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Additional Profiles vs. Advanced Segments In Analytics

Lucy Griffiths

by Lucy Griffiths on 1st July 2009

Now that Google Analytics has the functionality of advanced segments, how and when do you decide if it is right to create a customised segment or create an additional profile?

Once you have logged into your Analytics Account, the advanced segments can be found in the top right hand corner of the account. This functionality allows the data to be segmented depending upon the data you would like to view.

Google Analytics Advanced Segments Button

Google Analytics provides the following default segments:

  • New Visitors
  • Returning Visitors
  • Paid Traffic
  • Non-Paid Traffic
  • Search Traffic
  • Direct Traffic
  • Referral Traffic
  • Visits with Conversion
  • Visits with Transactions
  • Non-bounce Visits
  • Visits from iPhone

In addition to this you can also create your own custom segments, which will allow you to separate the specific data.

The custom segments are easy to use, simple select from the list the parameters you wish to compare and then drag and drop.

The great thing is once you have created your advance segment or selected from the default list you can easily see on one graph the comparison between your segment and the overall activity on the site.

The advanced segments are an easy and quick way to analyse the data, but has this made creating additional profiles redundant?

Of course not! There are still times when creating an additional profile is appropriate. For example, if you want to set up a filter which will permanently alter or restrict the data.  User access can also be set up to restrict the user access to select data. For example if you only want to let a user see PPC data, set up a profile which only records PPC data.

A filter enables you to manipulate the data shown in your reports. As this controls the data shown in the final reports it is vital that you keep a profile with no filters. This just ensures that you have all the raw data in one profile, just in case you set up a filter which accidently excludes all data.

Examples of filters you can create with additional profiles include:

  • Excluding your own IP address
  • Track subdomains in separate profiles
  • Force URL case to lower

There are also a number of advanced filters which allows you to find out more about visitors, including the exact search term.

Remember with profiles and filters they only record data from that point onwards, unlike advanced segments which can report on data previously recorded.

At Koozai, we offer website analytics consulting so if you would like us to review your Analytics Account then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Lucy Griffiths

Lucy Griffiths

Lucy is an Internet Search Specialist focusing and working with clients on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategies.

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