Google Analytics now has the ability to EASILY segment Unique Visitors. Some of you may be yawning, but I can hear many, many people saying, “That’s fuc*ing AWESOME!”
Unique visitors is a critical metric especially in the advertising industry. But it’s also a really hard metric to measure because it take a lot of data processing power. Why? Because of the way unique visitors are identified and measured.
Google Analytics defines a unique visitor as a cookie. For all you nerds it’s the
Every time a visitor visits a site GA checks for the cookie. If the cookie exists then GA knows the visitor has been to the site before. If the cookie does not exist GA sets the cookie and increases the unique visitor count.
The challenge is that every time you want to view a report that contains unique visitors GA has to literally count all of those cookies collected to find how many are unique. That’s why there was only one GA report with Unique Visitors (Visitors > Visitor Trending >Absolute Unique Visitors report).
But Google figured out some way to effectively count all of the cookies in real time. Now the unique visitors metric that can be added to any custom report.
If you need to segment unique visitors you can simple create a custom report and include this metric.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re running a branding campaign for an upcoming movie. You want to measure how many actual people visit your website. You can create a custom report with the campaign dimension and the Unique Visitor metric.
There is one technical limitation. Google Analytics will sample data when a date range for the custom report contains more than 200,000 visits.
Still, I’m completely amazed that they figured out how to make this happen.