Frequency and Recency Reports

Most people measure instant conversions like when a purchase, a sign-up or newsletter subscription has happened. Few actually measure user behavior after that first purchase, lead or membership sign up.

So, why not asking ourselves if visitors came back weeks/months later and didn’t forget us after doing such conversions? By doing this, you measure something of value: your user’s loyalty; and Google Analytics can provide these data on the “Frequency and Recency Reports"

First, Frequency lets you see how frequently users return to your site within a date range by clicking the dimension “Count of sessions"

For example: If visitors come once and don’t return, you might infer that your marketing efforts are focused to the wrong audience, or that your site content and design are not sufficiently compelling, engaging or easy to navigate.

But, how sessions are counted in Google Analytics? 

According to Google Analytics Support’s definition "Values for the Count of Sessions dimension are displayed in a histogram with a range from 1-60”.

Let’s review their explanation:

So, every time a user initiates a session, a session counter increments for that user. For example, if User A comes to your site for the first time in January, that user's session count is 1 (would be included in the row for 1). If the user returns in February, the session count is 2 (would be included in the row for 2), and so on for each return.

To illustrate this, look at this table that shows the session date and count for three users:Frequency and recencyIf these were the the total number of user in your data for February, you would see the sessions distributed across the histogram as follows:

1 session: 1
2 sessions: 0
3 sessions: 1

If you viewed the same report for March, you would see the sessions distributed across the histogram as follows:

1 session: 0
2 sessions: 2
3 sessions: 0
4 sessions: 1

And if you viewed the same report for February and March, you would see the sessions distributed across the histogram as follows:

1 session: 1
2 sessions: 2
3 sessions: 1
4 sessions: 1

In this case, the total sessions are greater than the number of unique users because the Frequency & Recency report looks at sessions rather than unique users.

On the other hand, Recency shows how many days go by before users return to your site by clicking the dimension “Days since last session". Do they tend to visit your site once a week or just once or twice a month? This information can be very helpful if you are a blogger or publisher.

For example: Let’s say you post new content on your site on a daily basis, but see from the Recency Report that that customers only tend to visit once a week. Thus, knowing this behavior you might decide to develop (or improve) a new email-subscription option for your site or just any notification systems to remind users to visit your fresh brand new content when it’s created.

Now it’s your turn!

Measure your customer loyalty through "Google Analytics Frequency and Recency Reports" and look for ways to improve your results.

As digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik said: "Good things come to those who are patient, and those who focus on Visitor Behavior”.

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