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The Art of Analytics: Advanced Segments in Google Analytics


By Kate Alany, PBS Digital Analytics

Back in July, I wrote this post about the differences between Advanced Segments and Filters in Google Analytics. In that post, I provided a quick how-to for using Filters to exclude internal traffic from your Google Analytics data. This is a great “best practice” and one we highly recommend, so please refer to that post for instructions if you haven’t already! I wanted to follow-up that post with one about Advanced Segments because it’s a very easy and powerful tool that you can use to look at your data in different ways. 

One example of a Segment you might create is "mobile visitors," to see how they are interacting with your site, compared to all visitors, or desktop-only visitors. One segment we at PBS use is our “engaged visitors” segment. This segment was created based on three parameters related to duration of visit: page depth, number of visits, and days since last visit. You can add this Segment to your account by clicking this link. Select the profile you wish to apply it to, and you’ll see a green “success” message appear. Head over to your main GA dashboard, and you should see the Segment in your account.

Advanced Segments are a great way to get deeper insights from your data. I’ve had a lot of fun looking at geographic segments, new vs. returning visitors and how their content usage differs, visitors who came through certain referrers, and much more. I would suggest playing around with different segments and seeing how they differ – this is where you will find great “stories” to tell about your site!

For full instructions on finding and creating Advanced Segments in Google Analytics, visit this page in the Station Guide in Confluence.


As always, please reach out with any questions!