Chapter 17. User Defined

Dump a box of multicolored, different-shaped blocks on a table, and at some point someone will come along and separate them by color, shape, or both. It’s human nature. We want to make sense of things, so we place everything in its own compartment.

This tendency to compartmentalize things serves other purposes, too. Think about working in your yard. If you reach down to pull a weed and spot something long and rounded, it’s a pretty good bet you’ll yank your hand back before you’re even certain what you see.

That’s the result of compartmentalization — also called segmentation. We give objects general classifications, like long, rounded, hairy, green, or fat, because that helps us know quickly where that object belongs. And it’s not just objects. Basically everything can be classified as one thing or another.

Visitor segmentation works the same way, except it applies to your web site visitors. By segmenting visitors, first generally and then more specifically, you can determine how effective portions of your site are, what groups of visitors are the most valuable (or spend the most money), and which group of visitors provides the best return on investment.

Segmentation That’s Customized

Google Analytics gives you a good standard selection for visitor segmentation. But as useful as the existing segmentation reports are, you’ll probably want (or need) to segment site visitors in a way that’s very specific to your business. In Google Analytics, the User Defined report, ...

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