Google Conversion Room Blog Tips on tracking and improving conversions online

Spotlight on Google Analytics features part 1: Advanced Segmentation

Friday 15 May 2009 | 14:39

Labels: , ,

Over the past few months we've added some cool new features to Google Analytics, so this week we'd like to kick off the first in a series of posts showing you how to use these features to analyse your site further.

This week we'll look at Advanced Segmentation.

What is Advanced Segmentation?

Looking at your Google Analytics data en masse may not highlight issues with your site or opportunities for your business. Advanced Segmentation allows you to define specific subsets of traffic to your site. Each subset you define can then be applied to historical and future data in your Google Analytics reports. You can then compare subsets of data to all your data, or even compare multiple subsets.

How do I create an Advanced Segment?

You can access the Advanced Segmentation functionality from the 'settings' box on the left hand side of the Google Analytics interface:

You can also access this feature from the top right grey bar in many of the reports within Google Analytics:

You can then choose from a selection of default segments, or simply and easily create your own segment which will be saved, and can be applied to reports as and when you need that data.

Here are some examples of Advanced Segments you can try out...

Segment by 'branded' traffic:

You can then see the behaviour of users who know your site compared to those who don't.

Create this segment by selecting visits that came from 'direct' or keywords that contain your site name.

Segment out your most common web browser:

Most of your traffic is likely to come from Internet Explorer. Segment out this traffic and look for differences in how your site performs for other browsers. If there are issues your site might need optimisation for these other browsers.

Create this segment by selecting visits from browsers that do not contain 'Internet Explorer'.

Check out this YouTube video to see Advanced Segmentation in use:

Want to know more? Read about Advanced Segmentation in the Google Analytics help centre article or visit Avinash Kaushik's post on the topic here.

Once you master using Advanced Segmentation you may want to share your creation with other Google Analytics users. Our colleagues in the US are currently running a competition to find the most useful Advanced Segment in the world! Find out more at the Google Analytics blog.

Come back next week when we'll focus on Custom Reporting. And as ever, if you have any feedback on the Conversion Room blog, please email us.