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A Beginner’s Guide to Organic Traffic Audience Segmentation with Google Analytics

December 14, 2016

By Today’s Industry Insider


Call it a case of too much of a good thing.

Google Analytics puts a lot of data at your fingertips. It’s a mountain of metrics, and a deluge of dimensions. With it, you can drill deep down into your website visitors, their demographics, and their behavior.

But by default, it just throws everything into one enormous bucket. The reports show stats, graphs, and charts for “All Users/Sessions”.

And while that’s perfect for getting a big-picture-at-a-glance snapshot, you need to break things down a little if you want to find the buried treasure within.

Mixing everything together is good for smoothies, metallurgy, and cocktails. For analytics, you want to separate and segment.

Segmentation in Analytics

Click on any report in Analytics – audience, acquisition, behavior, or conversions – and you get a wonderful presentation of the data collected for your site. For everyone that visited during the chosen time frame (the last 30 days by default).

The beauty of Analytics, though, is in whittling away from general to specific. Of finding the statue of David within the block of marble. Or the chewy core at the center of a Tootsie Pop.

With audience segments, you can break that pile of data into more manageable sections based on the criteria that matters most to you. What insights are you looking for?

Segments group visitors together who share common traits or behavior. And the best part? You get to decide exactly what traits and behavior to group.

Knowing how many visitors you had last week is useful. But how many visitors did you have on desktop devices, from the United States, who viewed at least three pages, but left without making a purchase? That’s the power of segments.

Segments give you ultra-targeted insight into audience behavior, like visitors arriving via mobile, from which country, number of sessions with a conversion, visitor type, demographics, traffic source, value, browser, users with multiple sessions, and so on.

Sounds fantastic, right? Yet 41% are not using audience segments at all. Get out of that group.

There’s no end to the possible combinations you could create (although that’s technically not true…you are limited to 1000 segments that can be edited in any View, and 100 segments for any one specific View). Create an uber-precise segment for tracking and analysis that represents your exact audience and serves your particular needs.

Hit vs Session vs User

When creating a segment, you can often assign the scope as either user, session, or hit, so it’s important to recognize the difference:

  • Hit – an individual interaction with your website (usually a page view); a visitor did this, a visitor did that, a visitor…
  • Session – a collection of hits; one complete visit to a website
  • User – a person’s entire journey with your website (may encompass multiple sessions)

Most experts suggest focussing on users and sessions. It’s all about the relationship you have with them.

Segments: A Simple How-to

Getting started is mercifully uncomplicated. Even an Analytics amateur can create, save, and …read more

Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog