Fun ways to use advanced segments in Google Analytics


Advanced segments is one of my favourite features in Google Analytics. It gives you the ability to create custom ways of viewing your analytics data with ease. In a few click you can segment visitors so you get data that you can actually use, rather than just overall numbers that don’t help you much. It gives you an easy way to answer questions that come up from the data that has already been collected which you are not able to with new site profiles.

Advanced segments in Google Analytics

Time of day segments

Hour of the day Matches regular expression 22|23|24 (click to import segment into GA)

It’s a good way of gathering intel on when to push ads for TV, radio and of course Adwords. And It can also help you in timing your social media activities and your content pushes on these. This has helped me a fair bit as I’m in a different timezone to most of my visitors and I’m not that good at figuring out when to publish new things. Combine it with a look at day of the week to see when you convert the best and you have a better understanding of when you can bid higher on your ads.

User engagement

Page Depth Greater than or equal to 3 (click to import segment into GA)

Where do your most valuable visitors come from? Are you getting enough traffic from those sources? Could you get more? This can be “low-hanging fruit” that you can easily get more of. You can also do the opposite and find the traffic sources that bounce often.

Branded searches

Keyword matches regular expression KW1|KW2|KW3

You can bundle your branded keywords together to see them in one report. This will give you an idea of how many visits you get from people who are already familiar with your products and with you.

Head search terms

Keyword matches regular expression KW1|KW2|KW3

In the same way as above you can bundle up the big keywords you are going for to see how much traffic they are providing to your site. And then you can see if they are converting in the way you want them to. If you are targeting these terms in adwords you will want to make a separate segment for cpc and organic.

Regional segments

Region matches Targeted region

View your traffic from different regions and see if some regions respond better to you, than others. These can be great segments for when you are doing a regional push and can help you determine if you should continue your push or revise your campaign. You could do this with cities too.

Tracking people coming from feed readers

Medium Matches exactly feed (click to import segment into GA)

Find out how people using feed readers use your site. See if there are any difference between them and other returning visitors. You might be able to find places where you can improve the site experience.

Tracking email visits (not from email campaigns)

Source Contains  mail (click to import segment into GA)

Make a segment that filters sources by the word mail. This will give you most of the online email clients. This is great for testing if visitors who have been recommended by a friend turn into customers or leads for you.

These examples are some of the ways I use Advanced segments to get some data points that gives me a better idea of how to optimize a website. What do you use advanced segments for?