Are you aware it costs as much as 5 times to acquire new customers than to retain present ones?

This is the reason many online businesses invest more in customer retention than acquiring new ones. Moreover, a 5% surge in loyal clients can impact your bottom line by 25 to 125 percent. If you’re not measuring your Customer Retention Rate (CRR) then you may be hemorrhaging money and not even know it.

This article will lead you through the CRR formula and how you can measure your CRR using Google Analytics.

More than that, we’ll let you in on some strategies to enhance your customer loyalty get set you up with tactics for customer retention rate optimization.

There are two parts to this article:

  • Part 1 – how to calculate and measure CRR using GA
  • Part 2 – How to optimize your CRR

What is Customer Retention Rate (CRR)?

Customer Retention Rate (CRR) depicts the percentage of clients your business has retained over time. The retention rate is the opposite of the churn rate which indicates the percentage of clients your business has lost over time. The significance of retention rate as one of the critical metrics differs based on industry, for instance, companies offering services or selling applications. Customer retention is pivotal and it impacts the bottom line of any business directly.

The formula for calculating Customer Retention Rate (CRR):

  • CRR = ((EC-NC)/SC) times 100, where:
  • EC stands for the number of clients at the end of a given period.
  • NC stands for the number of new clients during a given period.
  • SC stands for the number of clients at the beginning of a given period.

Assuming you opened a Facebook page. On October 1st, you have 1000 followers with an additional 500 followers by October 31st; however, 200 people unfollow your page. So, at the end of a given period (in this case, one month), you had 1300 followers. Here’s the calculation for the retention rate:

{(1300-500)/1000} times 100= 80

Interestingly, you were able to retain 80% of your clients. The goal of every business is to retain a higher percentage of its clients within a given period.

Measuring Customer Retention Rate with Google Analytics

The CRR metric is not for show. It represents an important part of your business performance, with a significant contribution to your bottom line. The old truism by the management guru Chief Jack Welch “You get what you measure” is something any business should take to heart. If you don’t measure your CRR you most likely are not trying to improve it. With that point in mind, let’s see how CRR is measured.

1. Login to google analytics

Open any of your web browsers and log on to the Google Analytics website at Log in using your Google Analytics account details (username and password) allocated to the administrator user or company.

2. Track your sites

Click on the name of the site you intend to evaluate in case you track two or more sites using Google Analytics.

If otherwise, click on the ‘Home’ link. The Analytics’ My Dashboard page will show in your browser’s window.

Click on the ‘Standard Reporting’ link located at the top of the ‘My Dashboard’ page.

3. Monitor audience behavior

Click on the ‘Audience’ link located on the left pane of the Analytic Dashboard page. Select any of the period buttons located at the top.

The ‘Visitors Overview report’ pops up in your web browser and indicates the aggregate number of visits to your website for the present month, aggregate unique visitors, overall page views, bounce rate, page views per visit, as well as new visitors.

That circle graph on the report page shows the number as well as the percentage of aggregate unique visitors, new ones, as well as returning ones. You have the chance to click on different periods by clicking any of the buttons located at the upper-right corner of the Overview page for Visitors. The period options include Hourly, Daily, weekly and monthly.

4. Estimate the aggregate of new visitors

Estimate the aggregate new visitors to your site manually by the actual number of unique visitors who checked in for that given period {New Visitors/ Total Unique Visitors).

This number offers you a percentage of the aggregate number of new people who checked in to your website in the present month or a given period.

Meanwhile, the circle graph located on the report page indicates the percentage of new people, you may need to manually estimate the percentage if you are using an older browser or you have a disabled image display in your web browser.

5. Divide the estimate by the total of visitors

Divide the aggregate number of returning visitors by the total number of guests on the website for that given period {Returning Guests/Total Guests).
This number indicates the percentage of guests who checked into your website overtime in a given reporting period.

6. Understand the visitor’s behavior

Click on the ‘Behavior’ link located at the left navigation pane. This report shows the aggregate number of check-ins, pages viewed at every visit, bounce rate, and the percentage of new guests. Also, the report shows the average number of times each guest spent on the site.

To know the number of guests who visited your website more than one time during that period, minus the percentage number of ‘New Visitors’ from 100. The distinction between the percentages of guests who checked in is the percentage of guests who checked into your website more than one time.

7. Check the rate of returning users

Click on the ‘Frequency and Recency’ link located on the navigation pane. You will receive a new report in your web browser which shows the Count of Visits sections per guest to your website.

Higher percentages or numbers mean you have an excellent visitor retention rate for your website. Significant figures in the ‘1 visit’ category show that many guests don’t come back after visiting.

Measuring important engagement metrics that support your CRR

Google Analytics is free to use and it is a web-based tool with no subscription. It’s one of the cornerstone tools for anyone looking into digital marketing.

You can access several ranges of tracking statistics as well as analysis without paying a dime. You only need a Gmail account to get started. Here are some benefits of Google Analytics on your customer retention optimization.

1. Analyzes the traffic sources

You can know how guests are being drawn to your site. For instance, the number of visitors via a referral link from different sites, organic searches, or from search engines or paid ads.

This allows you to view the success of different means of traffic sources and be able to determine if they are increasing traffic. 

2. Analyse traffic by geographic location

Google Analytics offers detailed information concerning the visitors that check into your website.

You can see the towns and countries where they are accessing your website. This will help you to know if any keyword or localized marketing activities would be productive.

You can enhance the page views or sessions by tweaking the campaigns for that particular location to reach new users and retain old visitors.

It can assist you in customizing your content or marketing campaigns to secure a sizable portion of the traffic. 

3. Assess your Bounce Rates

The bounce rate is tracked when visitors only view one page of your site before they leave. If you have a higher bounce rate, the chance is high that you are not providing quality content that can make the users who stumbled on your site come back. You also need to verify your keywords if they are not misleading or check the sources of your traffic.

The bounce rate relies on the relevance as well as the quality of your web content, which shows your visitor’s satisfaction as they browse your website. This can as well assist you to know which pages are inspiring your visitors to stay longer on your site. It can also help you to optimize your landing pages to generate a higher bounce rate. 

4. Pinpoint strong or weak points in your website (Page Value)

Given that you have a conversion value set up on your Google Analytics, you analyze your website pages based on their contribution to sales. The Page Value metric gives a number to the unique contribution of a single page to sales. A low page value means that a page is not contributing to your bottom line. If a page you consider important in your sales funnel has low page value then it is likely underperforming and should be optimized.

Google Analytics also offers data about your specific popular pages or the ones frequently browsed. These allow you to know the pages of the site that are important to your visitors and enable you to enhance your content. 

Leveraging the data made available by analytics can optimize the pages of your websites to generate more income and customize your future content to make it a piece of sought-after information when next they visit. 

5. Analyze your traffic flow

You can track the traffic flow entering your website. You can also know the statistics of your guests viewing your site.

Another way is to search out traffic by desktop, tablet, or mobile, and how you can manage effectively. There are relevant data you can generate from this. 

You can know the responses of your visitors on your landing pages and can assess the bounce rates for all the pages. This can help you focus more on enhancing the pages that contribute to your sales funnel and boost retention leads.

Display the Traffic Flow

You can also know the priority pages of your visitors while navigating your website. That way, you can modify your pages to optimize navigation while tweaking pages that are seldom visited. 

6. Review historical data

Google Analytics can depict the ways visitor traffic changes across periods. This can be relevant if some trends across different time frames are visible.

For instance, you can know which of your marketing campaigns has been generating results that can shape your future campaigns. 

You can also know and assess the services, pages, or products that create the greatest level of interest at some points in a given period. You can follow data daily, weekly, or every month.

Google Analytics also offers subdomain management, email reports, mobile statistics, outbound links, social reporting, and revenue tracking. These make it a latent marketing as well as a statistical tool that can improve the impact of your online presence without incurring a cost.

7. Reporting tools

There are also times when you manage multiple Google Analytics accounts to gauge web analytics and analyze performance. Not to mention that CRO happens not only through your web page that is tracked by Google Analytics. 

When you have a variety of CRO tools working for you, being able to perform cross-channel assessments to see what platforms are performing the best is incredibly beneficial. This allows you to allocate your resources efficiently to those platforms that bring in the greatest rewards. 

With the help of Google Analytics reporting tools such as Whatagraph, for example, you have the option to accurately and quickly perform these cross-channel campaign assessments and delegate resources accordingly.

reporting tools

How to optimize your Customer Retention Rate

The answer is to provide a better product or service. If that sounds ambiguous, you can consider these specific ways to enhance your customer retention endeavor and improve your business profitability.

Here are the top strategies for optimizing your customer retention:

1. Manage expectations (never under-deliver)

Everything boils down to expectations. If your clients expect exceptional results and they only get fair results, they may be disappointed. If they want you to deliver decent results and they get outstanding result, they will be excited. Therefore, if you establish low expectations, they won’t subscribe to your service initially. Thus, establish moderate and realistic expectations concerning your long-term performance.

2. Deliver beyond your promise (always try to over-deliver)

Deliver beyond what you offer! This means going above the board to give your customers what they don’t expect. For instance, you could provide freebies such as a product, value-add, or a product. Also, you can anticipate the requirements of your customers and meet those needs proactively.

Prove to your customers that you add more value than what they are paying for. That way, they will lack logical reasons to leave. Always prioritize measurable outcomes when reporting. This will provide you an edge over others and improve your bottom line significantly.

3. Biuld unique value through customer research

Encourage loyal customers by providing your clients a reason to stay with you instead of going to your competitor. This demands a bit of creativity. You can discover the unique selling point that sets your brand apart. It could be providing value add that makes your clients feel they are getting more value for what they pay for. You can get hints into unique value for your users by conducting user research.

4. Remain transparent

If your clients begin to lose trust in your brand, they may leave. The best approach is to build and sustain trust, which you can achieve by becoming transparent as much as you can. Supply them with the data they need. This incorporates communicating with them regularly via updates and meetings. Also, address their issues proactively before they degenerate.

5. Personalize your communication to build relationships

While most of your customer relationships will be fashioned after a B2B partnership, there will be one individual at the core of that relationship. Therefore, inject personal touches into those interactions. You can share hand-written notes, personal exchanges, and small gifts.

6. Accept feedback and imbrace change

Since you don’t know what your customers’ requirement is, you can conduct a survey and ask your clients to provide feedback. That way, you can know what you are missing and which aspects need improvement.

Good enterprises don’t maintain the status quo when faced with clear feedback that change is needed. They update, transform, patch, and evolve with changing times. They continuously search for ways to provide the best experience for their customers. Changing your business processes and offerings can communicate that you offer value and you intend to retain your customers for a longer time.


Customer retention is not a one-time switch, which you can strike as a one-off effort. It is a series of activities that you will need to work and enhance over time. With the help of Google Analytics, you can maximize your ability to optimize your customer retention rates.