June 2, 2010

How to make an ‘advanced segment’ in Google Analytics for long tail organic traffic?

How to find out if  “Google MayDay” affected your rankings?

There have been some algorithmic changes to Google Search the around the 1st of May, hence the name ‘Google MayDay’. These changes could have effected your long tail positions in Google. Matt Cutts reacts to questions about Google MayDay in the video below. If you run Google analytics on your website the easiest way to find out if the changes affected the ranking of your site is to create a ‘advanced segment’. With advanced segments you could make analytics display only data for traffic generated by long tail search phrases (ie. search phrases containing 4 or more words).

How to make an ‘advanced segment’ for long tail organic results?

  1. Log in to your google analytics account
  2. If you have multiple websites configured select the website profile you want to work with
  3. In the left menu choose ‘Advanced segments’ under ‘My customizations’
  4. Click  ‘+  Create new custom segment’ in the top right corner of the content area
  5. Add the ‘dimension’ ‘Medium’ from ‘Traffic Sources’ by dragging it from the left menu. (see: figure 1)
  6. Set the condition to: ‘matches exactly’ ‘organic’ to make sure only organic search results will show up
  7. Add “and” statement
  8. In the  and statement add the ‘dimension’ ‘Keyword’ from ‘Traffic Sources’ by dragging it from the left menu.
  9. Set the ‘condition’ to ‘matches regular expression’
  10. Set the ‘value’ to: ^([a-z]+)([\s+]+)([a-z]+)([\s+]+)([a-z]+)([\s+]+)([a-z]+) This regular expression will match strings that start with 4 words (containing only chatracters a to z) which are seperated by one or more spaces (which can also be a + sign).
  11. Give the segment a name in the field indicated with ‘name segment’ and save it. (Your screen should now look like figure 2)
  12. To start using the segment go to the dashboard and click ‘Advanced Segments: All Visits’ in the top right corner of the content area. Check the new segment and uncheck ‘all visits’ and apply the changes. (see: figure 3)
  13. You are now ready to view your stats with only long tail data.

further reading:

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