Google Analytics Simple Advanced Segmentation: “True” Visitors

Is your visitor traffic “true” traffic?

So you’re getting 500+ visitors per day. But are they really ‘engaged’ with your website? Do they stick around? Are the lookie-loos or serious visitors?

Your basic dashboard results showing all traffic.

Your basic dashboard results showing all traffic.


Here’s how to tell.

Here’s an Advanced Segmentation test in Google Analytics that’s super-simple to setup and gives you a better estimation of your true visitor traffic.

What we start with:

We start with a basic Dashboard Visitor Traffic element, then apply 2 Google Analytics Advanced Segments to show us more.

The 10-second Advanced Segment.

Building an Advanced Segment is easy. Let’s make one!

  1. Access Google Analytics, and go to the Advanced Segments button.

Apply the Time on Site dimension, and put 'greater than 10 seconds'.

    1. Select “Time on Site” as the dimension. Once you drag that in there, enter Time is Greater Than 10 seconds.
    2. Name it something descriptive, like “Time on Site greater than 10 seconds.” It doesn’t have to be fancy, just descriptive so you can find it again.

    1. That’s it! Now, apply the segment to your basic visitor traffic, by going back to the Dashboard and selecting the ‘Advanced Segments – All Visits dropdown box. Find your 10 Second segment, and apply.
    2. Now you’ll see two lines instead of one. The new (non-blue) line will be your traffic that lasted longer than 10 seconds on your website. Neat, huh?

Dashboard showing 10 second Advanced Segment applied.

  1. Want to apply the Advanced Segment quickly? Use this quick link to apply the segment automagically! (you should be logged into Google Analytics before you do!)

The 2-minute or 5 pageview Advanced Segment.

The 2-minute/5 pageview Advanced Segment works the same way, but you’ll be apply an “OR” statement to this segment, to select visitors that have spend either more than 2 minutes, OR have visited 5 pages, before leaving your website.

    1. Again, go into your Advanced Segments. You’re going to apply two dimensions, this time.
    2. Follow the image below, and apply both the Time on Site > 120 (seconds, or 2 minutes), and with an OR statement between them, Pageviews > 4 (which means it will capture 5 or great page view visitors…

Time on Site > 120 (2 minutes in seconds), OR Pageviews > 4 (for 5 or more page views).

    1. Again, apply the segment to your Dashboard view, and voila! Three lines.

The Dashboard view showing both segments applied.

  1. And here’s your shortcut to making the magic happen.

Note how different the visitor traffic can be.

Note that traffic on the Advanced Segments is considerably less. Time on Site > 10 seconds can often be only 50% of the traffic, and Time on Site > 2 minutes OR 5 Pageviews less than 25% of your ‘total’ traffic.

A breakdown of 'true traffic' – your Advanced Segments are showing you that not all traffic is 'engaged'.

This is not necessarily cause for alarm – every site will have lookie-loos. Engagement doesn’t happen for all visitors.

But now that you have these two fundamental Advanced Segments, you can apply them to various standard Google Analytics reports, to determine which many things. Play play play! – G.

Greg Cox

Analytics Geek. Gregory likes Motorcycles, Cooking, and Sciencey stuff.

1 Comment Added

Join Discusion
  1. gregoryc March 4, 2011 | Reply
    You got it. Simple, huh? - G.

Leave a reply