Focus on Target Segments to Improve Marketing Performance

As I mentioned in my last post, over the next month, I will be illustrating ways to use the updated segments tool in Google Analytics (GA). My first example focuses on studying a very specific target market to inform and improve your online marketing efforts.

For every business, there are ideal customers. These are the people who fall within your target market, have great brand loyalty, who are likely to make repeat purchases. Your business likely wants to acquire and keep as many of these as possible.

To do that, it’s important to ensure that their experience on your website is a simple and enjoyable one.  Thanks to GA’s new segments tool, we can examine the site behaviors of this segment and their sources.

GA’s segments tool offers the ability to build your own custom segments using a variety of dimensions:

  • Demographics
  • Technology
  • Behavior
  • Date of First Visit
  • Traffic Sources

To illustrate how to use this tool, I’m going to build a target market segment for a business that sells crafting products. Their target market is females between the ages of 25 and 54. To find out the details of how my target market interacts with my site and where they come from, I need to create a custom segment to apply to my reports in GA.

l will start by choosing “Create New Segment” in the segments tool.

create new segment

Now I can begin to create my segment. Because I’m examining my target segment, I chose the following attributes within the Demographics section:

  • Ages 25 – 54
  • Female
  • Location = Americas (because my business is only shipping within the U.S. right now)

demographic settings in segments


Next, I want to filter out any visitors who did not complete a purchase because I only want to focus on visitors that are interested enough in my brand, that they have purchased something. I like people who spend money. I want more of them.

To do this, I navigate to the Behavior section of the segments tool. Here, I segment for users who have made one or more transactions.

Made one or more purchases


Thanks to Google’s well-organized analytics tool, a summary of my segment is displayed to the right of the screen. Look!

Target Segment Summary

Here is the final version of my segment. I recommend that you import the segment into your analytics and play around with it. Configure it for your own target segment.

Now that you have this target segment to apply to your reports, what should you do?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Examine the top ten Sources people in this group come from. Use that information to inform your email/advertising/social/link building campaigns. If a large percentage of this group comes from Facebook, it would behoove you to invest more time / $$ in that channel.
  • Look at Landing Page performance for these visitors. Find out if they have a mutual, initial interest. Is there a call-to-action on those pages that seems to be performing well? Use that information to improve other landing pages.
  • Google is rolling out more demographic data. Look at the interests and categories this group has an affinity for. This could inform your partnerships/sponsorships/media buying initiatives.
  • Examine the Behavior Flow. What can you do to direct other site visitors through a similar flow to encourage conversion?
  • Finally, look at Paid and Organic search terms. While Organic will be somewhat limited, understanding the search phrases that brought these visitors to your site can assist in your paid search and content marketing efforts.


What other insight will you be looking for when exploring the site behaviors of your target segment?