Use Advanced Segments to Get Quick-and-Dirty Visit Numbers


When I’m looking for insights about a website, I often have a laundry list of ideas of things that might be interesting, but only if they happen to pan out. There are lots of false starts and dead ends.

That’s why it’s nice to have a way to quickly get a rough notion about whether certain kinds of visits are significant. The “Test Segment” button that appears when you’re creating Advanced Segments can help you out here.


You can try different criteria and use the Test Segment button to get the number of visits that match — all without actually creating the segments. Play around with the criteria until you get one that’s interesting, and then you’ll probably want to give the segment a meaningful name and save it. But you can cut down time creating a lot of advanced segments that turn out to be not so useful by playing with the Test Segment feature.

Jonathan Weber is our Data Evangelist, focusing on bringing the strategic value of data analysis to our customers. He spreads the principles of analytics through our training seminars and even wrote a book on Google Analytics & Tag Manager. Before he caught the analytics bug, he worked in information architecture. Away from the computer, you can find him as a flower farmer and plant geek.

  • When I try to size the number of visits from a campaign using Advanced Segmentation I don’t get any results (“segment name is empty”) even though I do get data in the Campaign Report. Any idea why this might be?

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