How to use Segmentation & A/B Testing in Google Analytics to Generate Better Results

If you’re involved with conversion rate optimization, you’re probably familiar with the term “A/B testing.” This is basically a test to compare the performance of two versions (A and B) of a web page. A/B testing is a highly effective method used by marketers to increase website conversion rates. You could test multiple designs and select the one that garners the most customer conversions.

You can read how to conduct A/B testing using Google Analytics in my previous post. Now I’m going to talk about how segmentation in Google Analytics can get you better results. The purpose of this detailed guide is to show you how to make effective improvements to your website and gain more conversions. First, let me explain to you what segmentation in Google Analytics is and how it will put your goals within reach.

What Is Segmentation In Google Analytics?

In the traditional world of marketing, customers are divided into various segmentsbased on shared characteristics. Similarly, Google Analytics allows you to group your website visitors into different segments based on their common qualities and needs. By default, the Google search engine collects a wide variety of user characteristics, including screen sizes, Internet browsers, referring sites, and types of pages viewed. You can then use these characteristics to segment your visitors and run an accurate A/B test.

Why Do We Need Segmentation?

Using segmentation in Google Analytics offers a multitude of benefits for optimizing your website’s conversion rate. The main benefits are as follows:

  1. Many people make the mistake of focusing on the wrong elements when running an A/B test. Using segmentation in Google Analytics, you can concentrate on pages with the most traffic or those that yield the most conversions. The sequencing option in your segmentation enables you to find out which pages were visited by those who made a purchase. Therefore, you’ll gain a better understanding on which pages and elements you should prioritize for your A/B tests.
  2. Personalization is an important trend in Internet marketing. Segmentation allows you to deliver personalized content to your visitors based on their characteristics. With the help of segmentation in Google Analytics, you can create individualized email marketing campaigns and unique special offers based on their needs or buying habits.
  3. Since segmentation lets you see which pages receive the most views by paying customers, this helps you direct your marketing in a conscious manner. You’ll be able to shape your future campaigns based on insights you get from the data. For instance, you can determine the channels that bring in the maximum number of high-value users. Then you can make a wise decision about where to focus your latest campaign.

How To Apply Segmentation

To use segmentation in Google Analytics, you simply need to click on the “Reporting” tab and begin with any report. In the image below, you can see there are several different segments to choose from. Pick whichever one and click the “Test” button. Now you’ll be able to find out the percentage of users and sessions matching the particular segment filters.

When you click on “New Segment,” you can create your own segment with filters of your choosing. Currently, Google Analytics allows you to have up to 1,000 segments per account but no more than 100 segments for any single view. Review the image below to see the options for different categories you can use to configure the filters for each segment. After creating a new segment, click on “Preview” to determine how the current report is affected by this particular segment.

Let’s take a look at an example to help you gain a better understanding of segmentation in Google Analytics. The following image shows how enabling the segmentation of traffic source (referral vs. organic) brings about a change in the traffic report. It shows that the referral traffic is much higher than organic traffic.

Notice that actual conversions are driven by organic traffic despite there being a higher quantity of referral traffic going though. The below image shows that the conversion rate from organic traffic is 14.1% higher than that from referral traffic. This is an excellent example of how segmentation in Google Analytics can aid you in analyzing your visitors better.

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