How old are your Web site’s visitors?

Posted on June 9th, 2014 by Jason Shindler

By Jason Shindler
Curvine's site apparently attracts more men than women. We're using Google Analytics demographic information to generate this data.

Curvine’s site apparently attracts more men than women. We’re using Google Analytics demographic information to generate this data.

Web site developers have been able to tell you a lot about users of Web sites. We could tell you:

  • How they visited the site: When a user visited, How many pages and which pages they visited,
  • About the user’s computer: What Web browser and Operating System they use, what screen resolution they have
  • The user’s general location: in what state and city they are located in (or if the user consented, a more specific location)
  • How they found the site: Did they find it by visiting it directly, clicking on an ad, or visiting a search engine.

There were (and are) limits. Here are some things we couldn’t tell you (unless the person self reported the information):

  • The user’s name and contact information
  • Their age or even their gender
  • Things they are interested in.

We still can’t tell you someone’s name or contact information, but thanks to Google, you can now get demographic information about a significant minority of your site’s visitors. It has some limitations:

  • Google only has age and gender and interest group information for some users, but not for all users. In my example site, we saw data on about 50% of users. Your mileage may vary.
  • You can’t see individual user’s data — you can only see an aggregate. You can combine it with other attributes (like # of pages visited) to get more data about each group.

Go to Google’s site for more information about this useful tool.

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