Take a minute to consider how difficult optimization would be if we didn’t have tools to receive analytics. Knowing how to use results from analytics to your advantage can be crucial. But first, you have to learn about the different techniques that are available to you, like filters and segments.
Separating Filters and Segments in Analytics
If you’re utilizing Google Analytics, (or any other analysis tool really), there are ways to organize your results a little better. You can essentially select the data you want to be shown, by using filters and segments.
What Are Filters?
On Google Analytics, a filter will change how data is collected. Filters are exactly how they sound. These are used to include or exclude certain data. Filters are very literal, in the fact that you can make them do exactly what you want them to do. Once you begin to start adding filters, you are telling Google Analytics what you want to see in your results in the future.
Important Things to Know About Filters
If you want to begin using filters with Google Analytics, it is important to keep these things in mind.
- Filters are unable to work for previous data and are used solely for future data.
- Any filters used should be arranged in the correct order, (they are often processed in order).
- There are several types of filters you may use, including: Exclude Internal IP, Include Internal IP, Include Specific Sub domain, Search and Replace, etc.
- You can opt to see only organic traffic by creating a filter, and setting it to “Organic Only” view.
- Analytics has a “Test View” which allows you to test a filter before applying it permanently.
- Filters are typically suited for long-term uses, as they permanently change your data results.
What Are Segments?
If you want to isolate a particular set of users, applying segments to your analytics will do the trick. Segments are typically based on factors like behavior, geography, and even certain conversions. Unlike filters, segments allow you to look retroactively, and not only forwardly at results. Instead of seeing future analytics, segments apply to any and all data you have.
Important Things to Know About Segments
Once you’re comfortable with using segments, it is time to dig a little deeper into the most important aspects.
- Segments isolate certain groups of users.
- They have what are called “subsets” to help you classify data that is being pulled from your website.
- Segments may be able to help with competitive intelligence, by finding changes in what is being clicked on or purchased. In other words, may be time to push a new promotion.
- Once you apply a segment, it stays on your report, until its removal.
- You can have up to, but not exceed, four segments at any given time on your reports.
- Segments that are user-based, have a date range of only 90 days, grabbing the first 1000 sessions for each user. After that time, it may be an indication of non-human traffic.
Proper Use of Filters and Segments
Although filters and segments can seem a bit intimidating when finally applying them to your analytics, you can reach out for extra help.
At Tampa SEO Training Academy, we offer SEO Training Workshops to go over all the essential SEO information you need to succeed online. When enrolled and participating in one of our workshops, you’ll gain plenty of information. These workshops even include a brief overview of analytics!
Steve Scott is the CEO & Director of Training at the Tampa SEO Training Academy. He has taught SEO skills to people from around the world and currently offers his hands-on search engine optimization training workshops in Tampa to individuals and businesses of all sizes. Corporate SEO training classes and consulting are also available.