January 23, 2018
What are segments and data segmentation?
Segmentation is a method to obtain a selected portion of your analytics data rather than the all of your aggregated data. It is used to create groups of visitors from different locations, specific device users, or visitors who interact with your website / application in a particular way. You can generate reports for selected visitors according to custom criteria.
Segments can be defined by selecting various parameters that are joined by logic operators such as AND and OR. For example, a segment could encompass:
- visitors who do not use a certain web browser
- visitors coming from campaigns and a certain country
- visitors who spent more than one minute on the website and originated from Facebook
- visitors who performed at least one internal search
- Visitors coming from AdWords campaign, located in Germany, using German language.
To define a segment, click on the segment drop down menu at the top of the page, followed by the Add new segment button. The New segment form will be displayed.
The segmentation form consists of the following elements:
- currently selected segment dropdown, attribution tree and search option (1)
- name of the segment (2)
- top-bar letting you choose if you want your segments to deliver pre-processed data or processed data in real time (default setting) (3)
- segment criteria definition block (4)
- saving and deleting option (5)
To remove a segment you need to open the segment editor and click Delete in the bottom right corner.
Switching between segments
To switch from one segment to another, click the segment selector and select the desired segment of visits. To generate reports for unsegmented website traffic, choose All visits.
Only a user with admin status can share segments with other users with access to the website. Shared segments are visible to other users in the segment menu within the Shared with you section.
Exporting Email Reports for a particular segment
Email Reports are a great way to share reports with your team, executives or clients. You can generate Email Reports for a segment of your choice or for all visitors.
Click your username, in the top right corner, and go to the Analytics Settings (1) of your account and choose Email Reports (2) in a side menu. Click Create and Schedule a report (3).
You will see an Email Report creator. You can determine description, format, frequency and other options. This is where you can choose a segment for which you want to create the report.
Comparing segments with the Comparison Dashboard feature
For clear data visualisation, we strongly recommend using the Comparison Dashboard feature to compare performance across segments. After installing the Comparison Dashboard (available for all Piwik PRO users), refer to the Comparison -> Compare Segments menu and choose two or three segments you’d like to compare.
With the Funnel Analytics feature you can also compare funnels for each segment. To do so, go to the Compare Segments section and select a Funnel in the menu bar.
Custom segmentation in the API
In Piwik PRO you can manage custom segments using the following API methods:
- SegmentEditor.get – Returns a single stored segment by ID
- SegmentEditor.getAll – Returns all stored segments
- SegmentEditor.add – Adds a new stored segment Query Parameters:
- SegmentEditor.update – Modifies an existing stored segment
- SegmentEditor.delete – Deletes a custom segment
- API.getSuggestedValuesForSegment – Returns a set of values for a particular segment criteria (such as location and device, etc.)
Examples of Piwik PRO segments
Your website is not translated into German and your products are not popular in German-speaking countries. Therefore, when running a campaign you decide not to target those locations.
Segment: Visitors located in Europe, but from countries other than Germany who have converted at least 1 goal. To make this work, a marketer needs to use a tagged URL which may look like this:
2. You are a local retailer selling furniture. You’d like to find out how many visitors come from search engines in your city.
Segment: Visits from Poland, Wrocław, who entered your website through a search engine as organic traffic.
3. You’re trying to optimize your ecommerce store so more users make a purchase. You’re looking for users who added a product to their cart, but didn’t make it to the checkout.
Segment: Visitors who added a product to their carts (goal number 1), but didn’t convert to become buying customers (goal 2).
When should you use segmentation instead of aggregated data?
Aggregated data gives you a very brief overview of your website performance. You cannot make any decisions based solely on unsegmented reports, and you should always look for the right context. With segmentation you can understand which user groups are the most valuable to your business and where you should allocate your marketing spend.
How many segments can I create in Piwik PRO?
You can create an unlimited number of segments. Please keep in mind that a larger number of segments may overload your server, reduce your platform’s performance and extend the archiving process.
Should I test segmentation on a Staging Server?
You should test your segmentation to ensure that the defined segments meet your requirements. Before any production scripts can start calculating segments for larger volumes of data, you need to confirm that the defined segment delivers exactly the results you expect.
- Piwik PRO demo: Getting started with Piwik PRO Analytics
- Blog post: ABC of segmentation in Piwik PRO
- Blog post: 3 Simple Steps for Getting More Users to the Finish Line With the Power of Custom Segmentation
- Product page: Advanced segmentation