Tag : google-analytics

Creating Advanced Segments in Google Analytics

I’ve been consulting with an on online retailer to set up an online marketing strategy to reach qualified customers in a specific geographic location. One of the first things I did for my client was an in-depth analysis of their website statistics to better understand this audience segment.

For those of you using Google Analytics, this is pretty easy to do just by setting up an “Advanced Segment” within your Google Analytics account. For my client, we were able to look more closely at visitors from the targeted geographic area who had a revenue value of $200 or more. We also compared the conversion performance of these visitors from different traffic sources including PPC, organic, and referrals.

Benefits of Advanced Segments

Some of the benefits of using Advanced Segments in Google Analytics include:

  • Ease in setting up segments that are then able to be applied to many different data reports within your Google Analytics account.
  • All segments created are able to be saved within your profile so you can easily access them later to analyze performance.
  • Ability to easily compare multiple segments right next to each other (you can compare up to 4 segments at a time).

After conducting this analysis, we learned that visitors from our geotargeted location had converted at a higher rate from certain keyword searches and were more frequently driven to our site from several key referring blogs. This information allowed us to optimize our PPC campaign more effectively for this geographic region and also gave us good data to go back to our referring site partners to obtain better sponsorships and placement opportunities.

How do you set up Advanced Segments in Google Analytics?

In the example above, we wanted to find out more about customers that came to the site and spent more than $200 (“top users”). In order to set up this Advanced Segment in Google Analytics, we did the following:

  • First, set up the new Advanced Segment by going to the Google Analytics Dashboard and clicking on the drop down next to “Advanced Segments” on the right side of the page.


  • On the next screen, select the link “Create a new advanced segment”


  • In the “Dimension” and “Metrics” boxes on the left hand side, choose “Revenue” and drag it over to the “dimension or metric” box on the center of the page. If you have trouble finding “revenue” dimension, type “revenue” into the search box above.
  • Under “condition” leave the value at “greater than” and input a numeric value of “200″

  • Name this new segment (i.e. Visits where more than $200 spent) in the box below and click “Create Segment” button.

You now have a new segment created so you can view website activity for those visitors who have spent more than $200 on your website. To see keyword activity, go to the Traffic Sources report and click on “Keywords”. Within the Advanced Segments drop down menu which is located at the top right of the page, above the graph, you will now see a segment named “Visits where more than $200 spent” under the “Custom Segments” box. Check the box next to this segment and then click the “Apply” button.

To learn how to segment your Social Media traffic using a dimension with a RegEx value in a new Advanced Segment, stay tuned.

Google Analytics 101 – Cookies

How does Google Analytics handle cookies?

Google Analytics uses only 1st party cookies which are considered to be safe and nonintrusive by most browsers. Many people will block 3rd party cookies when setting their browser configurations however this will not impact Google Analytics reporting.

When does Google Analytics tracking not work?

If a user blocks all cookies in their browser then Google Analytics will be affected and will not be able to track that user. If a visitor to the site has disabled Javascript in their browser (or a mobile user has javascript disabled), they will not be tracked by Google Analytics. In addition, if there is an Javascript error on the page before the Google Analytics code has run, data will not be tracked for that sessoin. The error prevents the remainder of the Javascript to load on the page and since Google Analytics code is placed in the footer, it will not run.

When a user deletes their cookies there is no way of knowing whether they have been to the site upon a subsequent visit and they will be tracked as new visitor.

Google does not track any personally identifiable data on users. All data collected by Google is anonymous. Google does not share any data with 3rd party sources.

Videos for Learning Google Analytics

Whether you’re just getting started or interested in becoming a Google Analytics Guru, here are some great multimedia resources to learn more about this valuable tool.

Just getting started: View this Google Analytics Interface Tutorial.

Avinash Kaushik explains how to establishing context for your analytics data is more important than picking the right KPIs. Be sure to check out his book, Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, or visit his Occam’s Razor blog. Excellent resources for all analytics gurus.