Posts Tagged ‘advanced segments’

Jun 16

advanced-segment-logic-thumbWe just passed Father’s Day! Your client’s site sells silk ties and they’re expecting big bucks this season, so they increased their PPC spend. They want do some advanced segments to see how their U.S. and Canada paid traffic did.

We just read a great piece by Jesse Nichols on advanced segment logic and thought it might be a good idea, as part of our “Back To Basics” series, to expand on that a little.

Advanced segments are essential in filtering your data so you can dive deep and get clean insights. However, you might have to blow the dust off your old symbolic logic text books, cause this stuff can be confusing. Getting the logic wrong could mess up your data analysis and reports.

Hopefully, the diagrams we made here will help you remember your “and’s” AND “or’s”. Or, I guess it would be your “and’s” OR “or’s”…(Anyway, whatever…)

Advanced Segment Logic (Non-Exclusive)

When creating Google Analytics advanced segments, you can “include” or “exclude” dimensions.

We’ll go through the following:

  • Include “this” AND Include “that” (This and That)
  • Include “this” OR “Include “that” (This or That)
  • Exclude “this” AND Exclude “that” (Not This and Not That)
  • Exclude “this” OR Exclude “that” (Not This or Not That)

For non-exclusive dimensions (dimensions that can overlap, like place and kind), the following is a visual representation of how it will work. (We’ll go through exclusive dimensions – dimensions that don’t overlap, like two different places).


Let’s break this down in terms of the potential Google Analytics dimensions we’ll be looking at.
Let’s say:

  • “This” = “U.S. traffic”
  • “That” = “Paid traffic”

Include “this” AND Include “that” (This and That). You’re looking for traffic that is U.S. and paid. You might translate “Include U.S. Traffic and Include paid traffic” into normal English, “I want U.S. traffic and paid traffic”. The latter implies you want both, which is where the confusion happens. In actuality, you are looking for where they overlap. Thus, in our diagram, you are looking for the dark grey color.

Include “this” OR “Include “that” (This or That). Translating this into English would sound like “I want U.S. or paid traffic”, which sounds exclusive – “I want either U.S. or paid traffic”, which sounds misleading. You will be pulling up “either or” as well as the overlap. If the condition hits either case (which includes if it hit’s both), it will be included. In our diagram, this corresponds to the dark and light grey.

Exclude “this” AND Exclude “that” (Not This and Not That). “Not U.S. and Not paid traffic”. A little tricky. In traditional symbolic logic, “And” means both conditions need to be satisfied. You would think then that this is an overlap. Actually, you’re not getting rid of the overlap, you’re getting rid of both cases. That means anything that is from the U.S. will be eliminated as well as all paid traffic will be eliminated . Thus everything that is grey will be gone. You will only be looking at the orange universe.

Exclude “this” OR Exclude “that” (Not This or Not That). “Not U.S. or Not paid traffic”. To me, this is the most confusing one. Again, traditionally, you’re thinking “OR”, which is both data sets. That’s not correct.

To understand this one, let’s look at “include ‘this’ or include ‘that’ “ for a second. The logic behind this implies: The data set either has to have “this” or has to have “that”.

Along the same lines, for “exclude”, if we take that italicized part of the previous sentence and insert “NOT”, you get this:
The data set has to NOT have ‘this’ or NOT have ‘that’.
Meaning, if the data set doesn’t have one of them or is missing one of them, it checks out.

Let’s go through each color area we have and compare it to that last logical sentence.

  • Does the orange NOT have “this” or not have “that”? The orange doesn’t have either, so that checks out.
  • Does the light grey ‘this’ area NOT have one dimension? It doesn’t have ‘that’, so that checks out.
  • Does the light grey ‘that’ area NOT have one dimension? It doesn’t have ‘this’, so that checks out.
  • The dark grey area isn’t missing either one, it contains both! So it doesn’t check out!

Conclusion? This advanced segment eliminates the dark grey overlap! So here, you are looking at the orange universe and the light grey. In other words, you are filtering out U.S. Paid traffic.

Advanced Segment Logic (Exclusive)

What happens when you have dimensions that are mutually exclusive? For example, U.S. traffic and Canada traffic? (Another example of sets that don’t overlap is if U.S. has no paid traffic). Things become a little different.


Include “this” AND Include “that” (This and That). It’s impossible that one visit will fall under both locations (unless you have the power to teleport or go warp speed, in which case, you’d have to also be surfing the net during that time). Thus, you’ll get nothing from this segment, as they never overlap!

Include “this” OR Include “that” (This or That). This would be either U.S. or Canada traffic. Thus, you’ll get both (light) grey colors from this segment.

Exclude “this” AND Exclude “that” (Not This and Not That). Similar to non-exclusive dimensions or sets, you’re just getting rid of both. Thus, in our diagram, you’re left with the orange universe. Anything that is not either one.

Exclude “this” OR Exclude “that” (Not This or Not That). “Not U.S. or Not Canada traffic”. If we look at the non-exclusive diagram, you are getting rid of the dark grey overlap. Since there is no dark grey overlap in this diagram, you’re not really getting rid of anything. Thus, this is a moot segment when dimensions are mutually exclusive.


To analytics ninjas, the obvious segment you would want to create to analyze “U.S. paid traffic” is “Include U.S. and Include Paid Traffic”. When filtering for mutually exclusive dimensions like U.S. and Canada, “Include” and “OR” would be the way to go. Of course, there are a bunch of different combinations that will create different logic, but hopefully, these diagrams will help remind everyone of the basics to build on.

In any case, forget the ties, and get your dad something cool, like a camera or an iPad or something…

Feb 04

When Google Analytics makes changes to their platform, it’s usually a good thing, and helps users navigate through the dashboard easier, offers a more powerful data experience and overall is seen as beneficial to the user.

Google Analytics did just that this time around, as they rolled out some improved features earlier this month. We at E-Nor dove right into the changes and have been loving them.

There was a blog post on the Google Analytics blog as well as a great one by, but a lot of our clients are still unaware of the spiffy new changes, so we wanted to pass the information along!

Check it out:

Improved Navigation

The first change you notice when logged into Google Analytics is there are less tabs at the top of the screen. Just the simple Reporting, Customization, Admin and Help tabs are now available here. This area had been freshened up a bit, and some of the reports here have been moved to the left sidebar. We’ve noticed this definitely makes more sense, and offers up a more unified placement for the tools. Plus, the top orange navigation bar floats as the user scrolls down the page. Pretty cool! ;)

Create Your Own Custom Dashboard

We all have our own preferences, right? So too is the case when working with Google Analytics, and the gurus at Google have figured that out! The platform now offers new enhanced personalized dashboards. Users can choose from a variety of layouts, giving them a handful of options available. This feature expands the way the dashboard is laid out, and how users can see their data.

google analytics layout options

Dashboard Additions

1. Advanced Segments
Anyone who works regularly in Google Analytic is aware of the Advanced Segments feature. Well, thanks to this most recent round of changes, this tool has been added to the dashboard. (Yay!) Users can find this button in the upper left section of the dashboard near the Audience Overview header.

google analytics advanced segments

2. New Widgets
The Geo Maps and Bars widgets are both new additions to the Google Analytics dashboards. You will also find the Geo Maps have been added for custom reports. These are available on the improved dashboard, and provide yet another set of data gathering tools that help users. The Geo Maps widget allows users to color code data by country, state and so on. The Bars widget give more advanced graphic data abilities.

Examples of Widgets

google analytics geo map
google analytics bar chart

new widgets google analytics

So if you haven’t already noticed the improvements to the Google Analytics interface, now is a good time to jump in and check them out.

We at E-Nor have found these new and/or revised features and tools highly beneficial, and love the fact that they allow us to continue to provide top-notch analytic services to our clients. We hope you enjoy the changes too!

Feb 01

49er-mobileSuperbowl Sunday! GO NINERS!!!! Is mobile phone traffic on your site going to be the same during the game? During commercials? During halftime? In this post, we’ll show you how to figure that out!

Mobile is taking over! The ability to access the Internet from everywhere is so convenient – when you’re at the supermarket, gas station, even when you’re driving (don’t do that). Sometimes, I’m too lazy even open my laptop at home, it’s simpler to just pull out my mobile phone in front of my TV and connect.

And mobile use is only growing:

  • In 2013, more people use mobile than PC’s (Gartner 2011)
  • 50% of U.S. cell phone users have smartphones
  • 47% of consumers look up local information (for example, stores they want to visit)
  • 46% look up prices on a store’s mobile site
  • Etc.

(Statistics from

Marketers who don’t start accounting for this trend will surely be left behind. The design and structure of your site, how your visitors use it, how visitors buy, etc. – is completely different on mobile devices vs. desktop – even vs. tablets. A mobile visitor is on the go, the screen is significantly smaller than a PC and tablet, it’s touch screen, etc. As a marketer, you need to be able to do dive deep and figure out exactly what’s going on to get insights unique to each.

Ideally, the following insights is what you want to see. You can see in this case that mobile phone and tablet behavior is different – tablet visitors are much more engaged, spend more time on the site, and view an average of one more page than phones:

Mobile Traffic Only Report - Google Analytics

“Mobile” (including Tablet)

It’s tricky. Google Analytics lumps tablets into the “mobile category”. But what if your design is responsive, and you have a different design for your mobile phone site vs. your tablet site? What if that’s impacting your traffic differently? You’ll need to separate the data.

Advanced Segment: Mobile Phones Only

Google already has a default segment to analyze ONLY “Tablet” traffic. But where’s the “Mobile Phone only” default segment? We love Google, but hint hint, cmon guys…

Have no fear – our resident analyst genius, @charlesfarina created a simple advanced segment to do this. Here’s how:

Step 1. Create a New Custom Advanced Segment
At the dashboard, choose Advanced Segment and click on “New Custom Segment”
Create advanced segment in google analytics

Step 2. Name Your Custom Segment
Name it something useful like “Phones”

Step 3. Include Mobile Traffic
Get all of mobile traffic, including Tablets and Mobile by selecting “Include” > “Mobile (including Tablet)” > containing “Yes”.

Step 4. Get rid of Tablet traffic
In order to separate mobile phones from tablets – you want [Mobile (which is mobile + tablets)] – [Tablet]
Add an “and” statement and “Exclude” > “Tablet” > containing “Yes”. This will get rid of tablet traffic.

Your advanced segment should look like this:
Mobile Phones Only Advanced Segment - Google Analytics

You are ready to slice and dice only mobile phone traffic!
Just in case, here’s a quick link for the segment (so you can just save it to your profile automatically).

Jan 13

Just recently, one of our clients asked me to share with their analysts a number of custom segments and custom reports that I’ve created for them. With the new “Share” segment button, it was very easy to share the URL of the segments/report and email them to the client.

When the analysts clicked on the segments’ URLs, they imported the report structure exactly as it was configured under my login. But when they saved the segments under their login, the segments were saved under wrong profiles!

Why to share segments?
First of all we need to know that Advanced Segments and custom reports in Google Analytics are tied to the user login and not to the account/profile under which these segments are created in. So if two users have access to the same profile but they are using different login to access the GA account, the segments created by user A are not accessible to user B unless they are manually shared by user A. So, all the amazing segments and custom reports that E-Nor creates under their Google Analytics login will not be visible to their clients who are using a different login credential, even though both E-Nor and their clients are logged into the same GA account.

What went wrong with the segments I shared with our client?
When our client’s analysts clicked on the shared segment’s URL, the segment showed up by default under the first profile of the first account that the login of each user has access to. Because the relevant profile applicable to the segment was not the first profile in their accounts list, they failed to add the segment to the right profile and when they later logged in they were unable to allocate the segment under the given profile.


The “share” functionality in the Advance Segment and Custom Report is good as long as the recipient of the shared segment applies the segment to the right profile using the “Visible in” menu (See point# 6 of this post). But if you want to make the life of the recipient much easier then follow the simple solution provided below.


After looking at the Segment link and other GA reports links, I noticed that if we add the Profile ID to the link URL as parameter, then the segment will be populated under the right account and the right profile. So the solution is simply to attach the profile ID with the segment link :)


Let me translate the above solution to 5 simple steps to follow:

1. How can I get the profile id?

Google Analytics assign a unique ID for each profile. This profile ID is different than the account ID [UA-123456-1], which we add to the website pages along with the JavaScript pixel. In order to find the Profile ID, just log in to Google Analytics and locate the account and the profile under which you created the “Advanced Segment”. Click on Analytics Settings > Edit, and the Profile ID will be in the upper left corner of the profile settings page.

2. How to create advanced segments and custom reports?
This is not the focus of this blog post, nevertheless, to learn how to create your own advanced segment read the following help topics:

3. How to get the custom segment Link?

Click Share for the relevant segment or report. [Go to Advanced Segments > Manage your advanced segments > Share > Copy the URL]

4. How to add the profile ID that I got from step# 1 to the segment Link URL that I got from step# 2?
Very simple! Just append the Profile ID [ex. id=18900120] to the end of the segment link URL

5. What is next?

Send the enhanced segment link to anyone who has access to the Google Analytics account. When the recipient clicks the link, a template of your advanced segment or custom report loads under the correct account and correct profile.

6. What if I receive a segment link that doesn’t contain the profile ID?

Well, then you need to manually apply the segment to the desired profile.
At the bottom of the segment page, use the “Visible in” menu to select the profile(s) where you want the segment to be available.

Happy Analysis :)

Sep 09

Advanced Segments from Google
A few months back a colleague of mine called Multiple Custom Variables "Google’s Gift to Humanity."  I disagree.  He had good intentions, like he usually does, but in this case he was terribly misguided.  Multiple Custom Variables are significant and a dream come true to some, but the real gift to humanity, and there isn’t even any competition here, is Advanced Segments.  I can’t remember a day going by where I haven’t used this phenomenal feature in Google Analytics.  Now, the feature is finally available in Urchin 7!

What can I do with Advanced Segments in Urchin 7?

  • Identify & analyze the visitor groups who are truly valuable to your business
  • Allows you to filter reporting data similar to using GA Advanced Segmentation. The feature is accessible on the Urchin 7 Reporting UI from the toolbar.
  • Each advanced segment is a combination of filters joined by an "AND" condition. Metrics support numeric comparison operators "equals to", "less than", "less than or equal to", "greater than" and "greater than or equal to".


How do I use Advanced Segments in Urchin 7?

Easy :)   the interface is similar to Google Analytics.  The screen capture below shows the new Advanced Segments dropdown.  Click on this dropdown to enter the wonderful world of Advanced Segmentation awesomeness.

In the screen capture below, the user is presented with an option to manage their advanced segments, or view from a list of default segments.


How do I create a new Advanced Segment in Urchin 7?

Let’s build a really simple segment that will let us analyze traffic originating from Google.

NOTE:  in building a segment, I strongly recommend giving the segment a meaningful name.  This will help you and others that may be using the tool clearly know what the segment contains.  Don’t use names like "My Segment" or "Segment 1" or "test".  A meaningful name for the example above would be "Traffic Source=Google" or "Traffic from Google" or something to that effect.
1) To create and configure a new segment, click the "Create new custom segment" button on the Manage Urchin Visit Segments page.

2)  Below is the segment definition screen:

3)  Once done, apply the segment to all profiles

4)  Now let’s view the New vs. Returning report for our segment!


What are some practical use cases of Advanced Segments:

1)  Create a true organic segment where branded traffic is filtered out.
2)  Create a segment to analyze visitors by referrer or traffic source (like our example above)
3)  Segment by geographic location (country, city, etc)
4)  Segment by Content viewed (Landing page or Page)
5)  Segment by Goals (allowing you to see the behavior of users who converted vs those who didn’t)
6)  Segment by Technology metrics (browser type, screen resolution, etc)
All the above will help in your data analysis.  These are just a few simple ideas.  Pleases share any cool segments that have assisted you in your analysis!

Try out Urchin 7 today.

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Jun 10

Recently Avinash Kaushik shared with his Facebook friends that his blog reached the following millstone: “# of comments on my blog = 8,000 today! Context: 221 posts. 471k words in posts. 742k words in comments.”

That is an average of 36 comments per post and 92 words per comment. Congratulations Avinash!

For Analytics oriented bloggers such as Avinash, I am sure as much as they love and appreciate all their blog readers they will always value the engaged readers who make the effort to drop a line or two seeking clarification, encouraging them to write more or giving them feedback.

This segment of blog readers is by all means the fuel that keeps bloggers alive and encourages them to continue to write and share what they have in mind. Therefore, studying and analyzing the behavior and the user experience of this segment is very important for optimizing the blog to achieve your blog objectives.

In this post I will walk you through few basic steps that will help make this segment of engaged readers available in your Google Analytics report.


  • You have Google Analytics installed in your blog
  • You are using WordPress as a platform for your blog (of course you can apply the same method to other blogging platforms)

The How:

Our approach is a three-step process:  add custom code, create a Goal in Google Analytics which tracks the number of comment submissions and then create an advanced segment for those who converted.

Step 1) Add custom code to the comments’ form code:

Since in WordPress there is no unique confirmation page – thank you page – that visitors see once they have submitted their comment, we will need to fire a virtual page every time the “Submit” button is clicked.

We will need to modify the comments form’s code and add some JavaScript code to it. The code will fire a virtual page every time the “submit comment” button is clicked. The code for the comments form is found within the comments.php file, which can be found under your WordPress theme folder [../wp-content/themes/default/comments.php]

  • Add the following code to the onclick event of the “submit comment” button:

onClick=”javascript: _gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/comment-submission.php']);”

Below you will see how the code will look after the JavaScrip insertion, this depends on the version of the Google Analytics tracking code you are using:

Asynchronous snippet

<p><input onClick=”javascript: _gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/comment-submission.php']);” name=”submit” type=”submit” id=”submit” tabindex=”5″ value=”Submit Comment” />
<?php comment_id_fields(); ?>

Traditional snippet

<p><input onClick=”javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview(‘/comment-submission.php’);” name=”submit” type=”submit” id=”submit” tabindex=”5″ value=”Submit Comment” />
<?php comment_id_fields(); ?>

Step 2) Create a Goal:

Every time the virtual page that we created in step 1 is fired, it will trigger a conversion and the hit will be available in the Goals report.

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account and then click “Edit” beside your profile. You will need to configure goals for each profile you want the Goal to show up in.
  2. Click on: +Add Goal
  3. Enter the following Goal Information:
  • Goal Name: Blog Comment Submission
  • Active Goal: On
  • Goal Type: URL Destination
  • Match Type: Head Match or Exact Match (in this case both will work)
  • Goal URL: /comment-submission.php

Step 3) Wait a Few Days and Analyze your Goal Performance

Your Goals will not work backwards, so you will need to wait for Goal data to appear in your reports. Now you have the number of comment submissions.

Is creating a goal is enough for our deep analysis? Not really! It will be nice if we can analyze traffic only from this specific segment of our blog visitors. Advanced Segments is the answer!

Step 4) Create an advanced segment

Now let us create an advanced segment that only shows the visits of those who submitted comments.

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account
  2. Advanced Segments > Create a new advanced segment
  3. Select the “Goal Completion” Metric for the Goal that you created in step 2

By applying this segment, now you will have more insight about the  blog commenter’s user experience, their traffic sources, geographical locations, time on site, browsers, screen resolutions, etc.

Apply the same concept to your email subscribers, contact-us requests, social media followers or any other segment of your blog readers you are interested in learning more about.

Happy Analyzing :)

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