Segments are groups of users defined by a set of criteria, like a shared property or sequence of events. Segments will help you de-mistify your user data. Analyzing a firehose of website data without segmenting is tough, and might lead to incorrect assumptions. By creating segments, you can use analytical techniques that are specific to that subset of users. For example, if you’re analyzing users that originated from Paid Search, you can get more specific data about bounce rate than if you analyzed all user data at once.
When you define a Segment, you can use it to filter data in your Explorations. You can also use Segments to target users on Google Ads.
You can create segments from the Exploration builder by clicking the +. From there, you’ll have the option to use a pre-set template or create your own Segment based on your preferences.
You can create User Segments, Session Segments, and Event Segments. After you create your Segment, you can layer additional dimensions and metrics in the Explorations builder to further refine your report.
Visualize segments over time
Another benefit of Segments is that they allow you to view a particular user group and its performance over time. For example, if you recently modified your bidding strategy in Google Ads, you can view Paid Traffic before and after the change was made. Additionally, this allows you to identify potential traffic problems. If a Segment’s conversion performance suddenly drops, you’ll know immediately and can begin to triage the issue.
Segments are dynamic
Users qualify for a Segment based on the specified conditions. This doesn’t ensure that that user will always be in the Segment.
For example, assume the condition of the cohort is performing a “Video Play” event in the last 30 days. If a user plays a song once in thirty days, they will enter the Segment. If that user doesn’t listen to another song at the 30 day mark, however, then they will exit the cohort as they no longer meet the qualifying condition of having performed a “Video Play” event in the last 30 days.
Segments are a slice of time
When you create an Exploration with a Segment, GA4 returns the group of users that meet the criteria for that slice of time. This is important because using a data selector will not show you the users in the segment during the date selection. Rather, it will analyze the users currently in the Segment.
Segments vs. Audiences
Segments can not be used in standard reports. Audiences can be used in standard reports by including them in Comparison. The audience is not retroactive, which means the Audience starts to accumulate users from the moment you build it.