how to enable demographic reporting in Analytics (as it’s not active by default).

What the Reports Look Like

Age Report

The age report shows you extremely valuable data for all the different age segments. In this case we can see that people over 65 spend less time on the website and visit fewer pages. It also has a 0% conversion rate (compared to 2% for the 18-24 segment and 4.01% for the 25-34 segment).
This type of data is priceless when it comes to optimizing display or remarketing campaigns, as you can adjust your bidding strategy based on the performance of different age/gender segments.
Gender Report

The conversion rate for women is almost twice the conversion rate for men. Knowing this allows us to allocate the budget for this client toward top-performing segments.
Affinity Categories

This is a great report that shows you the top metrics for each affinity category. Google profiles people based on their browsing experience. For example, if you search for a lot of recipes on Google and visit a lot of sites that provide cooking tips, Google will label you as a “cooking enthusiast.” This type of data is priceless when creating a media buying plan and deciding what websites you’ll be advertising on. It also saves a lot of money at the beginning of a new campaign by showing you what segments are most likely to result in conversions (sales or leads).

Benefits Provided by Demographic Reports

  1. SEM / PPC: bid more effectively by understanding what traffic segments perform best on your site. Attract high-converting traffic and reduce the ad spend going toward non-performing traffic.
  2. Social Media / Offline Marketing: understanding who cares about your brand the most allows you to customize your content to that audience.

How to Enable Demographic Reporting

Demographic reporting isn’t enabled by default. In order to enable it you have to do two things:

  1. Update your Google Analytics tracking code. Get your code here.
  2. Enable demographic reporting from within Google Analytics. This article from Google explains how to do it.