Getting Smart With Google Analytics: How To Create And Use Segments

Male at a desktop computer looking at business analytics. A practical guide on how to use segments in Google Analytics by VPDM Digital Marketing.

A Simplified Google Analytics Guide for Your Company

More often than not, clients past and present will tell us that they’re not using Google Analytics for social media because they don’t understand how to navigate the program or that they don’t have a Google Analytics Guide handbook.

While it bums me out that they haven’t been utilizing this amazing tool, I totally understand where they’re coming from. There is a lot of accessible data on Google Analytics. Like, a lot a lot. Sometimes understanding Google Analytics can be overwhelming.

This is one of the reasons why I became Google Analytics Certified. I am a sucker for data, but data means nothing if you’re not looking at the right stuff!

One of the most efficient ways to organize your data on Google Analytics for social media, is to utilize segments.

Four young women and men sitting together on their laptops and smart phones. A practical guide on how to use segments in Google Analytics by VPDM Digital Marketing.

What Are Segments In Google Analytics?

When you are looking at Google Analytics through a standard view, you are looking at all sorts of data from a wide variety of different sources.

The good news is that we have a plethora of data to analyze. The bad news is that it’s sometimes difficult to analyze the key metrics without doing a little bit of organization.

The segment function in Google Analytics is a form of data segmentation that allows you to isolate subsets of “non-destructive” data filters. Google describes this as “filters that do not alter the underlying data.”

Using segments in Google Analytics for social media, you can create a variety of different segments depending on your business and digital marketing goals.

For example, you can create segments that isolate demographics, visitor type, traffic source, country/region, paid traffic, etc. If you’re a digital marketer, I’m sure you already know the importance of creating a segment for paid traffic when utilizing Google Analytics for social media advertising.

If you’re not a digital marketer or just not familiar with using segments, this Google Analytics guide will show you why you should be utilizing this tool.

Why Should I Be Using Segments In Google Analytics?

If we’re being honest, you should have started using segments in Google Analytics for social media, like, yesterday. Especially if you’re using Google Analytics for social media marketing. However, if you haven’t been using this tool, keep reading our Google Analytics guide and it will convince you.

Even if you have your Google Analytics Certification, browsing through copious amounts of data can be overwhelming.

Let’s say you’ve just launched an advertising campaign on Facebook that is linking to a specific page on your website. You’re going to want to know which users came to your website from your specific Facebook advertising campaign and not just the overall number of visitors during that time frame.

Using segments in Google Analytics also allows you to improve your insight on your target audience. This is because you can analyze the isolated data of things like the country your audience is coming from, what device they’re using and insightful data on visitors that concluded their session with a conversion.

When you’re using Google Analytics for social media advertising purposes, you’re often looking for lead generation or conversion optimization. If you aren’t segmenting your data and deeply analyzing your user flow, you’re failing your strategy.

Young brunette business man at desk on cell phone. A practical guide on how to use segments in Google Analytics by VPDM Digital Marketing.

So, How Do I Create A Segment in Google Analytics?

So, I’ve convinced you to start using segments to improve your metric analytics game. Awesome! Here is a beginner’s Google Analytics guide on how to setup your first segment.

Once you’re in yours or your client’s website profile in Google Analytics, you will see an “Add Segment” option. You’ll see this in your opening standard view, which is typically “Audience Overview.”

Google Analytics page with button to Add New Segment. A practical guide on how to use segments in Google Analytics.

Once you’ve clicked on the “Add Segment” option, you will see a list of already created segments. You’ll also have the option to create a new segment (this option will be a red button). Click on this option to start building your first segment!

Google Analytics page with button to Add New Segment. A practical guide on how to use segments in Google Analytics.

How to Build Your First Segment 

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to create a segment name. It’s best if you make this as straightforward and memorable as possible.  

After you’ve named your segment, you will notice that there are plenty of options to choose from when creating your segment. On the sidebar, you can choose between Demographics, Technology, Behaviour, Date Of First Session and Traffic Sources.

Google Analytics page with demographics selection for creating a segment. A practical guide on how to use segments in Google Analytics.

Don’t let this overwhelm you! Here is a simple breakdown:

Choosing “Demographics” will allow you to create segments involving factors like age, gender, language, and location.

The “Behaviour” choice allows you to create segments regarding user session duration, the number of sessions, date since last session and transactions.

“Date Of First Session” is exactly what it sounds like. This gives you the option to segment the date of a user’s first session. This can be organized through one specific date, a date range, sessions after a particular date and/or sessions before a particular date.

Lastly, the “Traffic Sources” options allow you to filter both sessions and users by campaign, medium, source, and keyword.

Google Analytics page with the save, cancel and preview segment buttons. A practical guide on how to use segments in Google Analytics.

Once you have decided on how you’d like to structure your segment, you have the option to “Save” and “Preview.” Both of these buttons are placed beside the box where you created your Segment Name.

I’d recommend looking at a preview before saving your segment. This will ensure that it’s everything you had hoped it would be! Then, once you’ve decided that everything is hunky-dory, it’s time to save your segment. Congratulations!

Google Analytics page with test segment data examples. A practical guide on how to use segments in Google Analytics.

The Wrap

Great job on creating your first segment! You’re now on the right path to optimizing your use of Google Analytics for social media marketing and will be a data guru in no time at all.

If you’ve found that you want to dabble more into Google Analytics, I recommend considering doing your Google Analytics IQ Exam. This is a great way to become familiar with the program if you’re a beginner or just a way to improve on the knowledge you already have of the program.

VPDM is proud to have a team of Google Analytics and Google Adwords certified digital strategists. We are a data-driven digital marketing agency that takes pride in achieving the best ROI for our clients.

If you need help creating a results-driven digital marketing strategy for your business, get in touch with us today and we’ll get started with a plan that works!

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