Understand Google Analytics Advanced Segments [video]

“Where I think Google Analytics really shines as a product is the -what we call- custom advanced segments or just custom segments.”

In a previous presentation, Nick Iyengar discussed data segmentation, providing a definition of segmentation and discussing its value for web analytics. He also went over a few reports that provide segmentation options by default on Google Analytics. In this presentation, he provides an in-depth overview of Advanced Segments, a segmentation tool on Google Analytics.

There’s really no list of Top 10 types of segments, because different segments work for different businesses. Iyengar shows how to build custom segments around any attribute or dimension of your traffic. Below are a few examples provided during the presentation.

Segment Visitors by Number of Keywords Searched

Nick starts by describing what is a Regular Expression and then he gives a sample that can be used in order to create a segment of 2-3-4 or more keywords: ^(W*\w+\b){3}\W*$ If you change the number ‘3,’ it will change the number of words in the keyphrase that is supplied by Google Analytics.

According to him, if you start looking at phrases that have multiple words – long tail keywords – and plot them out year-over-year, you can get an idea of what’s successful. Shorter keyword phases get the most traffic – that’s the head. Longer phrases, however, convert better for meeting goals.

#1 Money-Saving Advanced Segment.

How do you know if you’re paying the right amount for specific keywords when advertising on Adwords? Start by including visits from ad position 1. Then compare them to ad slot position 2, 3, 4, and 5. You’ll be able to see cost and conversion, depending upon AdWords position. The first position almost always gets the most clicks, but the conversion rate may be better in later positions. Then you can drill down and find which keywords convert better in each position.

Branded vs. Non-Branded Keywords Segment

Show me only branded keywords either by including or excluding brand terms. You can see how brand terms perform.

Traffic Sources Bringing High-Value Visitors

This will look for visitors that looked at 2 pages or more or spent greater than 200 seconds on the site. These are highly engaged people. If you look to see where highly engaged traffic comes from, you can find out where your efforts need to be.

Nick Iyengar – Senior Consultant, Cardinal Path

Nick iyengar

Nick Iyengar is a senior consultant at Cardinal Path, as well as a veteran instructor and regular speaker at analytics industry events. As a consultant, Nick has worked with organizations ranging from Fortune 500s to non-profits to design and implement customized web analytics solutions, launch and analyze website experiments, and leverage data to optimize online marketing performance.

Nick has provided in-depth guidance to hundreds of North American businesses and organizations as an instructor for Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Google Website Optimizer seminars, and as a speaker at Google’s “Get Your Business Online” series and analytics industry events like GAUGE.

He began his career in the online marketing industry in the mid-2000’s, when he joined Google’s AdWords team in the Mountain View, CA headquarters. There, he spent more than three years managing tens of millions of dollars in ad spend for top-tier Tech B2C clients. He also mananged Google’s “Analytics Guru” team, applying Google Analytics data to improve campaign performance for top AdWords advertisers. Nick holds a B.A. in Government from Connecticut College.