Understanding Google Analytics Advanced Segments
With each new option that Google Analytics rolls out, online merchants acquire greater power to understand the behavior of their site’s users. The Advanced Segments function provides you with a minutely detailed understanding of how specific groups of users respond to your online presence, and this deep analysis enables you to perfectly target your content and products.
New segmenting functions
Previously, Google Analytics would only allow you to follow what happened in individual sessions. You could view the actions of users during individual visits to your site, but you could not track their cumulative behavior over time. With the new advanced segment options, you can track the behavior of a specified group of users throughout all their sessions within a three month period. For instance, you can define the segment of users who spent a total of over $100 on your site in the past three months, and then discover how many visits they made to your site and which pages they viewed in the process of spending that amount.
Choose the users and the session behaviors you want to view
Essentially, Google Analytics allows you to get very specific in defining which sub-group of your users you would like to study. Once you define your group, the segment builder allows you to decide which of the group’s behaviors you would like to study. For example, you could decide that you want to view the buying habits of all of your site’s users who live in New York and who visit your website on their iPhones after 10 pm. You could then see which of these users read your blog, which of them made a purchase on their first visit, and how much money they spent. You can also compare their behavior with a similar group who live in New Jersey, for example, so that you will be able to base marketing plans on the different shopping characteristics of each region.
Basic filters and advanced filters
On the Google Analytics dashboard, you will see a set of filter menu options on the left. The upper six of these are intended to create the basic filters: Demographics, Behavior, Technology, Date of First Visit, Traffic Sources, and eCommerce. Using these six menus, you enter the basic characteristics of the segment you want to analyze. For example, you can choose women over 40 who accessed the site by computer and see how many of them purchased at least $50 worth of your handmade ornaments. To move beyond this type of simple segment into an advanced one, you can use the two advanced filter menu tabs at the bottom of the toolbar. These are labeled “Conditions” and “Sequences.”
Advanced features let you work with sessions and with users
The “Conditions” filter lets you create conditions that you can introduce into the analysis. For example, you could define three tiers of users and designate them as “high value,” “medium value,” and “low value,” depending on how much money they spent on your site. You can apply conditions either to behavior of users within one single session (session-based data) or you can apply it to behavior of users across all the sessions that fall during a certain calendar period (user-based data). The “Sequences” filter lets you define a group of users or sessions based on the sequence in which certain pages of your site were viewed. You can specify a sequence of pages that your chosen slice of users viewed on a single visit or on any quantity of visits within any date range that you specify.
By providing you with unparalleled access into user characteristics over time, along with nearly unlimited ability to compare the segments you create, Google Analytics Advanced Segments opens up a whole new world of marketing profitability.