Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool – especially if you look beyond the standard reports. You can even use Google Analytics to gauge your social media efforts, and here are 4 advanced segments that you can create in GA to do just that.

We will be creating advanced segments to look at the following:

1. Blog and Forum Visits
2. Traffic from Social Media Sites
3. Traffic from Branded Organic Search
4. Traffic from Email

Custom Advanced Segments

In order to create a custom segment, first click on "All Visits" next to Advanced Segments.

Advanced Segments - All Visits

Then click on "Create a new advanced segment" on the left.

Advanced Segments - Create New

Once segments have been created, they can be selected by clicking the Advanced Segments dropdown menu. To create or modify an advanced segment, follow the instructions below.

1. Blog and Forum Visits

Use the Page dimension with a value that is unique to the blog. This may be blog.domain.com, domain.com/blog, or other. Name the segment "Blog Visits" and click "Create Segment".

The same steps can be applied for viewing Forum visits, by replacing the value with forum.domain.com or domain.com/forum.

Here is an example for a blog.

Blog Visits Segment

2. Traffic from Social Media Sites

Use the Source dimension with a regular expression (regex) value of:

facebook|twitter|myspace|linkedin|stumbleupon|digg|youtube|flickr

Additional sites may need to be added here based on your website's niche, and the emergence of new social media sites. You can test for additional sites using this regex as a filter in the Referring Sites report.

Name the segment "Traffic from Social Media Sites" and click "Create Segment".

Social Media Sites Segment

3. Traffic from Branded Organic Search

Two statements are used for this segment, joined by an "and" statement.

For the first statement, use the Medium dimension with a value of organic.

For the second statement, use the Keyword dimension with a regular expression that matches branded terms.

Try to create a regex that matches as many terms that should be counted as branded (including misspells), without including truly non-branded searches. You can test the regular expression (regex) as a filter in the Keywords report.

Name the segment "Traffic from Branded Organic Search" and click "Create Segment".

Below is a simple regex for computer maker Dell. It will match its branded term "dell", as well as the misspells "dall" and dill".

Branded Organic Search Segment

4. Traffic from Email

Use the Source dimension with a regular expression value of:

mail.(google|yahoo|live|aol|comcast|earthlink)

You can test for additional email services using this regex as a filter in the Referring Sites report.

Name the segment "Traffic from Email" and click "Create Segment".

Email Segment

Benefits of Using Advanced Segments

  • They can be applied to historical data, to points in time when the segment hadn't been created yet.
  • They can be applied to almost any report within Google Analytics.
  • After they are created, they are saved within the profile and can be quickly accessed at any time.
  • They are very flexible and easy to use.
Shockley Au

Shockley is an experienced digital marketing consultant, helping businesses succeed online through SEM/PPC, SEO, Social Media, and Web Analytics. He is certified in Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Bing Ads, and also blogs at State of Digital. Follow him on Twitter @ShockleyAu.

Shockley Au

You May Also Like

7 Responses to “4 Advanced Segments For Tracking Social Media in Google Analytics”

  1. FIona says:

    This is a useful post thanks Shockley. But do you know if there's a way yet of using Google Analytics to measure traffic on your Facebook page?

  2. Shockley Au says:

    @Fiona: You're very welcome. There used to be a work-around to track visits to a page's Wall by adding a StaticFBML "box" to the sidebar. Unfortunately, the boxes feature has been removed so it's no longer an option.

    Facebook is continually improving its own analytics product, although integration with GA would be ideal.

  3. mvarga says:

    Hi Shockley,

    do you have any suggestions how do you measure visits from Facebook from specific geolocation with demographic data?

  4. Shockley Au says:

    @mvarga: You can create a segment that just looks at traffic from Facebook, and then look at the Map Overlay report under the Visitors section. You won't see any demographic data in GA, but Facebook Insights will break it down for your page's fans.

  5. Eric says:

    How do you capture a keyword phrase in regex? Like, boston luxury hotels. Do you type in boston luxury hotels? Or boston/ luxury/ hotels

  6. Shockley Au says:

    @Eric: You can create a segment that combines three "and" statements. Each statement would be a regex for each of the words "boston", "luxury", and "hotels".

  7. [...] from Blogs", "Social Media", or "Email Campaigns". (Link: 4 Good Social Media Segment ideas) By using segments, you can drill into the analytics for just that portion of traffic. A further [...]