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A Journey Through Advanced Segments In Google Analytics

Analytics | 19th Sep 2012

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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Anna Lewis, and this video is going to take you through how to set up advanced segments in Google Analytics. Advanced segments are a really useful piece of functionality. I’ve written a couple of blog posts and done a video on this in the past to explain how you can use them, how beneficial they are, and what you can do with them. So this video is just to go over exactly how to set them up.

So first off, we’re logged into a test account of mine. We can just see a bit of data here. I’m in the overview. The best place to start is with the Advanced Segments button that’s just up here.

What you can see is that you’ve got some default segments set up already for you. Now, segments basically provide you with a breakdown of your data based on a certain criteria. So we can see here we’ve got a breakdown for non-paid search traffic. So that’s your organic traffic from the search engines. Then we’ve got one for direct. We’ve also got referral traffic. We’ve got things such as visits with conversions and visits with transactions. So there’s quite a few already set up for you which you can use nice and easily.

What I’ll just do is apply this so that you have a look at what you get. Here you can see a line for each of the segments. If I just put that on “week”, you can sort of see that a little bit more clearly. Month might even be more clear. So what we can see if we hover over it is that the blue non-paid search traffic sort of peaked in March here. Further down, you can see the breakdown. It breaks down each of the segments and shows you the specific data for those.

With segments in Google Analytics you can view them on almost any of the standard reports in Google Analytics. So if we head over to content, we can see which landing pages saw each of these visits.

So what we can see is that non-paid search traffic delivered some traffic to the Services page. We got direct traffic to the Contact page, and as for referral traffic, we saw some to the home page, but nothing jumps out as being one of these internal pages. So you can straightaway see the difference, and you can start to see well actually I need to do something about increasing referral traffic to internal pages. You can straight away see that there isn’t much traffic coming to these lower pages, but, you know, that’s because it’s not a site with high volumes of traffic.

So ignoring the numbers and just using the actual sort of fundamental data set, you get a nice breakdown up here so you can actually compare each of the individual traffic sources and see what the overall statistics were. So you can look at any of the reports on the left with advanced segments, all except multichannel funnels I believe.

If we were to go to demographics, we could look at locations based on traffic source. We’d be able to see that in individual cities how much traffic we were getting from each traffic source. So Rio de Janeiro has only given us organic traffic, whereas Bath has given us traffic from all individual sources. So it’s quite interesting because you might be able to spot what towns and cities or countries even provide you with what type of traffic. So it’s a really useful tool. That’s literally a basic summary of some of the standard ones.

What is fantastic about advanced segments is that you can create your own and you can specify whatever it is you want. So the way to do that is over here by clicking New Custom Segment. A popular one if you are analysing your website traffic is to work out how many visitors came to your site via your brand terms.

So what we need to do is give it a name and then set the individual specifications that you want for that advanced segment. So if we were to want to look at brand keywords, we would include keyword. So we select that one from the list, and we’ll put our brand term in there. So you obviously replace that with your brand term, and then we hit Save.

So if we just go to Traffic Sources, we’ll be able to actually see how that affects the results so that we can actually see it in action. So I’ve still got the other segments on. So I’ll get rid of those. So we’ve got all non- paid search traffic here, and then we’ve got the brand terms only. So here we can see there’s the “cadical” brand. You can see brand terms 48, organic 48. Now not provided obviously does not include the word “cadical”. So there’s 7 there and there’s 0 there. So you can see straightaway that that’s the inaction. Anything with the word “cadical” is counted as a brand term.

Here’s one with the website address. There we go. We’ve got brand terms and count there.

So what we can then do is go and look at conversions or landing pages, and we can see where our brand traffic has actually gone. So here we can see most of it went on the home page, and then we’ve got some on some of the other pages.

Now what you can do to just see the brand traffic is remove this one so that we’ve only got the brand, and then we can immediately see only four pages received brand traffic. Then you can work out what you’re going to do about that.

Now what you could do with this is you could pick one of your target SEO keywords, create a segment for that, and then by viewing this landing page report, you could then see how many pages by looking down here at how many results there are, you’d be able to how many of your site’s pages are actually generating visits for that specific term. So it’s quite a nice way to sort of see what’s really working on the site.

Again you can customise by anything. You can view the data in any of the reports. So we could look at social, and we could see how many people from brand terms actually did social activity on the site. Unfortunately, there’s no data for that on this account because it’s not socially active. But if you’ve got the data, hopefully you’ll be able to see something good there.

We can also see where people exit the site. Now this is again slightly similar to the landing pages, but you get to see which pages your brand visitors are leaving the site on. So you can start to analyse their journey and work out what’s going on there.

So that’s the data you can see. Now I just want to show you a couple of other custom segments that are quite useful. So I’ve written a blog post about some of my favourite advanced segments which you can see here. So what I’m just going to do is show you how to use this.

Keyword length is one of them. I want to analyse all my longtail keywords. So I want to find out all my organic keywords that are longer than four words. So if I click this link, I can then choose a profile to put this segment into and create that. Now what that immediately does is opens you up in that profile with the segment. Because I’ve already created this and just shared the link, you can easily use it yourself without having to know this code that tells Google that if the keyword has X number of spaces, then it counts as this segment.

So we just hit Save Segment, and then we go into our standard report and then we can use our advanced segments to apply it. So 4+ keywords apply. Now we’ve only got one visit for that, but what you could then do is go into your traffic sources under search and actually have a look at what this was.

So this is a really good way to work out how your longtail keywords are performing, and also what we’ve got in the blog post is the code that you need to set up the advanced segments for the one word, two word, three word segments. So you can set all of those up and then compare them. So it’s really useful for understanding your keyword breakdown.

Also that’s exactly how to create any of these other advanced segments that are in this blog post. There’s quite a few here. So we’ve got organic visits with conversions, social media with conversions. You can look at anything that doesn’t bounce from certain sources. You can look at people viewing more than five pages. You can also group your social traffic or your mobile visitors. So there’s quite a lot of advanced segments to play with here.

So hopefully you’ll be able to start setting some of them up yourself and have a look around the reports and get a feel for what really shows you the breakdown of what you’re looking for and helps you understand your data better.

I hope this video has been quite useful for you.

About the author

Anna Lewis

Our resident analytics specialist is Anna Lewis. Anna is unbelievably attuned to anything analytical and can fill you in on all the latest news, tips and advice to get ahead in this evolving market.

The Practical Guide To Google Analytics

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