Advance Cohort Analysis with Google Analytics

How and what worked for my business is something that I’ll constantly endeavor to dig and love to know more. More page-views & longer customer association with my business is something that will attract me rather than those which had lesser page views and shorter life time/associations. (longer customer retention)


Growth hacking and increasing conversion rate is my ultimate goal but I cannot ignore the statistics of my customers level of retention.
All these concepts looks pretty amazing and interesting but what makes you to reach at this level of conclusion is more challenging and interesting.

To help with the progressive analysis Google Analytics launched “cohort analysis reporting chart”, which can be found at Audience >> Cohort Analysis.

What is Cohort Analysis?

At the root level Cohort is a set of data with certain similar features and characteristics and categorized at certain interval of time. Analysis and comparison is highly effective when you are comparing the 2 set of cohort.

Assume the live scenario where visitors are making transactions at your website, then instead of providing the number of transactions user made, cohort chart will show the percentage of users who visited the site on Monday and made the purchase and transaction on Friday.


Google Analytics Cohort Analysis

Google launched the cohort analysis feature on GA only for unique visitors and this will not show you any data of the returning visitors. GA might launch some sorts of cohort analysis for returning visitors in the future.  Also check here for Google Analytics Tree Map visualization.

Reports you can choose on Google Analytics:

Cohort Type

The dimension that’s the basis of the cohorts. You can only select one dimension at a time. The Cohort Type corresponds to the table column that includes the total number of users in a cohort.

For example, if you select First Sessions, the cohorts are grouped based on when users started their first sessions. First Sessions is the only option that’s currently available.

Cohort Size

The time frame that determines the size of each cohort. This corresponds to the date and number of users in each cohort cell in the dimension column.

For example, if you select Day, the cells in the dimension column display a single date and the number of users organized into the cohort for that day. If you change your selection to Week, a date range appears, and the number of users organized into the cohort for that week also appears.

Google analytics cohort analysis


The metric that’s being measured for each cohort. You can only select one metric at a time. The metric corresponds to all columns in the table, except the Cohort Type column, which displays the dimension.

For example, if you select Session Retention, each Day displays the percentage of users in each cohort that had a session that specific day.
From the Metric you can change the options to-

analytics metrics

  • Goal Completions per User
  • Page-views per User
  • Revenue per User
  • Session Duration per User
  • Sessions per User
  • Transactions per User
  • Total Goal Completions
  • Total Pageviews
  • Total Revenue
  • Total Session Duration
  • Total Sessions
  • Total Transactions
  • Total Users

Date Range

The time boundary that determines what data appears in the report. This corresponds to the number of rows in the table.
For example, if you select the Last 7 Days, there will be a total of 8 rows in the table: one for each of the past 7 days, and one for sum of all cohorts.

Wrapping it Up

Cohort Analysis in Google Analytics makes the data analysis exciting with its great UX and can helps you in comparing multiple cohort in different case scenarios.(mentioned above at “Metric”). You can customize your report based on your business and need. Only thing you have to consider is that those data are purely based on new visits.

Note- For amazing data visualization on revenue enable the Ecommerce settings of your Google analytics account. This is really awesome as it demonstrates your actual revenue with cohort sets.

For most of the online portals cohort analysis report will give quick and easy way to slice down different layers of user engagement , user behavior, user interaction, their retention, marketing trends & effectiveness, and much more.

These analysis can be further breakdown to create industry standard UX and, the UX which really converts. Know more about how to make great user experience website.


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