Knowing what people visit your site can make a really difference, not only can it change your entire perspective on your content strategy, but also on what types of products you should advertise

If you already use Google Analytics to find out more about your site visitors, you don’t have to do much to get all the information you need to find out more about your site’s audience.

Enable Demographic and Interests Reports (Classic Analytics Only)

Universal Analytics users don’t need to change anything from what I’ve read, so you should be able to follow step 1 and 2 and get the data right away.

1. Go to https://www.google.com/analytics/web/

2. Find your analytics property. Uncollapse Audience, Interests and click on Overview

Google Analytics Interest Affinity Categories.png

3. If you still use the classic analytics code (not Universal analytics), you have to change one line

Find this line:

ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';

And replace it with the bold:

ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://’ : ‘http://’) + ‘stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js’;

So the final end result looks similar to this:

  var _gaq = _gaq || [];
  _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-656420-44']);
  _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
  (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
	ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
  })();
  

4. Change this line on all of your sites. If you run a WordPress blog, make sure to change this in the footer.php and if your index.php or other sites don’t use the footer.php make sure to change it there as well.

5. Finally, make sure to empty all caches (W3 Total Cache) and make sure no server caches like Varnish are preventing Google from seeing the new line of code

6. Once you have confirmed 4+5 and it works as expected, go back to Analytics

7. Now have some patience, it may not work right away, go grab a cup of coffee and then come back and check if it works. If it doesn’t you may have forgotten another active cache, verify that

Use Google Analytics To Dig Deep Into Your Site’s Audience

Once you have successfully set it up, you should let it run a few days to get accurate numbers, but even after a few hours you can already get some results to see what people are actually coming to your site. This is really important to know so you can further optimize your site

Site Audience Affinity Broader Than Expected.png

Often, you will find out that your audience is even broader than expected, but in general you will already have a good idea what people are interested in, but it’s not good enough to rely on faith and intuition alone, this tool gives you the real data.

Let’s say you have a technology site, then it is obvious that you will have a lot of visitors belonging to the “Technophiles” category. However, you may also find out that your audience is interested in music or movies. Why not provide more relevant content on your site?

However, a word of caution, don’t get sidetracked too much. It may be a good idea to use this data to provide some relevant content, but you should always focus on your main niche first so you don’t lose your main audience. I made that mistake a bunch of times, trying to provide content for related niches but the audience just wasn’t that interested and it failed to gain any traction.