Understanding Active Users Report in Google Analytics

Google Analytics uses a metric called active users which refers to real time users, when used in the context of real time reports.

Real time users are the people who are on your website right now:

real-time-users

When the active users metric is used in the context of the ‘Active users’ report in Google Analytics, it refers to the number of users who visited your website within the last 1 to 30 days in the selected time period.

The ‘active users’ report can be found under the ‘Audience’ menu:

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Through ‘Active users’ report you can determine the number of users who visited your website in the last 1, 7, 14 or 30 days in the selected time period.

Users who visited your website in the last 1 day, in the selected time period are known as 1 day active users.

Users who visited your website in the last 7 days, in the selected time period are known as 7 day active users.

Users who visited your website in the last 1 day, in the selected time period are known as 14 day active users.

Similarly, Users who visited your website in the last 30 days, in the selected time period are known as 30 days active users.

Note(1): The name active users is a bit misleading in the context of the active users report, as here active users do not mean real time users.

Note(2): Both users and active users are the same thing in the context of the active users report.

You can also apply advanced segment to this report:advanced segment

How to use the active users report

The active users report is useful in understanding the performance of a promotional campaign while it is still running. To use this report, compare 1 day active users with 7, 14 or 30 days active users:

compare active users

Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Plot 7, 14 or 30 days active users on the active users report. To plot a metric, simply select it.

Note: The 1 day active users metric is plotted by default.

Step 2: Compare the 1 day active user trend with 7, 14 or 30 days active users trend. If you see that 7, 14 or 30 days users are lot less than 1 day active users then that means either:

  1. You are not getting qualified traffic on the website, or
  2. Your website, mobile app or offering is not doing a good job of engaging the qualified traffic. So the traffic is not sticking around.

This is the kind of insight you can get from the active users report.

Other article you will find useful:

Guide to Cross device tracking with User Id in Google Analytics

Using Enhanced E-Commerce segments for Remarketing in Google Analytics

Learn about the Google Analytics Usage Trends Tool

The Google Analytics usage trend is a new tool which is used to visualise trends in your Google Analytics data and to perform trend analysis.


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Himanshu Sharma

Certified web analyst and founder of OptimizeSmart.com

My name is Himanshu Sharma and I help businesses find and fix their Google Analytics and conversion issues. If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

  • Over eleven years' experience in SEO, PPC and web analytics
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