Google Analytics started rolling out Audiences, the new report they’ve talked about a few weeks back, without any additional announcement from the company. Instead, GA is notifying users about the new update within the platform, upon login.
Cognetik wrote in more detail about the upcoming GA update when it was originally announced, in this blogpost: Google Analytics, the most popular reporting platform, is getting four new functions.

Prior to collecting any data for this report, analysts have to enable Demographics and Interestsconfigure audiences in their Google Analytics account and then publish those audiences to Analytics.
IMPORTANT: Data for an audience is available in reports starting from the date you publish the audience to Analytics. Any data collected before that is not available.
Audiences in Analytics are users that you group together based on any combination of attributes that is meaningful to your business.

An audience might be as simple as current clients (include users who have > 0 product views; exclude users who have > 0 purchases), or a much more detailed definition that identifies clients who viewed the info page for Product X, and then within 5 sessions or 30 days returned to purchase the product. There are of course a lot of varieties on what you can create within custom audiences.
Once you define an audience, you can activate that audience on platforms such as AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager, so you can focus your marketing efforts on those users, and then you can apply the audience to your Analytics reports to explore their behavior in response to your marketing.
Google informs that you can use the audience as a secondary dimension in reports, and as a dimension in segments, custom reports, and custom funnels.

Google limits the number of maximum audiences published in Google Analytics at any one time to 20.
IMPORTANT: Audiences that are based on custom dimensions that use query-time import mode are not supported. Audience data is evaluated at processing time.

What’s in it for site owners and analysts? 

With the new feature, GA gives users the option to publish any audience to a new report, making it easier to interpret data.

Previously, Google Analytics would give you the option to create audiences and export them to other products, such as AdWords, but you could not publish them to Analytics for reporting.
This will help site owners make more informed decisions about their advertising budgets, which group to target and which audience is the most profitable for the company.

What the metrics tell you

The Acquisition metrics let you know the volume of users an audience is sending you (Users), and how well the audience works to get you potential new business (% New Users, New Users).
The Behavior metrics let you know how well your site engages users, whether they’re leaving after viewing only a single page (Bounce Rate), whether they’re viewing multiple pages (Pages / Session), and whether they’re spending the amount of time engaging with your content that you’d like.
The Conversions metrics let you know whether users are completing transactions and goals, and generating revenue at the rate you want.

About the author

Sebastian Stan

Sebastian is a journalist and digital strategist with years of experience in the news industry, social media, content creation and management, and digital analytics.

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