[ UPDATED: I’ve added some more information re: filtering direct and referral traffic. ]
This is a quick post. The goal is to help all you GA users that read Avinash’s most recent post about measuring success for non-e-commerce sites. Avinash lays out three recommendations including:
3. Segment the data! For Visitor Loyalty or Length of Visit what are the most important acquisition sources? What are the keywords that drive valuable segments of traffic to the website? As you look at longer time periods what pieces of content do people with longer visits consume? And so on and so forth. Segmentation is key to insights that will drive action.
Specifically, Avinash recommends that you segment the following reports in GA (or whatever tool you use):
- Visitor Loyalty
- Visitor Recency
- Length of Visit
- Depth of Visit
However, if you’re a GA user you can NOT segment these reports from the reporting interface. The only way to segment the Visitor Loyalty reports is via filters and profiles.
When you apply a filter to a profile it segments the data during processing. Here’s an example. Let’s say you add an include filter to a profile. Here’s the filter:
This filter only includes data that comes from the cpc or ppc medium (paid search). So all of the reports in the profile only contain data from paid search campaigns. By using the filter you’ve segmented the data.
Let’s take this one step further. We’ve just filtered the data by the paid search medium. Now we want to further segment by each search engine (i.e. Yahoo!, MSN, Google). We could create a second filter based on the campaign source:
Now the data in this profile, and the Visitor Loyalty reports, is specific to paid search activities from Google. We’ve successfully implemented Avinash’s recommendation.
You can adjust these filters (and thus the segmentation) based on the values of Campaign Medium and Campaign Source. To create a profile with only email traffic change the medium filter above so the filter pattern is ‘email’.
Remember, the values of Campaign Medium and Campaign Source can have a default value (like organic, referral or direct) or a set value that comes from the utm_medium and utm_source parameters used in link tagging. You can read more about link tagging in a previous post I wrote.
You can always find the values for Campaign Medium and Campaign Source in the Traffic Sources > All Traffic Sources report, just segment the report using the Medium or the Source.
Here are the top 10 traffic sources for Analytics Talk:
If I want to create a profile for traffic from the Official GA blog I would use an include filter, based on Campaign Source, with ‘analytics\.blogspot\.com’ as the filter pattern. Remember, the filter pattern is a regular expression!
To filter direct traffic you should set the Filter Field to Campaign Source and the pattern to ‘\(direct\)’. For referral traffic, set the Campaign Medium to ‘^referral$’.
Is this an intuitive approach to segmentation? Not really. But it works perfectly. When you set up accounts create profiles for major acquisition mediums and sources to gain the insight you need to judge success.