Newbie SEO: 6 GA advanced segments for SEO | Cardinal Path Blog
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Newbie SEO: 6 GA advanced segments for SEO

Aggregate data is a sin, they say. Segmentation is crucial to finding useful information about your users, and ao this week I hit up our SEO team for advice on what custom segments they use. Alex T., Ani L. and myself provided the following 6 metrics that you can use to take a closer look at what your visitors are doing on your site.

Starting from the top:

1. Organic traffic that completes a goal

You can see what your goal conversions are like for organic traffic quite easily. But what if you’re interested in knowing the behaviors of visitors who are completing goals? For instance, what if you want to see the reverse goal pathway of organic traffic? Or how converting organic traffic is making it through?

The following takes all organic traffic and kicks out anyone who didn’t complete a goal:

2. Organic branded/non-branded traffic

I mentioned the brand-to-nobrand keyword ratio in part one of the Newbie SEO series. Having a large percentage of visitors driven to your site by brand keywords instead of by non-brand keywords means that your site is not functioning as a means of discovery: it is not providing for users who don’t know about you or haven’t thought about using you.

Creating this custom segment is pretty easy:

3. Paid non-branded traffic

We’re talking about SEO, why would we look at paid traffic?

Looking at the efficiency of paid non-branded keywords can provide a lot of interesting data for your SEO campaign. Apply this segment to past PPC data to find keywords that performed well (converting well or bringing in lots of traffic). If you’ve got some real winners in there, perhaps it behooves you to focus some SEO love on those keywords.

This one is a little more difficult. You may want to start by clicking “manage custom segments”, opening the “default segments” drop down, and copying paid Search Traffic

From here add your branded keywords with a “does not contain” condition. Below is a LOOOOONG image illustrating what this should look like.

4. Direct traffic

Again, direct traffic seems an odd source for insights about SEO.

However, organic traffic can be affected by a host of different factors, from seasonal traffic to related news items (duct tape after 9/11 anyone?). Creating a report, then applying this metric, apply the organic traffic segment, then comparing over time should give you an idea about how your organic traffic is trending against other traffic forms.

Find that in the fall you get a nice rise in organic traffic? Might not be your efforts if overall traffic is increasing as well. Ditto for decreasing traffic.

This is maybe the easiest metric to create. So easy I am not going to provide a picture.

source matches exactly (direct)

That’s it.

5. By Language, but not country.

Those who’ve read Ani’s fantastic Web Analytics and Interneational SEO know that segmenting by country alone won’t always give you the right data. People coming to your Spanish site might actually be from countries other than Spain, and may have language habits specific to their culture. To find out about these visitors, try the following

6. People coming from Image search:

Ani’s own blog, Dynamical.biz, had a great post a few day’s ago on tracking image search traffic. In it, he shows that you can track image search visitors with a fairly simple regular expression applied to a referral path. The following does it:

If you want the regular expression, it’s:
^(/imgres|/images/view|/images/search)

And there you have it: 6 quick and easy ways to analyze different types of search oriented traffic. Apply them to whatever reports you want and start looking at how these various kinds of users are affecting your goals.

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