Google Analytics Active Users Report Explained

Last Updated: May 20, 2022

What is the Google Analytics Active Users report?

Through the Active Users report, you can determine the number of users who visited your website at least once in the last 1, 7, 14 or 28 days within the selected time period.

The Active Users report in Google Analytics gives you a clear picture of the retention rate of your website. It helps you analyze how often the users are coming back to your website over a certain time period.

How to access the Active Users report?

You can access the Active Users report under the ‘Audience‘ menu in your GA reporting view:

Google Analytics Active Users Report

How to read the Active Users report?

The Active Users report contains a metric called ‘Active Users‘. These are the users who visited your website at least once within the selected time period.

There are four different types of Active users:

  1. 1 Day Active Users
  2. 7 Day Active Users
  3. 14 day Active Users
  4. 28 days Active Users
types of active users google analytics
  1. Users who visited your website at least once in the last 1 day, in the selected time period are known as 1-day active users.
  2. Users who visited your website at least once in the last 7 days, in the selected time period are known as 7-day active users.
  3. Users who visited your website at least once in the last 14 days, in the selected time period are known as 14-day active users.
  4. Users who visited your website at least once in the last 28 days, in the selected time period are known as 28-day active users.

From the screenshot above, we can conclude the following:

  1. 1,613 users visited our website at least once in the last 1 day, in the selected time period. So there are 1,613 “1-day active users”.
  2. 27,673 users visited our website at least once in the last 7 days, in the selected time period. So there are 27,673 “7-day active users”.
  3. 52,872 users visited our website at least once in the last 14 days, in the selected time period. So there are 52,872 “14-day active users”.
  4. 102,889 users visited our website at least once in the last 28 days, in the selected time period. So there are 102,889 “28-day active users”.

Note: 7-day active users can also include 1-day active users. Similarly, 28-day active users can also include 14-day active users, 7-day active users and 1-day active users.

How to use the Google Analytics 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 28 days active users.

For example, let’s compare 1-day active users with 7-day active users:

compare active users google analytics

From the screenshot above we can conclude that 7-day active users are considerably more than 1-day active users, which is a good thing.

If you plot 1-day active users against 7 days active users and the line graphs are close to each other then it means your website is not getting 7-day active users. In other words, people are not engaging with your website for a long period of time.

Ideally your 7 days active users must be considerably higher than your 1-day active users. Similarly, your 28-day active users must be considerably higher than your 1-day active users.

This is the kind of insight you can get from the Active Users report.

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

Let us suppose your selected date range for the ‘Active Users’ report is Nov 12, 2021 to Dec 11, 2021:

date range

The ‘Active Users’ metric in the ‘Active Users’ report is relative to the last day in the date range you are using for the report.

What that means:

The number of users who visited your website at least once in the last 1 day on Dec 11 (the last day of your date range) would be counted as 1-Day Active Users.

Similarly,

The number of users who visited your website at least once in the last 7 days from Dec 11 through Dec 5 (the last 7 days of your date range) would be counted as 7-Day Active Users.

The ‘Active Users’ metric could be misleading

The name ‘active users’ is a bit misleading in the context of the ‘Active Users’ report, as it implies that active users are real-time users.

The ‘Active users‘ metric in the context of the Active Users report, refers to the website user who visited your website at least once in the last 1 to 28 days within the selected time period.

When used in the context of real-time reports, the active users actually means real-time users.

active users report real time users

When to use real-time reports and when to use the Active User report?

Use the real-time reports when you want to know how many users are currently on the website.

By that I mean, who is currently accessing your website from different locations.

The real-time report can also be used to validate your tracking.

Say for example you have implemented event tracking on your website and you would like to check if it is working fine, then navigate to the real-time reports and under the events section check if the particular event is being tracked.

Use the Active Users report when you have recently published a campaign and would like to understand the performance of the campaign.

Note: Both users and active users are the same things in the context of the Active Users report.

The best way to use the Active Comparison Report

The best way to use this report is by comparing 1-day active users to 7/14/28 days active users and/or by applying advanced segments to this report:

Google Analytics Active Users Report advance segment

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