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Import These 8 Google Analytics Custom Segments to Make Your Data More Useful

Google Analytics is the math class of digital marketing.

It has its devout followers (nerds), but still has a vast number of people desperately trying to avoid it.

The learning curve isn’t that steep, and once marketers get to know the tool…they wonder how they ever lived without it.

Today we’ll get more marketers into the know with eight really cool segments that will make their data WAY more useful.

Let’s start with a quick…

Google Analytics Overview

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This, my friends, is the segment list. When you open up your analytics view, it automatically defaults to All Users so you are getting the aggregate data of every visitor on your site.

This information can be very useful and help you see some basic stats to make sure that everything is going hunky dory. However, this average data hides some very powerful gems. You can uncover these gems by digging into the user segments.

On the left hand navigation you can pick a few options:

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  • All shows each segment in your list.
  • System includes the default segments provided by Google.
  • Custom includes the segments you’ve created or imported.
  • Shared includes the segments you’ve…well…shared.
  • Starred includes the segments you’ve favorite with a nice yellow star.
  • Selected includes the segments you’re currently looking at (you can look at a maximum of 4 at a time).

Today, we’re going to really focus on that Custom section. Don’t worry, I’m not going to have you build your own segments. In fact, I’m going to share eight of the best custom segments that you can import directly into your Google Analytics account — all you have to do is click the linked segment heading and you’ll be taken to the page to import them into your account.

That said, for most segments you will have to do some minor tweaks in order to improve accuracy — don’t worry, it’s pretty simple as the segment creators did all the heavy lifting already!

Important: Before we get started, it’s important to note that the System segments are extremely powerful. Some of my favorites include…

  • Used Site Search
  • Converters
  • Non-Converters
  • Single Session Users

Custom segments are best used when you need to answer a particular question about your audience, so the Custom section becomes very important if the more generic segments aren’t quite giving you the data you need.

All right, let’s dig in!

Acquisition Segments

For the most part, the System segments can cover your main acquisition channels. However, the two segments below are really useful and don’t just focus on breaking down traffic by source!

Keyword Length

We’ve heard it time and time again, that the money is in the long tail keywords — because it’s true. Anyone utilizing good SEO knows that content that ranks for long-tail keywords is king.

However, some traffic may go against this rule.

So, don’t you want to see if people who access your site from short keywords actually act differently than those that access your site from long tail keywords? This set of segments will help you do just that.

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I imported five keyword length reports. Once you have those in your analytics account, apply them to your analytics view.

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This is just the ‘Audience Overview’ report, but you can see that there are a few differences in how each audience interacts with the page.

How to Use This Report

Once you’ve applied this report, I recommend taking a look at…

  • How each segment interacts with your site…
  • How much time they spend…
  • How many pageviews…
  • How many of them convert (you can do this by setting goals or having ecommerce set up in GA)…

The most powerful report to look at is your content. Look at the pages your visitors are accessing to see if long or short keywords are driving the bulk of your traffic.

For us…well, the long tail keyword doesn’t really stack up (3 to 4 keywords get us the most views).

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Obviously this is dealing with organic traffic, so you’re not going to get that much interesting data when you dig in to traffic source or any similar reports.

Question Oriented Keywords

This one is a heck of a lot of fun.

At DigitalMarketer, we don’t get a lot of question keywords, but the ones we do are eye opening.

A lot of people type questions into Google and click on a link looking for a solution to that problem. Wouldn’t you want to know which pages your visitors find when they have a problem they want solved?

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How to Use This Report

I recommend you dig into your organic keyword report and your landing page report. The former will tell you the actual questions people are asking to get to your site and the latter will tell you where they’ve landed.

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Here’s an example of one of our keyword reports with this segment.  It looks like we want to make sure we have enough content surrounding…

If you add ‘Landing Page’ to the secondary dimension you can make sure that the questions being asked are answered on the page.

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Engagement Segments

Active User Segments

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We all want to see who our most active users are and what they do on the site. This report is especially useful if you have a membership site or SaaS application that you want to get detailed user behavior information.

Furthermore, you should see if there is any difference in content consumption between people that return more frequently vs. less frequently.

How to Use This Report

Currently this report doesn’t provide our team at DM too much insight. However, as we begin to scale out DigitalMarketer HQ, this segment will become very useful.

I’d use this segment with the following reports:

Acquisition > Channels

Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

With the latter report, I’d set up an advanced search with our DigitalMarketer HQ pages only to take a look at overall consumption by these different sets of visitors.

Really Engaged Traffic

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This is a cool report to see how engaged your traffic actually is on your site and how that impacts your overall goals.

The default filter is set to show visitors that see more than three pages and are on the site for more than three minutes. Feel free to tinker with the depth and duration to fit your needs!

How to Use This Report

Want to know which traffic sources bring the most engaged visitors? Use this segment.

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Here’s a breakdown of our traffic channels, and as you can see organic search accounts for our most engaged traffic on the site. Below we found that our most engaged audiences have a higher conversion rate (spoiler alert).

So, if our highest concentration of engaged visitors comes from organic traffic, then we know we need to spend some more time growing that traffic channel. Cool, huh?

Want to know if more engagement equals more conversions? Use this segment! (Sensing a pattern here?)

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For this period, the current ecommerce conversion rate to all traffic was .5%. It’s worth noting we are revamping our ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics so this number is only a representation of a few products.

However, for this same set of products we see that our really engaged traffic converts at 3.51% (that’s a 602% increase in conversion rate). Knowing this information, we should find ways to get our visitors more engaged on our page to increase the likelihood that they actually convert.

Work Hour Visits vs. Non-Work Hour Visits

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This report segments visitors based on when they accessed your site.  The default settings put ‘Work Hours’ between 8am-5pm and ‘Non-Work Hours’ between 6pm-7am.

You can tinker with these hours if you have slightly different times than your competition, but just because your company has different hours doesn’t mean your customers’ hours are different than your competition.

How to Use This Report

Look at your acquisition channels and your conversion rates with his segment. This is a great segment for ecommerce brands.

If they see an increase in purchases during one of the two time periods then they can throttle their ad spend to try to drive more traffic during these peak times.

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In our case we see a higher conversion rate during work hours, but (not shown here) we see a higher average order value during non-work hours. Granted the volume alone give work hours the edge when it comes to revenue, but this may be vastly different at your organization.

Take a look at this report… STAT!

Conversion Segments

Cart Abandons By Traffic Source

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In this example the default settings use a ‘shopping-cart’ url.

Make sure to replace this with whatever is the designator in your page path for your cart.  Here’s how I edited the segment for DigitalMarketer:

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You’ll also notice that this includes a single traffic source. You’ll need to duplicate this segment for each individual source to get a clean comparison. I recommend only duplicating it for the traffic sources you are most interested in understanding.

Be sure to note in the name which traffic source you are measuring.

How to Use This Report

You want to go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. From here I recommend putting your cart designator string into the Advanced Search

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Another option would be to look at the Landing Pages. From this screen I can see which campaign is getting drop off on the Upsell.

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An even better way to do this is to dig into your Campaigns if you’re using UTM parameters.

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In any case, all of these reports will tell you which of your campaigns aren’t actually generating sales. This is especially useful when you are auditing your ad spend and trying to gauge which campaigns need a little love.

Whales

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This is a cool report for figuring out what your high-spending visitor’s behavior is like! In this case, I set it to visitors who spent more than $300, feel free to change this as it fits your price point.

How to Use This Report

You definitely want to compare this report with some other segments; I’ll compare it to ‘All Users’ in this example.

I’d look at acquisition channels to see which channels are bringing the most Whales.

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Notice here that email traffic, referral traffic, and organic traffic provide us with customers who spend the most with us.

I’d also pay attention to content, content consumption, and the audience overview.

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In this example the Whales spend more time on site, bounce less, and are more likely to be returning visitors.

Converters By Number Of Visits

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I love this report because it helps shed some light on the question of touch points and just how many we need to convert a visitor.

The default report is based off of Google Analytics ‘Goals’, at DigitalMarketer we use ‘Ecommerce’ to track everything so I had to make a slight alteration to the segment.

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How to Use This Report

When comparing these three segments based on your audience overview you get some pretty valuable data.

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It looks like our sweet spot for touch points is the 2-4 visits range!

Also, if you’re using UTM parameters, dig into your campaigns to see which ones are paying off!

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I’d also suggest looking at product performance. If you notice that you’re running an email campaign with 5-7 touch points but most people convert between touch point 2-4 then you can cut down your mailing campaign!

So… how do you get started? Click any of the headline headings and be linked directly to the segment page so you can import it to your analytics account. Another way to get to the segmentation gallery is directly through Google Analytics.

At the top of the segment list there are three buttons…

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To access the Google Segment gallery, click Import from Gallery. If none of the segments I shared today quite fit what you are trying to achieve, browse through the gallery to find what you’re looking for.

Remember, a segment helps you answer a very specific question about your user’s behavior. Use these templates as a starting point and start tinkering around with the settings to really tailor your analytics reports to your business needs.

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