How to Create Audience Personas Using Google Analytics

February 5, 2016

Business AnalysisCustomer FocusDigital AnalyticsTrendsWebmaster

We’ve talked about what personas are and why they are important. With that intact background intact, it is time to learn how to successfully use Google Analytics to create audience personas.

You can only use this method if your website has sufficient data in Google Analytics for analysis. Your website should also have keywords in URL groups or subfolders that Google Analytics can identify with your target audience.

5 Easy Steps to Create Audience Personas Using Google Analytics

Step 1: Get Data on your Website

Open Google Analytics click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Organic. Here you can set the secondary dimension to ‘Keyword’.

Using The Right Keywords

The goal of this step is to get data on keywords (phrases) that people use to find your website. A good majority of the keywords used may not be provided. However, the data you get from this is adequate enough to start building personas with. Copy the data onto a spread sheet for easy editing.

Step 2: Establishing Themes

Go through the keywords and phrases on the spread sheet. Identify similarities and group them into categories or themes. Study these keywords and key phrases for the intent behind the searches. Your goal at this stage is to identify the intent of the user. Patterns will begin to emerge as you do this. For example, pattern of people searching for some specific services or items using city modifiers.

Step 3: Grouping into Personas

Once you have identified different themes, group them based on the intent of the users. Let's say tourists searching for romantic dining restaurants available in city A for less than $300. These groups provide rough personas.

Step 4: Refine by Social Channel

Return to Google Analytics. Click on Acquisition > All Referrals > Second Dimension > Landing page. Copy the data provided onto a spread sheet for easy editing. Identify the landing pages and group them based on referral social channels.

This step helps you identify the type of content that resonates best with followers on different social media channels. This data will help you further refine your personas based on social networks that they use. You will identify patterns for users on different social media platforms. In example, users referred from Facebook look for romantic dining restaurants while those from Twitter are looking for formal dining restaurants. With this information you can determine what type of content or advertisements to place on different social performance.

Step 5: Add Social Details

Take the refining a step further by taking a closer look at your followers and fans on social media. How do they describe themselves? Is there a visible pattern? Make use of native analytics tools on social media platforms such as Twitter to get relevant insights on your follower’s interests. To narrow down their interests even further, examine other smaller social media sites that your visitors frequent such as TripAdvisor, Foursquare, OpenForum and Quora. You can gather information about specific preferences such as people visiting Q&A sites appreciate information by experts.


Gathering more information about your users is not a waste of time or your resource. Compiling buyer personas based on in-depth information will allow you to improve your online content and outreach. If you want to maximize your online impact, then building audience personas is something you simply can’t afford to ignore. Happy creating personas, then!

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