Examples of planned and retroactive segmentation are provided, which helps to illustrate the difference between the two methods.
- Broadly speaking, in web analytics, we can set up two types of segmentation; planned or retroactive segmentation. For both of these methods, you should try to use a consultative approach. Ask the stakeholders what they want from the data and then design the segmentation experience that will solve their needs. You can set up view or segments that are relevant for each department or individual. Let's explore this in more depth with some tips on exposing the segment data with analytics.
Planned segmentation will occur if you know ahead of time which segments of data needs to be monitored. For example, if you are the paid advertising manager for US traffic, you would not be interested in monitoring organic traffic in Europe. And this is where planned segmentation can really save a lot of time, especially for larger organizations. So what we see here, is the standard segmentation option that's available in Google and whilst that is great, in this particular case we're going to look for a different solution.
So instead, what we're going to do is to visit the admin area of our website. Now that is the analytic's view and I'm in the admin tab and I will head over to filters. And within filters, I'm going to create a new view, so I will set up the criteria based on the segment that we would like to monitor and give it a name, and once we've given it a name we can click on save. The benefit of doing this is every time that we log back in, this will automatically be set up and we don't have to create new segments every time.
Of course the only drawback of using this method is that you cannot combine it with the use of multichannel segment, which is something that we're going to discuss later. Now retroactive segmentation is used when there is something that we just thought of, like a new idea or management question. And it's something that happened in the business that we want to know more about. So we didn't really plan on setting up any filters ahead of time. In this case, we're going to use Google's standard segmentation function and this is where we're going to evaluate the default segments that are available.
So I would typically just click on add a new segment, and once I'm in this area where Google gives us the standard options, we will scroll through them and see if they're sufficient options available. If not, I can click on add segment and I can add more specific information here and create the custom segment according to our requirements. Now once that is done I can just give it a name and click on save and the segment will be applied immediately for retroactive monitoring.
Now just another option here, that we can look at, is if we add a new segment, let's just click on add new segment, and we click on custom, we can click on import from gallery. Now here in the gallery, Google will provide us with segments that other people have created before, specifically for their business and we can try out these segments on our own data to see whether it's efficient.
Now if we start out broadly with retroactive testing, and we have no idea of what segments we will find for a new business that we're working with, then behavioral flow can also be a good starting point. Let me explain why. If we scroll down to behavior, and now we click on behavior to open that up, and we click on behavioral flow. It now provides us with a few different options so if we want to see which country our users originated from, we can select users, and then scroll down and we can click on country.
So now we are presented with a broad overview of the country's segments that we can choose to evaluate further. Equally, if you want to know which are the main sources of traffic that you can analyze further, you can look at it differently. Select the drop down list, click here on acquisition, so we would have to scroll up, select acquisition, and click on source. And now we will see the main sources responsible for our traffic, which we can of course evaluate as a segment.
So as you can see now, there are more than one way in which we can achieve segmentation in analytics. Throughout the course, we're going to look at a couple of different approaches.
- The difference between planned and retroactive segmentation
- Setting up segments for testing in Google Analytics
- Using demographic segmentation to plan future advertising
- Testing the popularity of website content with behavioral segmentation
- How analytics reveal social segments
- Testing segment conversion rate and performance
- Achieving segmentation with conversion segments within multichannel funnels
- The differences between multivariate and A/B testing
- Creating a digital marketing report