Here’s a quick Google Analytics tip that I’ve recently found very useful. It might be 101, but I’ve been known to overcomplicate things in Google Analytics to the point that I often overlook the easy tips. I’m a huge fan of the relatively new advanced segments feature, and creating your own custom segments can really drill down your data nearly anyway you want. But don’t overlook the default segments in there as well, there are some great treasures.
First things first:
- Use Firefox. Lots of great tools to pimp out your Google Analytics accounts.
- Install Greasmonkey.
- Add the GARE script from ROI Revolution. It has some cool features. If you want to play around with it, start at their site. I’m not going to go everything here. What we really want is the ability to deselect that pesky “All Visitors” while looking at more than 2 advanced segments.
Once you have that done, you’re Google Analytics account will have a spiffy little logo at the top – this will let you know you did the above steps properly.
Alright, so here’s my favorite way to use those default segments. Let’s say you have an unusual traffic pattern and need to figure out what caused it.
So…this is easy as pie really.
Go to your advanced segments drop down menu, and select all relevant sources. Typically this will be Paid Traffic, Search Traffic, Referral Traffic and Direct Traffic. Notice in the picture that even though All Visits is highlighted in orange, it’s no longer checked – so it won’t show up in this next report.
And then your normal visits graph will look like this instead:
And Voila! clear as day, your direct traffic is the culprit. From there you can look into what location those visitors were coming from, time of day, whatever you may need to help understand why you saw such a large spike, especially if you weren’t expecting it.