How to create segments in Google Analytics

Written by

Verónica Claver

ANALYTICS · 21 / 05 / 2020

Google analytics allows us to configure countless parameters, among them, segments that will help us obtain a greater number of conversions. When we enter Google Analytics and look at the volume of data we have, it is very common for us to ask questions: What behavior do the users who performed a conversion on our website have? What is the device they usually use to buy on our website? What are the most popular pages for users who visit us from a specific city or country?

Google Analytics segments allow us to structure or group our web traffic to deepen the analysis of the data and answer questions related to user behavior.

Sometimes we may not know very well to identify which metrics or KPIs we should look at, having a good configuration of the analytics segments can help us and offer very valuable information, in addition to saving us a lot of time!

Typology of segments in Google Analytics

Google Analytics incorporates in its own platform some predefined segments and, if necessary, but also we can create new segments based on our needs.

Some of the most common predefined segments are:

  • Visitors: new or recurring.
  • Traffic: search, reference, direct or paid.
  • Sessions with conversions, rebound, transactions.

How can we see the segments in Google Analytics?

In the Audience report -> Public Overview, we find in the upper area that the “all users” segment is already defaulted, or we can select a predefined segment that is already included in the list we see below:

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At this point, you may ask, what is the best segment to implement in my ecommerce? How can segments help me to have more visits on my blog? Can I create a more advanced segment that follows different phases in user behavior?

The reality is that there is no specific answer, depending on the type of your website and your objectives and therefore of your KPIs, you will opt for one segment or another, or you will have to configure a new segment following your own needs. The segments allow us to analyze the data, therefore, we should not fall into the trap of trying to apply them all, but those that really provide us with data to meet our objective.

For example, if I have an ecommerce, I may be interested in knowing “of all users, how many made a purchase via mobile”, or “of all users which of them made a certain action within my website”. The way to do it would be as we see in the picture. We select the 3 shaded segments and apply them:

ranking de agencias adwords octubre 2016

Once applied, the data that GA shows us are the following:

ranking digital menta

As we can see in the image, each color corresponds to the data of a segment. The most relevant data that we can extract from this analysis are that for the given period (in this case a week), – each person will determine the time based on what they need to measure: day, week, month, quarter … -, we observe that, of all the sessions via mobile, 11 purchases were made. How can we interpret this result?

In our opinion, the most interesting thing would be to compare it with the total purchases made in the same period from another device, for example, a computer. In this way, we could know if our users buy us more through one device or another and carry out a campaign to boost sales by device.

Custom segments in Google analytics

In addition to this information, as we mentioned before, we can create custom segments according to what we need for the information analysis.

To create a new segment, we access in the same way as to visualize the predefined segments. In this case, we click to create a new segment and describe the name and parameters that we want our segment to have. A very simple process that will allow us to obtain 100% personalized data on our site.

Segmentos en Google Analytics

As we can see in the previous image, the parameters that we can select when we create the segment are those referring to demographic data (Age, sex, language …); technology (Browser, device, screen …), Behavior (Sessions, session duration, transactions …), traffic sources and advanced electronic commerce functionalities if we have it configured in our Analytics account.

We can also create it from “Conditions”, for example, “visits from Facebook through mobile devices that arrive from Valencia”. The “conditions” option allows us to select the dimensions and metrics of those elements that we need to measure. In the cited example, we have selected 3 elements: Dimensions, Device Category and City, as we can see in the image:

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At the top we see the name of the segment. It is very important that we always use a name as descriptive as possible to avoid getting confused with another segment. Another consideration to keep in mind is that before saving the segment, we recommend clicking on “Preview” to see that it really works and its implementation is correct.

In addition, on the right side we can see the data that the segment shows us.

Thanks to the customized segments we can group different data that are not predefined to optimize our site to the maximum. If you are going to start applying and creating segments, we recommend you first draw up a plan to know which are the ones that are really going to give me valuable information to meet my marketing objectives. Planning the segments to be developed is the most important step in the whole process, therefore, we advise you to take your time to do it with peace of mind.

In addition to creating new segments, we can share already created segments with other users, we must keep in mind that when sharing these segments, the configuration is shared, not the data. To share them we will do it from the Actions – Share segment itself and copy the url to give it to the user with whom we want to share.

And now, some tips on the Google Analytics segments:

  • The segments are applied in the historical data, so they are retroactive. They allow us to immediately obtain historical data information.
  • We can select up to 4 segments to apply in the reports.
  • They are a very effective element when we want to group our traffic, following the guidelines of the strategy that we have previously determined.
  • Segments cannot be applied to real-time Google Analytics reports.
  • Although the segments are created by a Google Analytics user, as I said, they can be shared. For example, if we are an agency or we work several people for the same client, we can share the segments with other users and thus have them configured every time we work with the account.
  • Some segments that can be very useful when we find the analysis of the traffic of an ecommerce can be: knowing the number of times a user visits us until making a purchase, identifying the behavior of users with a very high average basket, etc. … In the end it is about knowing what data is what helps us to better understand the behavior of our users and therefore make decisions and test and change based on this.

Thank you very much for reading! If you work with segments, do not hesitate to tell us which ones you use the most and why.

In addition, you can also give us more ideas about custom segments! There is a lot, that we can create ????

Amparo Máñez

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