GA Segmentation Tips: Find Your Best Customers!


On the face of it, Google Analytics can be bit daunting for new users who aren’t analytically minded. There’s a lot of data at your fingertips but, unless you know how to use it, you might be making poor decisions with your marketing budget.

The basics

One of the most powerful tools to quickly drill down into your best customers is Advanced Segments. In simplistic terms, it allows you to drill down into visitor groups that match simple rules.

To help you out, GA ships with a few of the most common segments already available. These allow you to drill down into visitor groups such as organic, paid, referral or direct visitors only; and also goes one step further in being able to look at, for example, mobile or tablet only traffic.

To use them, it’s as simple as ticking the checkbox and selecting Apply. You can view up to 4 different segments alongside each other at any one time.

Finding your best users

The big benefit of segments though, is that you can build your own with a fairly intuitive interface. I won’t lie - it will help massively to know some regex to get the absolute most out of your custom segments - but here are some ideas of where you can go with this and there’s a still a lot you can do with the drag and drop interface.

Example: visitors that entered through your blog

This one’s easy. Assuming your blog is sitting on you can set a quixk custom segment to only show visitors that entered the site through a blog URL:

You can be a bit cleverer using a regex here (i.e., ^blog/) but as long as you don’t have any other folders on the site called /blog/ the “containing” directive should do everything you need.

Want to only see visitors who entered through the blog but also came from organic search? Just add an “AND” statement to the above.

You’ll soon get the gist. Essentially you need to remember two things here:

  1. Be careful of “AND” and “OR” statements. It sounds silly to state this, but the OR statement will match either one or the other whereas an AND statement means both must be true to drop a given user into your segment.
  2. You can nest statements, for example: user must have entered through the blog AND (be from organic OR paid search).

Next steps

The purpose of this post isn’t to tell you where your best customers are – that will be different for everyone – but it should give you an idea of how you can go about finding them. Once you find those users that convert really well, you should think about giving them some targeted call-to-actions and really driving CRO to improve revenue even further.

Some things you will want to investigate are:

  • Different channels (organic vs paid vs direct etc)
  • Keyword segmentation (this is where you’ll need some regex skills)
  • Mobile vs tablet vs desktop
  • Different referral sources
  • Landing pages and content funnel users enter on
  • Touch-points within the site (anyone that visited page X in their journey)
  • Browser versions (this can highlight site issues with older browsers)
  • Location
  • Number of visits

Just think like your users and you should come up with some good ideas of where to track down those elusive high converting segments.

This entry was posted in Analytics by Ben Milleare. Bookmark the permalink.

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About Ben Milleare

Ben is Technical Director at High Position and heads up all of our service-led R&D - a great fit for his SEO/coding background. You can follow Ben on Google+ and Twitter where he talks about inbound marketing, geeky stuff and his first true love - the mighty West Ham United.

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