Google Analytics is a very powerful tool that can help you understand how people use your website. One of the more powerful options it offers is the ability to segment your audience in different ways, to see how various types of visitors interact with your site.
There are lots of ways in which this can help you. With the rising use of mobile devices to access the Internet, one segment of your audience that should particularly interest you is the subset of visitors who come to your site on a mobile device. With advanced segments, Google Analytics lets you look specifically at mobile traffic. Or you can drill down even further – to look, for example, only at visits from tablet users or those from people using iPhones. Another segment that can be especially valuable to look at is users who come to your site from search engines; here, again, Google Analytics’ advanced segments can help; you can look at traffic from paid search, unpaid search or all visitors who come to your site from search engines.
One of the great things about Google Analytics is that Google already has set this up for you. Even if you’ve just started using Google Analytics and never done any customization, there are advanced segments ready for you to use. These include mobile and tablet traffic, new and returning visitors, paid and unpaid search, and quite a few more.
Ready to get started? The short video below shows you how easy it is to use advanced segments. You’ll already have to have Google Analytics in place and working on your website, but that’s the only prerequisite. Take a look at the video, and then start analyzing:
In addition to the default segments I discuss in the video, you also have the ability to create custom segments using basic and-or statements to slice and dice your data in ways that make sense specifically for your website. I use custom segments for a lot of different types of analysis, including to help me identify pages that are causing 404 errors; and to look specifically at visitors who come in from Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites.
Once you’re comfortable using the default segments, try setting up a custom one yourself. Google provides a basic primer in its support documentation, and if you run into any specific questions, feel free to leave a comment here asking for help.