Advanced segments offer additional insights over the standard Google Analytics reports. There are some predefined segments already in Google Analytics, and users can build their own custom segments tailored to their specific business needs. I love to use advanced segments when reporting on website performance. Here are 7 of my favorite custom segments that I consider very insightful for a B2B website.
When an advanced segment is selected for traffic from the USA only, for example, webmasters can navigate through all reports to gain full insights for this particular segment. Webmasters can see landing page behavior, conversions, event completions, engagement, and more — specific for USA visitors. This is more useful than navigating to the basic location report where you would only find information about sessions.
(Note: This is not a “how-to” post and I will not include detailed instructions on how to set-up custom advanced segments in Google Analytics. The segments below are recommendations for better data-driven insights and they will require basic knowledge on how to set-up custom advanced segments.)
Sessions With 3+ Pageviews
This segment allows you to analyze visitors to your website that engage with your content. If a user browses more than 3 pages per session this indicates they have found your content to meet their needs and answer their questions and are very willing to engage with that content. When you isolate traffic with 3+ pageviews sessions you are able to gain insights into which traffic sources drive engaged users, which landing pages initiate engaged sessions, which geographic regions seem to be more engaged than others, and any connection between browser technology and engagement. These reports can drive insights regarding marketing campaign performance, regional targeting, and technical flaws.
Sessions From Targeted Regions
I work with a client who serves customers in only three states at the moment. We set-up advanced segments to isolate traffic from these three individual regions as well as traffic from outside their target market. These segments have given us insights on landing pages, conversions, new vs returning visitors, and best performing traffic source for each region.If you target specific regions only, or you advertise aggressively in certain states or countries, being able to analyze this traffic in depth is very valuable. You might find that users located outside your targeted regions are engaging more than users in some of the regions you are targeting. These insights can help you modify and refine your advertising campaigns.
Sessions With Views to Product, Solution or Service Pages
Product, solution and service pages usually sit under a defining folder in the URL (for example: /product/… or /solutions/…). It is easy to set up an advanced segments to isolate sessions that include a pageview to one of those pages. Then your reports will have data to help you fully analyze the behavior of users who express interest in your products or solutions.For example you might find that people entering your site from organic sources are less likely to view a product or a solution page. They might be more interested in company or team pages.
Social Media Traffic Source Segment
In the predefined advanced segments in Google Analytics, traffic from social media channels is included in the Referral traffic segment.
If you’d like to analyze traffic from social media referrals only — you need to set-up an advanced segment. If you advertise aggressively on certain social media platforms like Facebook you might want to set up a segment that isolates traffic from Facebook only and not all social media platforms.This type of advanced segment will provide insights into users that enter your website via a specific social platform. They could be engaging more than users from other digital channels or could be converting better. These insights might help you justify additional marketing spend.
To set up this advanced segment you will need to include a condition for each social media platform to ensure that traffic from that platform is included in the separate segment.
Sessions From Google vs Bing
Depending on your advertising efforts if you are getting a lot of traffic from Google and Bing it will be useful to analyze traffic patterns with an advanced segment for each search engine and compare user behavior.Since Google is currently dominating the search space, marketers are usually more focused on marketing efforts to improve Google results. When you are able to fully compare traffic from Google vs Bing you might find that Bing users are more engaged; or perhaps they interact with more of your content. Based on this data, you might want to adjust your budget allocation.
Sessions With Events
If you are tracking auto events like button clicks, engagement with a slider, form submissions, or video engagement, you will want to better understand the audience that is performing each “event” on your website. You are able build an advanced segment that will isolate sessions that include engagement with any of the events or in a particular event category, action or label that you have set up on your website.
Sessions With Specific Conversions
There is a pre-built advanced segment for sessions with conversions which is very useful when you want to specifically analyze visitors who convert. But if there is a specific conversion action that is most important, like Demo Request for example, you might want to be able to isolate traffic that includes conversions just for that specific action. There is an option in Google Analytics to do just that with an advanced segment. As you set up your advanced segment choose Goal Conversions in the Conditions drop down then selecting the goal you want to base your advanced segment on.
Advanced segments go far beyond the standard Google Analytics report to help you see specific data in more detailed and insightful ways. The ideas above are recommendations to help you better understand traffic to your website. You can use them in a way you see fit to best suit your B2B business needs and goals.