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Measuring Web Traffic — A Quest for Quality

Chances are you have Google Analytics or a similar program set up to track your website’s traffic. Google makes it incredibly easy to measure your visitors and other basic metrics from the main dashboard, but are those few basic measurements enough?

I’ve found that setting up custom segments is one way to dig a bit deeper and find information that is more usable for our business. A custom segment is your chance to create a slice of data that is important to you and your goals. One of my favorites is creating a segment for visitors that visited at least three pages of your site. By weeding out the one- and two-page viewers, you are focusing on the people that really matter to you.

To create this custom segment in Google Analytics, click the Custom Segments link in the left hand sidebar and click Create New Custom Segment. From there you will see a screen like this where you can drag your desired metric(s) and set your conditions for the segment.

 
Once you apply this segment to your report, you will be able to compare the activity of your quality visitors (3 or more pages viewed) to the activity of all visitors. In the table below you can see how 27.5% of Google visitors were high quality visitors (I labeled them Non-Flirts). In contrast, 36.64% of direct traffic visitors were high quality. Running down your list of traffic sources in this way will give you an idea of how your best visitors are finding you.

 
Another great way to use this segment is see how your higher quality visitors are entering your site. As you can see below, 42.8% of visitors entering through the home page are high quality (not bad!). However, the second entrance page you see is an article that gets great search engine traffic. In contrast to the home page very few of the visitors take the time to view the rest of the site, meaning it’s a relatively worse source of traffic.

 
Other things to look at are:

  • What locations are your higher quality visitors from?
  • What keywords are they searching on compared to the rest?
  • Where do they spend the most time on your site?

For more detailed information on custom segmentation, check out Avinash Kaushik’s blog, which happens to be a sensational source of analytics knowledge.

Do you have any favorite custom segments? Please share them in the comments below!

 

Author: Sean McVey

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