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Creating custom segments in Google Analytics

Written by Ryan | 26-May-2009 16:31:00

More and more marketing teams are currently seeing the results of getting full value from their web analytics tools. Google Analytics offers numerous, user friendly reports that anyone can set up, but more importantly it also allows you to create bespoke reports, such as using custom traffic segments to analyse how specific groups of traffic are behaving on site.

A custom segment is created in Google Analytics using the advanced segments function, which is accessible from the dashboard, towards the bottom of the left hand navigation, under “settings”:

Once in this section, you are presented with some default segments, but also the option to “create new custom segment” in the top right:

The functionality that is then presented allows you to select from a whole list of “dimensions” and “metrics”. In the example below we have created a custom segment that will add together all traffic from “site 1” and “site 2” that has spent longer than 10 seconds on the site. [For purely demonstration purposes, our hypothesis could be that visitors from these sites have a very high conversion rate if they spend longer than a certain time on the site].

Once set up, the advanced custom segment can be overlaid on most other reports. In this example, we have gone to Goals > Conversion Rate and selected our “test custom segment” from the top right option.

We can now view this conversion report for this segment only. It would appear that our hypothesis was correct and that this segment of traffic does indeed convert higher than all visitors. Over the date range 25th April to the 25th May, all visits converted at 3.67% whereas this particular segment has converted at 6%.

Once you've used a custom report to generate a report like this, you then need to invest just as much time planning your next move. Analytics can give you insights, but you've then got to take advantage of the insight.  To learn more about how we can help you use Google Analytics and how to plan your digital response accordingly, contact us.