How to Use the New Google Analytics Advanced Segments

Advanced Segments allows you to isolate specific types of traffic within your Google Analytics reporting. For example, you can see your Google Analytics standard reporting data for visitors from only the United States if that’s what you want to do. In this post, we’re going to look at how you can create and use Advanced Segments in the new Google Analytics.

What You Can Do with the New Advanced Segments

So what is all the fuss about the new Advanced Segments in Google Analytics? Here’s an overview of some of the new and best and ways to use Advanced Segments.

  • View all of your Google Analytics standard and custom reports for users and visits that match specific criteria.
  • Create custom segments with the new easy-to-use interface that will guide you through five types of custom segments – Demographics, Technology, Behavior, Date of First Visit, and Traffic Sources.
  • Include demographic data (age, gender, and interests) in your data segmentation.
  • Import custom segments made by the Google Analytics team and other Google Analytics users.
  • Share your custom segments with others using a custom link.

Let’s dive in to how you can start using Advanced Segments today. (This is applicable for both people familiar with the old setup and those who are new.)

How to Use Advanced Segments

To access Advanced Segments in the new Google Analytics, you’ll need to click on the dropdown arrow next to the default All Visits view.

access Advanced Segments

This will toggle the Advanced Segments screen.

toggle Google Analytics

The default view will show you all of your advanced and custom segments. You can use the tabs to see only built-in segments, custom segments you created, or favorite segments you have starred. You also can search your advanced and custom segments.

advanced and custom segments

To select segments to view, just click on them or drag them to the allotted spaces at the top. You can view up to four segments at a time.

segments to view

When you’re finished selecting your segments, click the Apply button at the bottom to view your data.

selecting your segments

To remove a segment from your view, click the “x” at the top right of each circle box.

How to Create a Custom Segment

To create a new custom segment, click the +New Custom Segment button. Next, you will be able to name your custom segment and choose from five types of segments.

create a new custom segment

  • Demographics – Segment your users by demographic information such as age, gender, language, affinity category, and location. In order to use the age, gender, and categories, you will need to go to the Audience > Demographics > Overview to see if you need to update your Google Analytics code to support the new Google Analytics data options. Even if you aren’t planning to use Advanced Segments, you’ll want to get this done right away.
  • Technology – Segment your users’ visits by their operating system, browser, screen resolution, device, and mobile.
  • Behavior – Segment your users by how often they visit and conduct transactions (number of visits, days since last visit, and visit duration).
  • Date of First Visit – Segment your users by when they first visited.
  • Traffic Sources – Segment your users by how they found you using campaign, medium, source, and keyword fields (such as the ones you would add as UTM parameter tags on your URLs).

If you would prefer to set up your custom segment similar to how it was done before, click on the Conditions option under Advanced. This will let you add up to 20 and/or filters to your custom segment.

filters

You can even create custom segments to segment users and their visits according to sequential conditions.

create custom segments

Once you have set up your custom segment, you can preview the results, test it to make sure it works, and then save it. You can always edit it later by clicking on the settings wheel icon on the segment itself.

You also will get the option to share your custom segment with others using a custom URL. Only the configuration of the custom segment will be shared, not any of your website data.

Import from Gallery

If you are not ready to make your own custom segments just yet and would like more options than the 22 built-in segmenting options, you can use the Import from Gallery button to get more segments created by the Google Analytics team and other Google Analytics users.

Import from Gallery

When you click the Import button on one of these segments, you will be taken to a screen to confirm that you want to import them into your Google Analytics profile.

When you want to view your imported segments, you will find them under the Custom segments view.

Segment Applications

There are thousands of ways you can use Advanced Segments to learn more about your website traffic. Here are just a few fun examples that you can create and view simultaneously to learn more about users and visits throughout your Google Analytics.

  • Create custom segments for traffic from social media networks, search engines, and other channels of traffic to see which drive the best traffic.
  • Create custom segments for different age groups to see which pages they visit most and how long they stay on your website.
  • Create custom segments for specific keywords you are targeting on AdWords.
  • Create custom segments for different campaigns you are tracking with UTM parameters.

You’ll get plenty of great ideas by visiting the Google Analytics Custom Solutions Gallery, selecting Advanced Segments from the Analytics Solutions menu, and perusing what the community has provided. You can even import, modify, and make them work for you and your business.

Have you tried out the new segmentation? What are your thoughts or most useful segment ideas?

About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Be sure to sign up for her free mini-training course, 8 Days to Promotable Content, and learn how to create content that people love to share! You can also find her on Google+ and Twitter.

  1. hi Kristi

    I’ve recently started to use Clicky instead of Google Analytics.

    Do you have any ideas if they have advanced segmenting options as well, or plan to write about their service?

  2. Is this possible in the official Google Analytics app Kristi?

    J

  3. Hi Kristi..thjank you very much really I like your post keep in touch from INDONESIA god bless for you.

  4. Thanks a lot Kristi for sharing these wonderful advanced segments for GA. With this guide, I will be able to use advanced segments in a better way.

  5. You can see Keywords for your site, but how do you determine which keywords to go after that have less competition and enough searches to make it worthwhile on using those certain keywords? Is the only way to buy ad’s for Keywords to test them out?

    • You can use the Google AdWords Planner to see search volume and competition. I also suggest looking at the first page of search results for keywords once you narrow down the field to see what sites you’ll be running against. For example, if the top ten results are all big names / brands – Wikipedia, Yahoo, Expedia, Amazon, etc. – then you might want to look for a different keyword variation.

  6. While it may be the case with the data shown in the example above it might be worth keeping in mind that a longer ave. visit duration and a greater number of pages per visit doesn’t always equate to better “engagement”, these people could just be struggling to find what they are looking for. Cross referencing with other harder conversion metrics helps add context.

  7. I’m using analytics for a long time and this article gives good insight on advanced segments. Thanks for sharing.

  8. i am very thankful to kissmetrics for always giving the right way to do the work and also in this article it shows a good and better way to work with Google Analytics. Thanks

  9. Thanks for this. The CORRECT information is so hard to find online.

  10. WOW. I am just waiting for you to come up with this thing publicly. I will be the one who get his hands on this awesome piece of product.

  11. That’s a great information. I think the most significant part that most of us (I mean Digital Marketers) don’t much care about is the Demographic part of the visitor data. In fact, this is where we generally make the biggest mistake. Letme just give you an example to elucidate. I was handling one of new clients data recently. This was a new account and I was just going through the data. What I found out that the major customers who converted had the following demographic features:
    1. Lived in state of California, especially San Jose.
    2. Age: 15 to 35
    After looking at this data when I inquired my client, he said that the earlier campaigns were not state or city specific but country specific, that is the United States. Here my point is: My client wasted a lot of money targeting the entire United States, when he received most of the business from California, or more specifically San Jose.That’s why Demographic data plays a very important role in maximizing ROI of digital marketing campaigns and associated costs.

    • I think keeping an eye out on the demographic data can help businesses who outsource their marketing. For example, maybe a marketing company is selling them on the fact that they are getting a lot of new traffic. But maybe all of that traffic is coming from India, and the business needs traffic from the US to make sales. Definitely something every business should look into.

  12. Thanks for sharing – I had no idea there were some great features like the “Import from Gallery”… very useful!

  13. Nice article , i was not Google analytics advanced segments until i read this post . this is definitely an useful tool for me . Thank you for sharing this article .

  14. Anyone else having a problem where you click on the little arrow to show Advanced Segments and the arrow disappears without showing you the list of segments you have? This has been happening to me ever since GA updated their UI.

  15. Hi Rob,
    Yes frustratingly I’m having the very same issue. It’s been affecting me for a week now…

  16. I am a great fan of Kissmetrics blog. Every post is very informative with detailed process. This is another nice article on advanced segments , i got clear idea after reading this post. I have tried this feature lot of times earlier. this is definitely an useful post for me . Thank you for sharing this article .

  17. Its a awesome guide of Google analytics advance segment setup, thanks for this helpful information.

  18. Having some trouble with advanced segments currently. I just want to segment subdomain traffic using the ‘conditions’ option (as above) but the advanced segment keeps showing data for the full domain and sub domain. If I do a normal filter in Behaviour>Site Content it works fine but not in advanced segments. Anyone else encountered this and any ideas?

  19. Detail post about a topic is always appreciating. I love this type of text and visual presentation which make a clear conception about the topic. The topic is very important i heard about this in a post about SES conference few days ago. I started to apply this advance segment feature in my analytics account.

  20. Thanks for this, it’s a really interesting read. I have a question though, which I’m struggling to find the answer to. T

    I have created custom segments for particular pages and sections of my site, but when I use them they are also picking up any pages with links to that particular content. e.g. home page, search, landing pages – when I just want them for the pages I have put in. I’ve got around this sometimes by setting additional criteria to the segment that ’excludes’ these particular pages but it’s very time consuming and I don’t always know what pages it is going to pick up and isn’t always accurate. Is there a way around this, or is there a better way of getting visit and traffic data for sections of the site?

    Thanks for your help!

  21. Thanks for the article. I’ve dabbled a little with advanced segements, but this article really helps me to dig deeper.

  22. I never used Google Analytics to this extent. Really helpful tutorial to use advance part of GA. Thanks dear.

  23. Can anyone help me to find out if the google analytics segmentation would allow me to segment on information that a member on our website might enter themselves?
    For eg. member registers their age, gender and football team. Could i ask google analytics the following question?

    How many members that are 10-14years, male and barrack for Manchester United have not blogged in the last month?

    Thanks so much!
    Kylie

  24. Are any of these features different in GA Premium? Or is it just a matter of how many hits you get (i.e. you need to go premium if it’s over a certain threshold)?

  25. It’s a great guideline to use New Google Analytics. I found here easy way to use it. Thank you for sharing this one.

  26. Awesome article man :) Especially newbies can get to know more about such a useful stuff here. Google analytic plays very crucial role while tracking all the stats activities and conversions of sites specially build for affiliate marketing.

    Expecting such useful content in future too :) cheers

  27. Awesome post.

    Segmenting is probably the most important part of analytics.

    I am reading Web Analytics 2.0, and feel a lot has changed in GA analytics, since the book came out.

  28. Finally! Thank you so much for this post – every other one I’ve looked at today referred to the old way of setting up segments and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out where I needed to look for them!

  29. Thanks gang, that was some really useful info : )

  30. I use two different twitter accounts to promote my website. I can (by default) see the overall twitter traffic on my website with the help of Google Analytics in the Acquisition—->>>All Traffic section.

    But how can i check which twitter account is giving me how many visits individually? How can i use Advanced Segment feature for the same. Please help. Would be a great help.

  31. Great article. I would also suggest watching this video from ThinkVitamin on the same topic.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2QiqCkp3pY

  32. Thanks for this awesome post Neil, you always come up with great things.

  33. Well, its not a issue with the post which you have given here, not at all.

  34. Well, thanks for this awesome post, I really liked it.

  35. Thanks for this wonderful post, I enjoyed it a lot.

  36. I was using another platform for my blogs since 2012. But they are not accurate, few moths ago just moved to the google analytics but it was confusing for me after reading your article now it’s pretty clear to me hope now i can use this tool properly :)

    Rezan

  37. Hi,
    I have a few GA accounts, and I have some segments created for specific properties (i.e: New York, Montreal, Pittsburgh). The problem is that no matter what account or property I’m in, all of the segments show up.

    Is there a way to create a segment so that the “Montreal” segment only shows up for the property that needs to see the “Montreal” segment?

    Thanks!

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