New Google Analytics Segmentation Feature Rocks for Ecommerce

Just announced today, Google Analytics is rolling out new features to its free tool in Public Beta, meaning you can expect to gain access to these new goodies sometime in the next couple weeks.

Click here if you can’t view this video.

As Avinash Kaushik says: Analyzing data in aggregate is a crime against humanity. …
If you want to find actionable insights you need to segment your web analytics data. You need to separate out the various Sources, Behavior and Outcomes.

When I first watched the YouTube video tutorial I thought “man, this looks complicated.”

Avinash assures us it’s not, and reassured us his 7 year old had no problem creating 2 segments in minutes (talk about precocious!)

In addition to the default segments like New, Returning, Paid and Non-Paid Visitors; and Search, Direct and Referral Traffic, you can now create custom segments. A great place to start is segmenting branded search vs. non-branded search terms for organic and paid traffic. Why?

Research by Compete and Google suggests that 70% of purchases made from non-branded keyword referrals occur in later online sessions. Of that 70%, 16% of the purchases happen only after the searcher searches again with different keywords. Non-branded searchers are more likely to be Howsers (know in general what they want but not which specific product, may need more research and education) than Hunters (know exactly what they want and are close to conversion). And if you’re working on strategies to optimize your conversion for customers who are beginning or mid-way through the decision process – you’ll want to know if your conversion rates for non-branded keywords is improving after you implement your testing/strategy.

You can also create segments for non-branded category search. For example, Garmin could segment non-branded motorcylce GPS keywords by creating a segment that must include “motorcycle” but exclude “Garmin,” “zumo” “Quest” “street pilot” and “streetpilot.”

Image credit: Avinash Kaushik

Someone who uses the branded term is likely ready to buy a Garmin product. A good objective for Garmin might be to increase non-branded conversion through strong Garmin value propositions, persuasive copywriting, advanced customer support tools or other multi-media selling aids. The saved segment can produce reports after the testing period, and compare to metrics before the optimization tactics were employed.

Then you can check out which pages these visitors view and what they buy.

This is just one example of what’s possible. Please bookmark and read Avinash’s thorough post for more segmentation ideas.

According to Group Manager of Google Analytics Brett Crosby, segmentation can help you perform better through an economic downturn and “go with what works, find new ways to drive revenue, find segments working for them and invest there to increase their conversions.”

Hat tip for this quote, Marketing Pilgrim.

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10 Responses to “New Google Analytics Segmentation Feature Rocks for Ecommerce”

  1. Dr. Pete says:

    You’re all making me jealous – I see Jason’s shout across the Twitterverse worked :) Can’t wait to try the new features.

    I know we all like to occasionally complain about Google, but what they’ve developed in Google Analytics for free rivals most of the enterprise-level software that I’ve used. If the team can get around to integrating properly with Google Website Optimizer, I can die a happy man.

  2. Will you stop making me interested in learning new things? I have enough on my plate!

    Seriously though, this article really helped me make sense of the new features.


  3. Ben McKay says:

    Do we know whether these changes will be rolled out across the UK too?

    Ben M

  4. [...] Kevin Hillstrom offers up 43 data mining attributes for lapsed buyers (customers who purchased from you a while ago, but nothing since). For example, Attribute #37 = Brands vs. Proprietary Product: When you sell branded merchandise and merchandise you sources yourself, you wind up with customers who have different interests. This can be a telling variable, all companies have different relationships. Lots of fodder to get you thinking about how you’ll start segmenting with the new Google Analytics Segmentation Tool. [...]

  5. I can’t wait for the new features to come out. Google analytics is the first thing I use right when I wake up in the morning . :)

  6. Do you see those features in your account already?

  7. Hi Mariusz, yes I see the features now, haven’t had a chance to kick the tires on it yet, though :)

  8. TraiaN says:

    Hi Linda,

    Advanced segmentation was a missing feature of Google Analytics. All other enterprise analytics tool were offering it, but now Google is giving it free. You can now dissect data much easier (segmentation was possible even before in GA, with custom filters and profiles, but now it is much easier). I am planning to create a series for segments idea. The first segment we have described on Google Analytics Segmentation page is called keywords with conversions. Please have a look.

    Feel free to visit our blog and if you have any ideas on what segments could be useful, leave a comment and we will try to write a post on that one.

  9. Not sure whether to use profile filters or advanced segmentation? Here’s a bunch of resources that could help you decide so you can really get the most out of your data analysis:

  10. Well clearly I’ve stumbled upon this article a little late (3 years!) but it’s very interesting to see the coverage and how everyone responded back in ’08! Analytics (both Google as well as 3rd party) have come a long, long way…

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