What is an advanced segment?

Advanced segmentation in GA is a functionality that allows you to further dissect your data and customize Google Analytics reports.  This can help you understand customers better by identifying how different types of visitors behave relevant to your goals.  For example, you may discover that visitors who purchase items on your website interact more with distinct types of content.  Advanced segments can help you to improve your business by identifying trends and patterns.

Why do you need to segment?

Sometimes, it is hard to find meaning in your data just by looking at the standard reports.   While GA does provide you with a few standard, default segment options, these don’t accurately present the depth and possibilities of advanced segments.  After all, the internet is a place of great diversity so naturally your customers will differ from one another.   Most likely, you may also have multiple key actions beyond sales.  This means you must create multiple conditions to determine your most valuable visitors.

How to create an advanced segment in Google Analytics?

Advanced segmentation is not as complex as it sounds, and doesn’t require additional implementation. All you need to do is setup the conditions correctly. To start off, open the advanced segments tab:

1.       Go to “Advanced Segments” on your profile page left hand tab under My Customizations.


2.       Click on “Create a new custom segment” at the top right corner.


3.    Choose the specific segment you want to mine data for.  If you have trouble thinking of how to setup your segment think about a specific question you want answered.   For example, if your site has a high bounce rate then we want to find out how users who read multiple posts use the site differently from the average “bouncing” visitor.


4.     On the left hand side, we have our factors to consider – Dimensions and Metrics.   To answer our initial question we have to look at bounce rate for our site, however, the bounce rate option is unavailable in custom segments of GA.  This means we have to re position our question.  Our goal is to see how our users interact, so we can check for the depth of page view.  How many of our visitors that don’t bounce, explore the site because of the homepage?  In the conditions field, we will put in “page depth”, condition with a condition of “greater than” and value “1”.


5.      Now you have to name your segment, in this example we will just name it “Interested Visitors” and Test Segment.


6.       GA allows you to test the segment to see if it will match any visitors.  Our test shows that out of 825,242 visits to the site, 474,060 visitors were interested in browsing the site deeper than that one page.  If we wish, we can further segment these readers by location, language, etc.  This information is very valuable because now we can track this particular segment in almost all standard reports.


7.       If you are satisfied with the data presented, click create segment.   If you wish to access your data displaying the advanced segment we just created, go to Manage Advanced Segments and do a search for it.


8.       You will now be able to automatically see the stats for your new segment and make educated decisions about your content design and marketing plans.