Under-Used Analytics Features 1: Segments

This is the first post in a series about under-used Google Analytics features. Under-used by whom? Not by us – these are features that we use all the time, and find invaluable in analysing our clients’ data. But we find that the majority of clients are unaware of them or unsure how to use them – hence the need for this series!

What are Segments?

Segments in Google Analytics enable you to isolate and analyse specific groups of traffic data. There are pre-made (‘System’) segments in Analytics (Organic Traffic /  Mobile Traffic / Returning Users and lots more) and also you can make your own Custom Segments that follow rules that you define. With one client, for example, we made a segment that would exclude visitors who’d been to the Support page on their website (as these were not their main target audience). By applying the segment, they could then analyse the behaviour of everyone except these people.

Where do I see these Segments in Analytics?

Segments appear above the graph. By default you’ll see the ‘All Users’ segment when you go into Analytics. In the screenshot below you’ll see that we’ve applied an additional segment showing the client’s visitors from organic traffic. The All Users segment is blue and the Organic Traffic segment is orange, and now we have two lines on the graph comparing the behaviour of these two groups of people. By removing the All Users segment we would be able to see just the behaviour of the Organic visitors alone, if we wanted to do that. All the data in the table below the graph would also just relate to that group of users too, not just the data you see on the graph. I could also add more segments if I wanted to – you can have up to 4 segments displayed at any one time.

Can I see some more examples of Segments I might want to use?

A valuable resource you might like to be aware of is the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery. Here GA users can share segments that they have made (and Dashboards, Custom Reports and more too) with other users. There are lots of Segments there that you can import into, and use, in your own Analytics account. This should give you a flavour of what can be done: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/gallery/#posts/search/%3F_.type%3DADVANCED_SEGMENT%26_.sort%3DUSES%26_.start%3D0/

I’d like to know more about Segments! Where can I read more?

Google’s own Support files give you lots of information about Segments. I’d suggest starting with their general support article on Segments: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/3123951?hl=en And then to learn about building your own custom Segments, I’d go here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/3124493 Enjoy!

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