Custom Segments (Advanced Segments) in GA for Better Conversion Rate

If you have an eCommerce website, at some point, you must have thought about your conversion rate problem. You may or may not have traffic problem on your website, but everyone with eCommerce website has Conversion Rate Optimization(CRO) problem. Even if you have 10% Conversion Rate, you can still help 90% of visitors convert better. Most businesses have about 2-5% Conversion Rate. Hence, CRO provides a huge opportunity.

How to increase Conversion Rate?

Enter the science of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). One of the most fundamental aspects of CRO is to analyze traffic and user behavior. The basic idea here is to establish a purpose on a page and determine how can Internet Marketers drive the visitors to perform the intended action on that page. This cannot be accomplished until the vast source of traffic is segmented. So the key is in  segmentation of the visitors.

This discussion normally leads to determining or developing visitor personas. However, here my goal is to simply to talk about use of an asset provided by Google Analytics called Advanced Segments for segmentation of traffic data, and marry it with other pieces of information available in GA such as bounce rate, revenue, average order value or any other parameters.

Advanced Segments (in GA)

 Google documentation states Advanced Segments as a way to “isolate and analyze specific kinds of traffic”.  Advanced Segments are divided into Default Segments and Custom Segments.

Default Segments contain – All Visits, New Visits, Recurring Visits, while Custom Segments are the segments that are built to slice and dice data so a detailed analysis for better Conversion Rate Optimization can be performed.

Example: New Product Launch
Say, your company is launching a new product in top 5 states and you want to compare user behavior and conversion by state to see which of the various marketing campaigns are more effective, so it can go nationwide. In this case, we would want to build a geo-targeted Custom Segment that would track behavior of visitors with conversion from certain states. To get this accomplished, this is where we start:

  1. Log on to your Google Analytics
  2. Click on “Admin” and Select the profile (usually “Complete Website”)
  3. Click on “Advanced Segments” and to add a new segment click on “+New Segment” button. Now, we are ready for action.
  4. For this example, we want to include the region and use exact match with the state name say New York.
  5. This segment will give us all traffic from New York, however we also want to look at the converting traffic, so we need to add AND condition on this segment on transaction GREATER THAN zero.
  6. Saving this Custom Segment “NY_BuyingSegment”, would allow us to identify which keywords are driving these traffic, which medium they are using to come to the site as well as what is the revenue from this segment.
  7. By similarly building “NY_NonBuyingSegment” and comparing the 2 will highlight the issues on the marketing campaigns as well as the on the issues on the landing pages.
  8. This analytics data provide quick and actionable insights – on keywords (paid, and organic), landing pages as well as on the marketing message itself.

Other Possible Uses of Advanced Segmentation using Custom Segments

  1. To isolate visitors coming from certain medium who would add products to shopping cart and abandon the cart
  2. To identify traffic from paid campaigns on certain expensive keywords and their revenue (or Avg Order Value)
  3. Integrate 3rd party apps like Voice of Customer (4Q) based upon visitors response on survey (and its impact on revenue)
  4. Most common use to to isolate branded terms, where typically the conversion rate is higher.
  5. Separate user behavior based upon screen resolution, mobile, and tablet
  6. As you can see, Custom Segments can be handy to answer even the most difficult questions of Internet Marketing, so sky is the limit here …

Additional benefits of Advanced Segment vs Filtered Profiles

Here is a quick note to highlight Advanced Segment is better than the filtered profiles for couple of reasons such as ability to check the historical data, and side by side comparison. Filtered profiles are recommended to EXCLUDE certain traffic by IP Address, or by organization etc. Advanced segments can easily be deleted, edited and shared as well.

How are you using Custom Segments for?  If you’ve a solved an interesting problem for yourself with Custom Segments, I’d love to hear hear about it.

 

About Ujjwal Bhattarai

Ujjwal is an engineer by education, a programmer by hobby, and an internet marketer by choice. Other than 1 minute chess, and biking, his passion includes SEO, SEM/PPC, CRO, and Web Development. As a lifelong student of Internet Development, he is hopelessly addicted to Internet, and sincerely believes after fire, wheel, and decimal point, internet is the fourth most important invention in the human history. Catch up with him on Twitter at @uj2wal or at his Google+ .

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