Google Analytics Key terms

What are segments in Google Analytics?

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Published on Jan 20, 2023 and edited on May 13, 2024 by Iron Brands

Segments in Google Analytics are subsets of your data that isolate and analyze specific types of traffic. With segments you can view various subsets of your data based on different criteria such as demographics, behavior, traffic sources, and more.

Here is all you need to know about segments... or you could just use Simple Analytics. Simple and privacy-friendly. No complexity. No cookies. Just the data you need in a simple dashboard.

Google Analytics vs Simple Analytics

Alright, back to Google Analytics.

Types of Segments:

  • Predefined Segments: Google Analytics offers several built-in segments like "New Users," "Returning Users," "Paid Traffic," and more.
  • Custom Segments: Users can create their own segments based on specific criteria, allowing for more tailored analysis.

Key Characteristics of Segments:

  • User Level: Segments can track a user's behavior over multiple sessions until they expire.
  • Session Level: These segments focus on individual sessions, looking at user actions within a single visit.
  • Hit Level: These are based on single interactions, like viewing a page or triggering an event.

Importance of Segments:

Segments are invaluable for:

  • Targeted Analysis: They allow you to analyze specific groups of users, providing insights that might be lost in the aggregate data.
  • Comparative Analysis: By comparing different segments, you can understand how various groups interact with your site differently.
  • Customization: Custom segments can be tailored to your specific business needs.

How to Use Segments Effectively:

  • Identify Key Audiences: Determine which user groups are most relevant to your business goals.
  • Custom Segmentation: Utilize custom segments to drill down into specific behaviors or characteristics.
  • Benchmarking and Comparison: Use segments to benchmark performance against different user groups or time periods.
  • Combine with Other Features: Integrate segments with other Google Analytics features like goals and funnels for deeper insights.

Final Thoughts

Segments in Google Analytics are a powerful tool for dissecting and understanding your website's traffic in a granular way. However, it's important to note that while Google Analytics provides in-depth insights, it can be overly complex for many organizations.

If you just want a straightforward dashboard with the insights you need, GA is not a great place to start. Additionally, Google Analytics is a privacy-invasive tool and requires an annoying cookie banner.

That's why we built Simple Analytics, a privacy-friendly and simple analytics tool - no personal data, no cookies, just the insights you need in a straightforward dashboard.

If this resonates with you, feel free to give Simple Analytics a spin (it's free). You just need to add the script and off you go. This takes about one minute.


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