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Advanced Google Analytics Segments Part 1

by Brian Colling - September 30, 2015

If you want to know how your website is being used and the traffic you are attracting, Google Analytics is a free service that is easy to both learn and use.  Google Analytics uses a tracking code on each of your websites pages to collect information about a user’s activity once they get to your site.

What are Segments and Why Use Them

A segment is another piece of code that you can build into how Google Analytics collects its data.  It allows you to focus on specific characteristics of who your audience is and how they are using your site once there.  There are five types of basic custom segments that you can create to get you started:

  • Demographics
    Probably the most important segment, this data gives you specifics such as age, gender, language and their location.
  • Technology
    Are they accessing your site through a web search or on a mobile device?
  • Behavior
    What happens when the user first gets to your site?  What pages do they jump to and how long do they stay there?  Does the user return to your site and if so, how long in-between visits?
  • Date of First Visit
    This data lets you see when the user first came to your site.
  • Traffic Sources
    Knowing how a user found you is key. Did they come from social media or by doing a basic search in a web browser?

These are only a few of many that you can segment. Once you get your basic segments built and the data is coming in, you then will want to target more specific types of users so that, for instance, you can see the demographics of who might be purchasing item over another.  Another segment could be to see how quickly users click on new information you put up on your site. You can continually build custom segments to match your need and configure them for as much or little information as necessary to analyze your data.

Follow In Their Footsteps

You can benefit from those that have gone before you.  The Google Analytics Team and other users have prebuilt segments available for you to import from the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery.  You can use what they have built as-is or import the segment and further build upon what they have started.

Using segments is essential to your business so that you can reach your full potential and overall business goals.  Once you understand the trend of who is coming to your site and how they are using it, this allows you to make the changes necessary to continue to drive traffic to your website and retain those individuals and ultimately convert them.  Google also offers free tools to better understand how to use analytics as well as instructions to creating segments.  Investing a bit of your time can only benefit you or your company long-term or you can hire an agency that can implement, optimize and manage this for you.

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