You can use your marketing framework to study visitors to your website:
- where they came from
- what they do
- what outcomes they produce
But these are all static views.
They leave open the question “What direction are my visitors moving?”
Are they becoming more interested and engaged with the value I provide? Or less interested and engaged?
Where am I seeing more friction on my site and what can I do about it?
Frequency and Recency look at behavior over time
The Frequency and Recency reports in Google Analytics give some insight into how your visitor behavior changes over time.
The Frequency Report is a histogram that shows the distribution of the number of times visitors return to your site within a given period of time.
More frequent visits indicate increased interest and engagement.
How does the Frequency report work?
Here’s how the Google Analytics help site explains the Frequency Report.
Analytics counts visits for this report in the following manner:
- Visitor 1 visited the site 1 time during the time frame.
- Visitor 2 visited the site 2 times during the time frame.
- Visitor 3 visited the site 3 times during the time frame.
- The first row of the report (1 visit) has a count of 3 (one each for visitors 1, 2, and 3).
- The second row of the report (2 visits) has count of 2 (one each for visitors 2 and 3).
- The third row of the report (3 visits) has a count of 1 (one for visitor 3).
Segmentation reveals more useful information about frequency
- Of course, the first segment is to make sure you aren’t looking at new visits and only at Returning Visitors
- Compare the frequency of visits to different areas or topics of content on your site.
- Look at the frequency of visits by marketing channel (search, referral, email, etc.), by search term. Which of these channels sends visitors who then come to your site more frequently?
- Examine the latency following a campaign or event. What happened to frequency during the first week or first month after your event. Did frequency increase as a result of your efforts?