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7 Google Analytics Advanced Segments I Love (and you should too)

Posted by dohertyjf

I love using Advanced Segments in Google Analytics. Sure, you can export a big chunk of data to Excel and then use some Excel wizardry to clean up the data and display it in different ways, but what if you just need to get a quick snapshot of certain traffic or trends, but the default segments don't go far enough? I've put together a few of my favorite Google Analytics Advanced Segments for you, so that you can add them to your own Analytics and use them as you need.

Segment 1:  1 word keywords

This first segment will just give you all of the one-word keywords that are driving traffic to your site. Sometimes there are crap keywords, but I am increasingly finding it interesting how sites can rank for one-word keywords because of personalized results.

^\s*[^\s]+(\s+[^\s]+){0}\s*$

Segment 2: 2-3 words

This next statement gives you all of the two and three word keyphrases driving traffic to your site. These are normally the important terms for you, because 2-3 word phrases have been shown to drive the best targeted traffic. For example, "vouchers" might be too general too really bring you good traffic but "voucher codes" or "quality voucher codes" will probably give you better traffic.

^\s*[^\s]+(\s+[^\s]+){1,2}\s*$

Segment 3: 4+ words

This segment is like the statements above, but instead gives you all keyword phrases that have four or more words in them. This is all you need for segmenting down to your longtail keywords quickly and easily in Analytics.

^\s*[^\s]+(\s+[^\s]+){3,}\s*$

Segment 4: Social Media Traffic

Sometimes you need to see the easy breakdown of your referral sources, and even more often it can be helpful to see just your Social Media traffic. Here is how we have our Social Media Advanced Segment set up in the Distilled Analytics account:

Social Media Advanced Segment Example

Segment 5: Traffic to Blog (where URL is http://www.site.com/blog)

If you have a separate blog where you write and try to generate both links and traffic, it can be helpful to have a way to easily segment out the traffic to just this section of your site. Sure, you could just use the Filter section, but why do this when you can set up an Advanced Segment and have it forever? A little more work in the short term can save some big headaches. Note: this is really only helpful if your blog articles have the URL structure of http://www.site.com/blog/(post-url) Here is how I have set up an Advanced Segment to do just this:

Advanced Segment for Blog Traffic

Segment 6: Google as Source

Since SEOs often care mostly about Google traffic (for better or for worse), since it is where the bulk of our traffic comes from in almost every case, I also have an Advanced Segment set up to show me the traffic where Google is my source. Here you go:

Traffic with Google as source

Segment 7: Twitter Traffic

Segmenting down to just Twitter traffic is a chore, because so many different Twitter clients show up differently in your Analytics. This has become less of an issue recently, since Twitter changed to putting all shared links shortened with the T.co shortener (which Tom wrote about here), but we still need to account for all Twitter clients when segmenting out back traffic.

Here is the Advanced Segment I use. Have I missed any?

How to set up Advanced Segments for any section of your site.

Much like the "/blog" example above, if your site is broken into areas (for example, my site is broken into /category/search-engine-optimization and /category/social-media), you can also create advanced statements for these.

Here is how I set up an Advanced Segment for my SEO category:

Website category advanced segment

Finishing Up

These are the most useful Google Analytics Advanced Segments that I have in my arsenal that can apply over almost any client. Others have written about more specific Advanced Segments in these posts:

I suggest you read those as well. Please add in your favorites (especially ones involving RegEx) in the comments!

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