You probably already know how helpful Google Analytics can be – it can show you the number of visitors, how they found your website, keywords they used to find you, what they did on you website etc. But it often takes a huge amount of time to extract meaningful insights.

There is one really powerful functionality Google introduced a while ago called “customised advanced segmentation” that can save you heaps of time, and provide some extremely useful insights.

The advanced segmentation customisation functionality lets you easily create a profile for a certain type of visitor that will allow you to understand so much more about their behaviour AND save you heaps of time in the long run.

For example, as the prime goal of your site is attract new business, you’re probably most interested in the behaviour of potential customers – but this data is currently being diluted with lots of other types of traffic. That may not sound too exciting yet. So let’s bring it to life with an example.

Assume you’re a dance studio located in Sydney. You get traffic from all over Australia (and the world), however 99% of your customers are from Sydney.

All the non-Sydney traffic is not really that relevant. You can be sure a visitor from Perth is not doing the same things on your website as a visitor from Sydney (ie a potential customer). These non-Sydney visitors are messing up your data. So wouldn’t it be valuable to exclude that non-Sydney traffic?

Let’s take it a step further.

You also have a lot of regular/returning visitors to your website that have very different behaviour to people visiting for the first time. Existing customers may be looking for your phone number or address. If you’re trying to analyse the patterns of potential customers, they are also messing up your data. We can exclude them to.

Once you have created this segment (NEW visitors just from SYDNEY), whenever you log into GA you can look at any of the usual reports JUST FOR THIS SEGMENT. Very, very handy.

This is how you do it:

1. Login to GA dashboard

2. Click “Advanced Segments”


3. Click blue text link “Create New Custom Segments”

4. Under the green “Dimensions”, click “visitors”, locate the word “city”, hold mouse button down, and drag over to the faint dotted box which says “dimension or metric”, and release the button


5. Then click the drop down box for “Value” and select your desired geographic target market eg Sydney

6. Click blue “Add ‘and’ statement” (as we want to add another criteria)

7. Under the green “Dimensions” again, click “visitors”, locate “Visitor Type”, hold mouse button down, and drag over again to the faint dotted box which says “dimension or metric”, and release the button.

8. In the value box, select “New”

9. Almost done, scroll down, name the segment and save it. That’s it!

10. Now, when you go the dashboard, click the “advanced segments” and check the box next to your newly created segment.

Review all your usual reports while you have this new customized segment selected. You will get much more powerful insights.

And the segment is saved for when you login next time.

Now that you have created one customized segment, the worlds your oyster. Have a look through the other dimensions & metrics. Your brain will start exploding with ideas for different types of segments.

We would love to hear your ideas on customised segments that are working for you.

By Philip Shaw


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