Google Analytics has nearly limitless ways to break down your website’s data.
If you want to look at how 35- to 44-year-olds in Tennessee who found you through Facebook are using your website, you can do that.
OK, you might not want to get that specific, but you can drill down to see data that matters to your business.
By better understanding how different groups use your website, you can make better website and marketing decisions.
Fun Tool #1: Segments
At the top of every Google Analytics page is an area that indicates what sessions are being included in the data. By default, it’s “All Sessions.” However, you can include or exclude traffic using a variety of parameters.
To add segmenting to your report, click “+ Add Segment.”
The Segments screen slides down on the report you are viewing so you don’t lose your place.
Google Analytics provides a few dozen pre-set segments such as: “New Users,” “Organic Traffic,” and “Sessions with Conversions.”
There are also pre-made segments in the Google Analytics Gallery. Click “Import from Gallery” in the Segments screen to view available segments. Don’t go overboard on these—you’ll just clutter up your account.
Then, of course, you can create your own segments.
Step 1: Click the big red “+ New Segment” button.
Step 2: Choose your parameters.
A) Google Analytics provides straightforward information on how to segment by demographics, technology, behavior, date of first session, and traffic sources.
Fun fact: You can add multiple parameters from different categories. Be careful, though. The more parameters you add, the smaller your audience gets—like in this example:
B) You can also create more customized segments using conditions and sequences. (We’ll just talk about conditions.)
For example, if we want to see just people who use our website during the noon hour, here’s how we’d do that:
Step 3: Click “Preview” to preview or “Save” to save and apply.
Once a segment is applied, it remains active across all reports until you end your Google Analytics session or remove it manually.
Fun Tool #2: Secondary Dimensions
Secondary dimensions are Google’s way of cross-referencing different parameters in Google Analytics.
We use this tool all the time, but here are a few common uses:
Cross-reference device type with operating system.
Cross-reference traffic source with landing page.
Cross-reference pages with device category.
And there are so many more. As you can see, the logistics of adding a secondary dimension are the same across Google Analytics, making it easy to create the cross-references that make sense for you.
Fun Tool #3: Content Grouping
E-commerce sites and websites with a lot of pages can benefit greatly from content grouping, which allows you to view cumulative analytics for sections, instead of just individual pages.
To create content grouping parameters, go to your admin screen and choose “Content Grouping” under your chosen view.
Assuming you already have your Google Analytics tracking code installed on your site, the best way to create content grouping rules is using rule grouping definitions.
You can create sections using URL or page name parameters. For example, we have four content groups in our analytics:
- Software Development
- Website Design & Development
- Internet Marketing
- App Development
To view reports using your newly created content groups, you can navigate to the “All Pages” and/or “Landing Pages” reports under Behavior < Site Content in the reporting area of Google Analytics. The content grouping option will show below the line graph and above the table.
See, wasn’t that fun?
As always, if you have Google Analytics questions, reach out.