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.
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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.