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Percentage of new users - What does it actually mean?

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

So each month our website gets around 45% 'new visitors'. What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that 45% of the visits to the website were first time visitors who have never visited our website before, ever? Or just that month? In which case, you'd be getting new users every month, although they've come back the month's before?

 

Also, what is a good average % of new users?

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Re: Percentage of new users - What does it actually mean?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
New users is new to your site...ever (sort of).

GA looks for an existing, unexpired GA cookie in the users browser, and if it finds one, the visit is tagged as a returning user. Users can return from different browsers or devices, and they can clear their cookies, so 'new' is not always really new, but 'returning' is always returning.

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Percentage of new users - What does it actually mean?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Thanks Mike. Really useful. What would you say a good percentage of new visitors is, kind of as an industry standard?

Re: Percentage of new users - What does it actually mean?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
There is no standard reference for new visitor % numbers -- it depends on so many things, many of which are outside your control and have absolutely no relationship to the value of your site. For example, how much spam traffic is floating around the web this month, or whether there has been a recent browser update Percentages are also far less meaningful for small sites with lower traffic counts that are more heavily influenced by those outside forces.

Depending on the business objectives, I recommend you focus on a combination of metrics to gauge whether your site is doing 'well'. Look at Medium or Default Channel Grouping over time - how is your traffic changing? If you have focused on SEO, have organic/search visits gone up? If social is a big component of your efforts, how are they paying off for you?

The days of the dashboard with the single metric that shows the health of your site are over...unless that number is revenue.
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Percentage of new users - What does it actually mean?

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# 5
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Thanks Mike, that's really useful. Appreciate you coming back to me on this.