In this article:

Unique Users

One of the basic but important metrics in managing website traffic is the unique visitors. In Google Analytics, unique visitors are called users, which we will subsequently use in this article. Let us learn how a user is counted in Google Analytics, how you can find the number of users and analyze them, what is the ideal number of users, and how you can further increase it. Are you ready?

How is a user defined in Google Analytics?

In Google Analytics, the term used to refer to a unique visitor is a user. In order to identify a user, Google Analytics generates a unique ID for each user accessing your website for the first time. The unique ID is stored as a cookie in the browser of the user. Therefore, a user corresponds to a unique device with a unique IP address that accesses the site. If three different people access your site through a single IP address, for example using a single device, they will still be counted as a single user. 

On the other hand, it is possible for a single person to be counted as two or more users if they use two or more devices to connect to a single website. Promise Media points out some scenarios where the user count may not accurately reflect the number of people visiting your website:

  1. A single person can use a computer at work and then at home. He or she will be counted as two users via cookies but be only one person.
  2. A family of four people can all use the same computer. The computer will be counted as one unique visitor when in fact four people are using it.
  3. Someone manually clears their cookies. They may be treated as two users because of two sets of cookies.

These are some of the scenarios where the number of users do not reflect the number of people behind it.

How can you find the number of users in Google Analytics?

You can already find the number of users in the homepage of Google Analytics. A snippet is shown below:

Google Analytics Homepage
Homepage

You can also view the number of users by going to the sidebar, selecting Audience, and then Overview:

Google Analytics Overview Page
Overview

You can also further analyze the users accessing your websites by checking the other options under the Audience title in the sidebar, such as demographics, location, and even the devices used.

What is the ideal number of users to your site?

Ideally, the number of users should increase over time. HubSpot has conducted a survey on the range of number of users of different business websites depending on several factors. One of these is the age of the website. They found out the following:

  • The majority of websites that are up for at least a few months up to a few years have total monthly visitors ranging from 1,001 to 15k. 
  • When the website gets older, there is a bigger chance you can get more than 50k visitors, but you may still remain in the 1,001 to 15k monthly visitors range.
Total Monthly Visitors by Website Age
Image source

The thing is, as your website is part of your e-Commerce and marketing campaigns, it should enable you to reach the ultimate goal of helping your business grow. As the potential number of users depends on your target market, some of the websites in the lower range of monthly users in the study shown may already be performing better than their peers. To help you determine whether the number of users accessing your site is acceptable, HubSpot recommends answering the following questions:

  • What is the standard in your industry?
  • How much content do you produce?
  • How well is your content strategy working?
  • What is the search volume for your targeted topics?
  • How competitive are your target keywords?
  • Is your website secure?
  • Is your website accessible?
  • Is your website mobile-friendly?
  • Is your website optimized for the user experience?

How can we increase the number of users?

While ultimately the number of users is not the sole metric to judge your potential market share, increasing it is one of the best ways to do so. Here are some tips in doing so:

  • Set goals that are realistic to your industry and market - setting a realistic goal means you choose the right methods and channels to achieve them
  • Target keywords that attract the most traffic for your industry and market - certain words can not only push your content up the search engine results but also help you get higher conversion rates.
  • Set a consistent content publishing schedule - a consistent publishing schedule helps your users be trained to visit your website regularly as well. Additionally, posting more content helps you attract more traffic. 
  • Use email marketing - if you have a way to sign up your users to a newsletter, the emails you send can help some of your former visitors to return, thus also keeping them as regular visitors.
  • Enlist the help of influencers - influencers allow you to reach a portion of your audience and market that may be unreachable using your existing channels. 

References

Unique Visitor

How Many Visitors Should Your Website Get? [Data from 400+ Web Traffic Analysts]

How to Know Your Website's Traffic Quality Is Poor & Fix It

Google Analytics Unique vs New vs Returning Users Explained in Great Detail - Optimize Smart

Everything You Need to Know About Unique Visitors in Google Analytics - Data Driven U

How to Understand Unique Visitors in Google Analytics

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