[Originally posted at PubForge 2009-06-22]
How-to: track behavior of “loyal” visitors in Google Analytics
by Dale Hobson
Most public media sites, even those with a strong news focus, show relatively poor overall loyalty stats, with the average visitor coming twice a month or less. The standard report segments in Google Analytics don’t give a very clear picture of what differentiates the loyal visitor, who returns twice a week or more to your site, from the visitor who beams in from a search results page and is never seen again. This makes it difficult to do testing that targets the loyal visitor.
Fortunately, this can be overcome by using the newish (still in beta) “advanced segments” feature at Google Analytics. Here’s how to create and use an advanced segment that looks at monthly traffic from the loyal visitor–one who visits the site between 8 and 100 times during the selected period (I limited the visit number to 100 on the assumption that people who hit your site more often than that are using it for a browser home page):