You must have seen the Demographics tab on Google Analytics. They collect users' gender & age details and display it in the graph format.
But it doesn't happen by default. You have to enable Advertising Reporting Features for your GA property.
Let us look into how does it work behind the scenes though. That should be interesting...
Here is a list of Google services that help automatically with this:
- Chromebook Laptops
- Google Chrome Browser
- Android Phones
How does it work?
If you are using an android phone or even a Chrome on a desktop computer. There is a good chance you will be logged into your Google account all the time.
Google Analytics thus gets access to your logged in account. And gets to obtain information such as your Gender and your age.
This info is crucial for the demographics features to work.
Not only does it obtain information from your logged in account. It can also use the cookies data from DoubleClick.
What is DoubleClick?
DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad technology platform that enables advertisers to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.
It's a product from the suite of Google.
It can also see your Advertising IDs from your mobile devices.
Both Android and iOS have a variant of this available.
Is it captured 100% of the time?
No. Age and Gender data is only available for those users who are logged into their account during the tracking process.
This is the main reason why some people think the calculations are not accurate. Because they try to put the Gender's data in a pie of 100% users.
Which will give you wrong results.
How much is the capture rate for demographics?
Around 30-35%. This means that only a third of your users will share their demographics information with you.
Even though that is a limited set of data. It is still really powerful. And should not be ignored.
Google Analytics captures Gender data through various methods. And if for some reason the tracking code isn't able to capture the demographics from one method. It will fallback to another. And another and so on...
So it does have multiple attempts at it. Which is the best you can ensure when tracking your visitors' demographics.
And utilizing this data can be really powerful.
Not as powerful as subscribing to our newsletter and following me on Twitter though.