Google Analytics Segmentation – How to understand the TRUE value of your online marketing

Google Analytics Segmentation – How to understand the TRUE value of your online marketing
KIEV, UKRAINE - AUGUST 22, 2015:Collection of popular social media logos printed on paper:Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Skype, YouTube, Linkedin and others on wooden background

When judging the progress of any digital marketing campaign it’s crucial to understand which channels are responsible for sales and conversions and to what degree. This not only keeps you fully informed but prevents knee jerk reactions based on In particularly i’m talking about the following channels:

  • Organic Search Traffic
  • Paid Traffic
  • Direct Traffic
  • Referral Traffic
  • Social Traffic

How many times have you, when looking at Google Analytics segmented your report to highlight each channel? (these days it’s easy too – just go to the Acquisition overview).

Over the years i’ve found many a website owner not segment their traffic at all. Why is this a problem?

You need to understand which areas you’re strong in and which you are weak in and if you’re currently running an SEO campaign you need to understand if it’s working.


Here’s an example:


Google Analytics Segmentaiton



Conversions are up 14.76%


Great, conversions are up but which channel is responsible for this increase. By segmenting traffic it’s easy to see:

  • Organic Traffic is UP 48.72%
  • Referral Traffic is DOWN 36.92%
  • Direct Traffic is DOWN 32.18%

Segmenting traffic is easy, just click the “add segment” button above the Google Analytics graph and choose the channel you want to explore.



Segment Google Analytics Traffic



What can we learn from this:

If we’re judging SEO progress here, just looking at the overall figure suggests overall, conversions are up 14.76% but in actual fact, organic traffic is up by nearly 50% so you’re not getting a true indication of your SEO campaign performance unless you segment your data.

Also, it shows that Direct and Referral traffic are suffering, if these we’re on par with the previous period, overall conversions would be up significantly.

So in this example, the Direct and Referral traffic are holding back sales, whilst organic traffic is bringing home the bacon better than ever. Knowing this means you can address this issue and understand that your SEO efforts are yielding returns but in order to grow to your full potential you must ensure you understand where your sales / conversions are coming from and which channels need to pick up the slack and which don’t.


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