One of the main drawbacks of Google Analytics has been its inability to deeply cross-reference data. But thanks to the newly added Advanced Segments feature, that’s no longer a problem! Here is a perfect example of an old limitation now overcome.
The old limitations of Google Analytics
In the pre-Advanced Segment days of Google Analytics, you had no way to filter your Product Overview (under the E-Commerce tab) to only view products sold through a specific Campaign. At best, you could drill into an individual product, then filter your data accordingly. But if you’re selling thousands of products on your site, looking at them one at a time is hardly an option.
Google Analytics introduces Advanced Segments
With the addition of Advanced Segments, these metrics are easily attainable now. For this scenario, we’ll use a hypothetical situation where we are trying to measure user behavior for visitors finding our site after searching for “blue widgets.”
Here’s how we would create a custom segment to measure activity for keyword “blue widget”:
- Click on the Advanced Segments link on the left hand navigation, and you’ll be taken to the Manage Advanced Segment page.
- Click the Create new custom segment link and you’ll be taken to the Create Advanced Segment page (see image below).
- Since we’re looking for a keyword, type “keyword” into the search bar on the left.
- Once Keyword shows up as an option on the left, click and drag it into the empty dimension or metric field.
- Under Condition, choose “Matches exactly” and under Value, type “blue widgets”
- Click Test Segment if you’d like to see visit results ( this will help ensure you’ve filtered your information correctly).
- Name your segment (in this example, the name will be Blue Widgets), click Create Segment, and you’ll be taken back to the Manage Advanced Segments page.
You now have the information you need to be able to measure activity specific to the keyword “blue widgets”. Click apply to report to segment the data you will reviewing. You will be taken to your Analytics Dashboard.
In the upper right hand corner you will see your new Segment (see example below). This signifies the Segment you will be using to view your data (you can use this feature to toggle between and even compare different Segments).
Now the fun begins…Let’s look for that data, all of which can be obtained from the left navigation now.
– What are people who search for blue widgets purchasing?
On the left nav, go to: Ecommerce > Product Overview
With this, you can see what products are being purchased specifically from people who landed on your site after having searched for “blue widgets.” What kind of blue widgets are they buying? Is it from a specific manufacturer? Are they even buying widgets at all?
– What are people who search for blue widgets searching for once on your site?
On the left nav, go to: Content > Site Search > Search Terms
This will tell you what people who land on your site after searching for blue widgets, search for on your site. For example, they may be overwhelmingly look for navy blue widgets, or blue widgets from a specific manufacturer. Maybe they’re not searching for widgets at all.
– How do “blue widget” searchers compare with overall visitors?
It’s important to know how these people are reacting compared to the average visitor. Are they more or less likely to make a purchase? Do they stay on the site for a longer or shorter period of time? Do they visit more or less pages on your site?
Fortunately, you can also compare multiple Advanced Segments with one another. In this case, we simply want to compare it to overall site usage. There’s no need to create this segment, since it comes prepackaged under Default Segments. Simply click on the Advanced Segment button on the upper right, and under Default Segments, choose All Visits, then click Apply.
Now, all of the data will be formatted to compare overall site usage to people who landed on your site after searching for “blue widgets.” It’s worth spending some time playing with the other Default Segments as well. You can also create other Custom Segments and compare them with each other. For example, you can also create a “red widgets” segment, and compare it to your “blue widgets” segment in order to compare results.
There are numerous uses for Google’s new Advanced Segment option. Chances are, the more you use them, the more you’ll realize that there are more uses for them than there are hours in the day!