Google Analytics Segments have changed the game of how one looked for the golden insights of a business website.
These have turned out to be the most important Google Analytics tool when it comes to isolate and analyze data.
The major role of these segments is to segregate the quantitative data to qualitative data – a great way to analyze and interpret as per the specific requirement of business.
Not just that, it also provides you with an idea of where exactly your business is heading.
Your users and visitors make your website a success.
For a true and valuable analysis, you would want to dive deep and scratch specific characteristics of your website users and visitors – a quest to know how they interact with it.
For that, we will have to have an in-depth understanding of the Google Analytics segments which will help you improve your marketing efforts.
What are Google Analytics Segments?
When we talk about Google Analytics Segments, we always refer a segment as a subset of your data based on criteria that you set.
When not using segments, you will be shown the complete set of users on your website.
The moment you put a segment on the data, you can narrow it down to specific subsets like the country of a user, the device he used and also the specific pages he visited on your website.
Segments can be added to any of your Google Analytics reports.
Google Analytics Segment helps you to drill deep down and glean insights from the data that you put your efforts into collecting.
- You can only apply four segments to a report at one time.
- AdWords cost data will display as 0 as it is not compatible with segments.
- Use conversion segments for multi-channel funnel reports.
Why are Google Analytics Segments important?
Google Analytics Segments are important because you, as a business owner, want to know who is interacting with your website.
Not all the visitors that land on your website is same.
They don’t act the same and don’t even visit the same pages!
Segments help you to filter out the differences and understand the user behavior.
For instance, it is now easier to observe the behavioral differences between bounce and non-bounced sessions, figure out the difference in page load time, demographics or any other metric who want to analyze.
Google Analytics Segments have another great utility.
These help you polarise variables to find bugs and other issues on your website.
While performing an A/B test, you might find that one browser or device is not performing well.
You might want to get to the bottom of this.
Google Analytics Segments help you out.
That’s not it.
You can also view trends in your data with the help of segments.
For instance, you might find that conversions for a particular month are down on your website.
So, you dig deep and find it’s just a particular country’s visitors that are down.
Now that you know the trend, you can analyze better, as to what were the reasons behind such trends.
Also, you can apply Google Analytics Segments to refine your targeting with the help of audience targeting and remarketing.
Ryan Farley, co-founder at LawnStarter uses segments religiously for remarketing. He says,
“Using segments in GA is pretty much a must have — it’s by far the easiest and most effective way to remarket without extremely sophisticated tools most of us don’t have access to. At the very least, you should have segments for each level of intent — ranging from ‘viewed blog’ (low intent) to ‘reached the credit card step’ (high intent). You can then set higher bids on Google Display Network or Search based on how high the intent is.”
How to Segment your audience with Google Analytics?
Google Analytics allow you to break down your audience into segments based on the following:
- Traffic Source
- Completed Actions
There are three different segment levels in Google Analytics.
The user refers to the actual number of people visiting your website.
A session is what Google Analytics refers to a grouped data of site interactions by a single person.
Hit is simply the site interactions made by a user.
If a hit-level condition — such as a page view or an event — is applied, then Google Analytics will return all data from the session, not just the hits that match the condition.
To sum up, a single person can generate multiple sessions and each session can then have multiple hits.
How to Create Google Analytics Segments?
Creating segments is very simple, fast and effective.
All you do is create a set of rules that include or exclude certain people, allowing you to narrow down your audience to look at a specific subset rather than all site visitors, such as people who opted in for a gated offer.
Here are the steps to create your own segments:
- In Google Analytics, navigate to the Reporting section.
- Select the Audience suite and click the Overview tab within the Audience suite.
- Click the New Segment button to create a new segment.
- The segments can be Simple and Advanced. Set conditions for your segment by selecting any of the following check boxes or filling in the field within in the following categories:
- Date of first session
- Traffic sources
- Enhanced Ecommerce
- After setting your conditions for your segment, name your segment by filling out the empty name field.
- Click the Save button to successfully complete this segment.
Now it’s time to hit on point and discuss the top Google Analytics Segment that you should definitely try.
What are Advanced Google Analytics Segments?
Advanced Segments in Google Analytics allow the advertiser to view and analyze to compare the traffic by breaking it down to more flexible segments to get granular level data.
Although these are provided by Google Analytics you can leverage the most out of Advanced Google Analytics Segments only when you define your own segments.
How to Create an Advanced Segment?
Creating an Advanced Segment is fairly easy. Let’s know how.
Go to Audience >> Overview and click on +Add Segment section.
Click on the red +New Segment button.
Choose the right Google Analytics Segment.
Customize Advanced Segments in Google Analytics. Here we doing that using the Behavior segment and then segmenting our users on the basis of number of sessions that have been initiated in a given time frame.
Click on Save to save the segment.
Now you can name your report in a way that helps you find it even after months and years.
Here are the Google Analytics Segments You Should Implement to Improve Website Analysis:
Segmentation by Traffic
There can be instances when you have a campaign tracking setup in your quest to see how different visitors-type differs in their journey through the site.
The campaigns we are taking into consideration are Email campaigns, Enewsletter, Social Media Sites, Affiliate Sites, Display Ads, Direct Traffic and Search Engine Marketing.
We know how important a role Search Engine Marketing plays in creating website traffic.
To break this traffic further down we get traffic from Paid Search, Natural or Organic Search, Paid search and significant high volume phrases or terms including a significant keyword.
Further Read: Know How To Optimize AdWords With Google Analytics
Why is it useful to know the traffic sources?
High organic traffic is a sign that shows your SEO efforts are paying off.
This also tells if the keywords you are using are strong enough.
This means that you are getting new readers who could be potential clients!
Traffic that comes from sources besides a search engine is called Referral Traffic.
These come from a link or from another website that leads to your website.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Having a strong social media is important as social media can play the role of a traffic generator as well.” quote=”Having a strong social media is important as social media can play the role of a traffic generator as well.”]
Paid search provides traffic when someone clicks on one of your Ads from search engine result.
You need to make sure that your Email Marketing campaigns are paying off.
When sending an e-newsletter, you provide a link to your website.
Upon clicking, the reader is taken to your website.
This traffic source should be carefully monitored.
Direct Traffic can happen in two ways:
- When someone types a website’s URL directly into the web browser
- Clicking on a saved bookmarking that leads right to your website.
Pro Tip: You can use this segment in Conversions -> Ecommerce -> Overview to see if anyone who came from this website made a purchase.
Segmentation by Demographics
Another great segmentation approach marketers should be familiar with is Demographics.
This segmentation technique requires you to use custom variables to track customers who have already provided you with information about their personas such as Age, Sex, Business size, sector, and roles.
If you want to segment the report on the basis of Demographics, you would have to set up Google Analytics setting custom variables in the Google Cookie to track the action taken by the visitor such as completing a form, browsing a category, performing a search or buying a product.
Pro Tip: You can use the Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages report to analyze and compare audience group behavior across different pages on your site.
Segmentation by Technology Platform
This segmentation helps you to classify on the basis of browser type and version, screen resolution and mobile platforms (for example iPhone, Blackberry and Android models).
When you segment the report on the basis of technology platforms you will be able to classify your visitors on the basis of the technology they use to access your website, the interface they are using and go down to brand and model of the device in use.
Since the system segments don’t include ‘Desktop Traffic’, set up a Desktop Traffic segment and share it across all the accounts/views you have access to.
Pro Tip: To do this, you can create a segment for mobile traffic from a specific operating system, select mobile as Device Category and Android or iOS or Blackberry as the Operating System.
Segmentation by Enhanced Ecommerce
Enhanced Ecommerce is a great feature in Google Analytics that lets you track the number of things, like add to cart, product impressions, promotions, and more that aren’t available with the default Google Analytics implementations.
One of these additional features is Checkout Steps, which lets you see how people make it through the final conversion funnel and see where the drop-off is happening.
For most of the e-commerce sites we have multiple drop-off points like Confirm Cart, Add Shipping info, Add billing info Review Cart and complete purchase.
When you maintain consistency of the drop-off points throughout the e-commerce website, Google Analytics can help you decipher the hidden data and provide you with invaluable insights of your customer’s behavior.
Segmentation by Conditions
Conditions are nothing but a set of criteria you decide for that particular segment.
Among the drop down you can choose any of the dimension and metrics to get specific data.
The only way you’ll see the sixth advanced Google Analytics segment type, Enhanced eCommerce, is if you have enhanced eCommerce enabled on your Google Analytics account.
And if you do, you’ll get additional eCommerce data in Google Analytics such as:
- Shopping behavior
- Checkout behavior
- Products list performance
- Sales performance
Initially, it might take some time to find the right dimension and metrics.
But over time, you will definitely become a pro at this.
Segmenting your users based on traffic sources and their shopping behavior is a great way to
- learn more about your target audience,
- find out which traffic sources bring you the most revenue, and
- places you need to optimize your eCommerce website to nurture more leads and convert more sales.
Segmentation by Sequences
A sequenced segment is somewhat more advanced than just a regular segment because you can add steps to this segment.
Using sequences in segments adds a lot of opportunities especially for those of you who run an online shop and/or have implemented goals and events in Google Analytics.
If you have a certain funnel in mind, then you can test this funnel through a segment that’s sequenced-based.
Let’s say you have a contact form on your website, you would want to follow these three steps:
1. You suspect people entering your website through page X
2. Now you find that after reading this page, they want to contact you so they visit the contact page.
3. Then you’ve implemented an event in Google Analytics that measure the form completion.
These 3 steps can be added to a segment.
And when you compare that segment with the same segment but then with people that didn’t complete a form, you can check where the differences are and how you can optimize so that more people complete a form.
Segmentation by Behaviour
Behavioral Segmentation is a form of customer segmentation that is based on patterns of behavior displayed by customers as they interact with a company/brand or make a purchasing decision.
It allows businesses to divide customers into groups according to their knowledge of, attitude towards, use of, or response to a product, service or brand.
The objective is to
- identify customer segments that enable you to understand how to address the particular needs or desires of a group of customers,
- discover opportunities to optimize their customer journeys, and
- quantify their potential value to your business.
When it comes to Cohort Analysis, Google Analytics allows you to do that in different ways.
- First, Cohort Analysis Report
- Second, Cohort Segment Analysis
- Third, Cohort Analysis Report with Cohort Segment
We will be talking about the Cohort Segment Analysis here.
A cohort is a group of users who share a common characteristic that is identified in this report by an Analytics dimension.
For example, all users with the same Acquisition Date belong to the same cohort.
Therefore, to know how a particular set of users performed in that cohort can be easily isolated and analyzed.
The cohort analysis includes examining individual cohorts to gauge response to short-term marketing efforts like single-day email campaigns.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Advertisers can see how the behavior and performance of individual groups of users changes day to day, week to week, and month to month, relative to when you acquired those users.” quote=”Advertisers can see how the behavior and performance of individual groups of users changes day to day, week to week, and month to month, relative to when you acquired those users.”]
Not just that, we can organize users into groups based on shared characteristics like Acquisition Date, and then examine the behavior of those groups according to metrics like User Retention or Revenue.
There are numerous ways you can segment your data and gain important insights out of Google Analytics.
We have tried covering all the bases of Google Analytics Segments but it’s only up to you to gain more value from the platform.
You’ll never be able to do without learning from your actions and that of others.
Do let us know if there’s something we should add in the post to make it more comprehensive.
Feel free to share more insights into how you use Google analytics to make data reporting a success.
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