How to find unique visitors in Google Analytics?

We have already discussed the importance of the “unique visitors” metric both for the globally trusted rankings and for the webmaster’s own analytics and decision-making.
Understanding your unique visitors’ dynamics, behavior on site, engagement with your content and functionality, and conversions, you get the precious feedback to your marketing activities and insights into:

  • How popular the website is and among what audiences;
  • What attracts new users and what repulses them;
  • How to lower the attrition rate;
  • What remarketing campaigns will ensure best results;
  • How to enhance commercial sections’ performance with new users;
  • What improvements will increase your website’s profitability.

Let us now figure out how to analyse your unique users with Google Analytics that defines them as “the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors to your website over the course of a specified time period”.
GA registers all the data describing each user’s behavior on your website throughout all sessions and hits he or she generates.

How to find data regarding unique visitors

First of all, take into account that GA refers to unique visitors simply as “users”.

To start your analysis, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Open the Audience tab on the left hand side menu;
  2. Select Overview;
  3. Specify the reporting period.

GA will generate an overview report. The diagram in the report depicts visits over the reporting period. It will give you the general picture of how many individual visitors, i.e. “Users that have had at least one session within the selected date range. Includes both new and returning users”, - as Google states. In the upper left corner above the diagram, you will find a drop-down menu where you can select “new users” instead of users, i.e. those who have entered the website for the first time ever. Google explains how they count the quantity of new users here.

Another way to identify the dynamics of unique visitors is a regular traffic check.

  1. Open the Acquisition tab in the menu
  2. Select All Traffic => Source/Medium
  3. Specify the reporting period (it is the recent 7 days by default).

GA will generate a report featuring the “Users” column, which depicts the dynamics of the unique visitors. The next column shows you the numbers of New users, i.e. those who have never been on your website before the beginning of the timeframe you have specified.

Analyze this

To understand users’ behavior and motivation and to improve their experience and conversions, you need to dig deeper.
Start by clicking on “Behavior” below the “Audience” tab and selecting the “New vs returning”. Returning users are thought of as interested. Their quantity is definitely smaller than new users, and their behavior increases your “pageviews” parameter. Comparing their behavior parameters as well as attributes you can figure out:

  • What sources bring you most targeted traffic;
  • What messages they react best to;
  • What entry pages ensure most minor and major conversions;
  • What demographic, geographic parameters, interests best describe your users.

Based on the regularities you notice, you can decide whom you want to attract as your new users (users similar to those who actively engage with your website and convert) and where to get them (sources, mediums and campaigns similar to those driving these users).

To sum it up, we have discussed two ways to monitor your unique visitors (users) with Google Analytics. It makes sense to monitor them weekly, learn specifics of actively engaging visitors, specify prospective segments, and constantly improve your marketing activities based on the feedback you observe from each segment.