Google Analytics is great at delivering aggregate data about what groups of people are doing on your site. But if you want to look at the individual behavior of a major donor or important constituent, we need to turn to User Explorer.
What is User Explorer?
The user explorer feature in Google Analytics lets you see what an individual visitor is doing on your website. UE is a chronological timeline of a visitor’s activity on your site. This can be found under Audience → User Explorer in Google Analytics. Clicking on a specific user ID will show you page-by-page activity on your site performed by that user, including events and goals.
How can my nonprofit use User Explorer
1. Optimizing conversion path
There are key actions on your site that you want users to take, like making a donation, that move you toward your overall mission to drive greater impact. User explorer allows you to see an individual’s path before they take that key action. This lets you see how many times someone visited the site before donating, which pages they visited, and what else they did on site before finally committing to your cause. By better understanding how people interact with your site before taking action, you are better primed to identify roadblocks or areas of opportunity to help bring more people down that funnel to donate or otherwise show support.
Understanding what users do on your site can help you better understand who they are and what they are interested in. Then, you can follow up with resources and content that are tailored to each user and best match their needs and interests.
3. Persona Matching
Your nonprofit knows who your key groups of supporters are. If you know that most donors are aged 35-45 and live on the west coast, you can create a segment in Google Analytics and apply that segment to User Explorer, allowing you to look at user behavior for only those who match those criteria.
Using User Explorer to Reach the Right People
User personas become especially helpful when you’re able to match online data (random user IDs) with offline data (your actual subscribers). That’s where Lighthouse by Whole Whale comes in. Lighthouse is a Google Analytics add-on tool that ties email subscribers on your site to Google Analytics, shedding light on important users. This means you can see what specific people are actually doing on your website.
With Lighthouse, you can see exactly how often that high-value donor visits your site, or what content important constituents are checking out. Lighthouse also allows you to run search queries for users who match certain activity patterns, or whose email matches a certain domain. Then, you can export that list of emails and follow up with content that is hyper-specific to them.
Lighthouse by Whole Whale can help you understand user paths on your site. It can also help make your job a lot easier.