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How Can You Use Cohort Analysis Report in GA to Increase Conversions?

Cohort analysis helps us to examine a segment of users who share a set of common characteristics over a period of time. Performing an analysis on this refined set of customer data/user data can provide some valuable details as to how we can strengthen our current marketing strategy. 

What is a Cohort?

A Cohort is a group of users segmented by time who share the same set of characteristics. For example - The Indian Cricket Team For the World Cup 2015 is a cohort because all the members share common characteristics, they all played for India in the World cup 2015. 

Why Cohort Analysis Matters For Your Business?

Businesses often survey the performance of new customers acquired with the help of a particular marketing channel. 

This is simply a cohort. It’s all customers who were acquired from a particular channel. 

Here are some more examples of Cohorts:

  • All customers who ordered during Christmas.
  • Performance of customers who are from Sweden.
  • Performance of customers who register on the site through Facebook.
  • Performance of customers in the first week of the month.

Performing Cohort Analysis Using Google Analytics

The Cohort report in GA has 4 main sections - Cohort type, Cohort size, Metric and Date range. Let us learn about each of these sections in the coming para.

Cohort Type - The Cohort Type corresponds to the table column that includes the total number of users in a cohort. Currently, only 1 option is available i.e. the Acquisition date. The cohorts are grouped based on when users started their first sessions. 

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. You can choose by day, by week or by month.

The following types are available under Cohort Size:

Per User

A- Goal Completions per user 
B- Page Views per user 
C- Revenue per user 
D- Session Duration per user 
E- Transactions per user 


A- User Retention


A- Goal Completions
B- Page Views
C- Revenue
D- Session Duration
E- Sessions
F- Transations
G- Users

Metric - The metric corresponds to all columns in the table, except the Cohort Type column, which displays the dimension. This is what you measure under this analysis.

Date Range - The time boundary that determines what data appears in the report. This corresponds to the number of rows in the table.

In the example below, we have created a cohort by day, using the metric "user retention" for the past 7 days.

Cohort report in Google Analytics

The first column identifies the cohorts and the number of users in each cohort. 

The rest of the columns reflect the time increments you choose for Cohort Size. For example, if you select by day, then each column includes one day of data. There are 13 time-increment columns, 0-12.

By analyzing the cohorts we can easily check whether performance improves or deteriorates. As you look down the column at data for each newer cohort, you’re looking forward in time (for example, Day 4 for the second cohort occurs after Day 4 for the first cohort though they appear in the same column).

Also See:

Macro and Micro Conversions for Online Portals
Learn Analytics FREE
How to Find the Best Day of Conversions Through Analytics
Data Sampling in GA
How to Create Goals in GA?
Google Tag Manager
Multi Channel Funnel in Google Analytics
Regular Expressions on Google Analytics
Search Queries in Webmasters Tools
Expert Competitive Analysis