Google analytics Custom segments lets you differentiate the data according to visitor characteristics. You can create custom rules and then determine what percentage of visitors are actually satisfying the rules set by you.
A good example may be to use Google analytics custom segments and determine how many visitors are leaving your website before 5 seconds. You can always check the “Time on site” feature to determine how much time the visitors are spending on your site on an average. But the custom segments come into play when you want to narrow the data to precise values.
Some examples may be:
1. How many people are visiting my site from Internet explorer 6?
2. How many people clicked the “Retweet” button and left my site?
How to Create a Google Analytics Custom Segment
To create a custom segment, log in to Google analytics and click “Advanced Segments” from the sidebar. The resulting page will list all the custom segments which you have already created. You can use “create a new custom segment” link to create a customized segment for your Google analytics reports.
In the next step, drag and drop the required metric from the sidebar into the And / Or statement panel. Once the metric is in place, you can set custom rules and further customize the segment according to your desire.
An example will make the process more clear. Let’s assume you want to create a custom segment to measure how many people are visiting your site from Internet explorer 6.
1. First, drag and drop the metrics “Browser” and “Browser version” from the sidebar into the “Rules” panel.
2. Next, choose the browser metric value as “Internet Explorer” and the browser version value as “6″ from the drop down menu. Remember to choose “Matches exactly” as the condition.
3. Finally, put an “AND” operator between the two statements. That’s it, your custom segment is ready. Save it and give it a meaningful name (e.g IE6).
How to Measure Custom Segments
To measure the custom segments, go to the dashboard and pick the desired custom segment. Then hit “Apply” and the segment will be applied over the selected date range.
And here is the actual report on how many visitors use Internet Explorer 6 to visit this site (on a specific date range). You can export the custom segments reports as PDF or schedule them to receive the reports in your email inbox on a regular basis. (Tip: Use Google analytics annotations)
Some Must Have Custom Segments For Your Site
Here are some custom segments which I have created for my site and check them regularly to know how visitors are reacting in my site and what the readers actually wants.
|Parameter1||Operator||Parameter 2||Operator||Parameter 3||Conclusion|
|Dialup Connection||AND||Landing Page Bounces||How many people are quitting my site because of slow connection?|
|Twitter Visitor||AND||Depth Of Visit||AND||Time on Page||Is Twitter Converting for my site ?|
|Facebook Visitor||AND||Depth Of visit||AND||Time on page||Is Facebook Converting for my site?|
|Linux||AND||Depth of visit||Is Linux visitors getting Linux content ?|
|Goal Set (RSS Subscription)||AND||Landing Page||Are my landing pages converting into goals ?|
|Returning Visitor||AND||Country||Which country is sending me the most returning visitors ?|
|Matches Exactly||Exit Page||AND||No.of visits > X||Which Landing pages are getting high visitors but have high bounce rates?|
You can play with the custom segment interface and create useful segments to determine the exact values and tweak your site accordingly. Also read how to exclude your visits and IP address from Google Analytics reports.