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Visitor Reports – User Defined

The User Defined report in Google Analytics is a custom segmentation feature allowing you to expand the standard scope of analytics. With this report you can, as the name implies, define your own visitor segments and then compare those segments with each other. This feature requires adding a bit of code to your site.  If you’re using ga.js, you’ll simply call the _setVar method of your pageTracker to set this variable. There are numerous situations where it could be beneficial to “bucketize” your visitors based on your specific needs.

One useful example would be to track registered members versus other visitors. If your site has an option to register as a member you may want to see what registered member visitors are doing compared to those that browse as an unregistered guest. After setting your setvar to segment members you can access the User Defined reports under the Visitors section on the left of your Google Analytics screen. Each segment you set up will show in this report for comparison.

This example is just one of the many situations where setting up visitor segments can be valuable. Language preferences, repeat buyers, and testing purposes are just some of the other “buckets” you might find useful for segmenting and analyzing your visitors.

One side note, this will not apply to the current session, but will set the cookie during the session where you call setVar.  Then, any session after that will reflect the segment.  That makes this particularly good for repeat buyers.  Set the setVar on the thank you page and the next time they come to your site they’re identified as a “repeat buyer” segment.

Up Next: Traffic Sources – Overview


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