In this post, we’re going to explore the features of the Segment Overlap report that is available with App + Web properties. App + Web tracking has a higher focus on users and events than sessions and hits so Segment Overlap becomes an interesting dashboard to explore.
There is definitely a learning curve as to how data is structured in App + Web. We suggest you read up on the differences between App + Web and Universal analytics to better understand and utilise the new type of tracking in your Segment Overlap report.
Those of you with Google Analytics 360 might recognise the Segment Overlap report - the UX is mostly consistent. If you haven’t used it before, it does exactly what it says on the box... shows the overlap between different audience segments. It also enables you to build specifically targeted audiences for your marketing.
There is a left-hand panel showing segments, dimensions and metrics with a drag and drop functionality. You can drag up to three audience segments into the comparison section to see if users fall into both / all three groups in the form of a venn diagram.
There is a table at the bottom with the active user count against each unique combination of the segments. E.g. Segment A only, Segment A + Segment B, Segment A + B + C etc. When you drag in a metric, you’ll see the data as a column next to Active Users and if you drag in a dimension, you will see rows within each of the segments overlaps to further cut the data.
When you add quality metrics such as engaged sessions or conversion rate, you will be able to find the intersection which will offer the greatest value to your marketing. You could also examine cross-category browsing behaviours to inform which products to feature in product recommendations. In the example below, you can see users who browsed both Category A and Category B had a significantly higher conversion rate than those who only viewed one or the other and there was no overlap with Category C.
It is worth noting here that to maximise the value of this report, you first need to spend time on your App + Web configuration. App + Web properties have very limited dimensions and metrics available out of the box and require the set-up of events and parameters within them to measure your site/app. Once configured, you also need to register the event+parameter combinations that you want to report on which can take up to 24 hours to appear in reporting. There is also a limit to how many you can register and collect data from at any one time.
Once set up, you can build new segments in the report itself (unlike the GA360 version), however, they do not seem to be saved outside the individual report they’re created in. If you want to use them in another analysis report (e.g. funnel analysis or explorer), you must have the original report open then create a new tab with the new report type.
To ensure your advanced segments are not lost, we suggest you name your report something intuitive so that you are able to access it again from your Analysis Hub and not be lost in a sea of Segment Overlaps.
You can do this by editing the “Analysis Name” in the top left corner of the report window (not renaming the tab).
You can also turn your segment into an Audience using the “Build an audience” function which stores it elsewhere and can be exported to Google Ads. However, you cannot access the saved audience in the report though so it’s really only a one-way save.
There are some basic templates for demographics, technology and acquisition but creating custom segments is probably where you’ll spend most of your time. There’s currently only 24 automatic dimensions to choose from and zero metrics so you’ll be reliant on your custom event configuration to make more meaningful segments.
There are a couple of exciting segment options in this report that you cannot do in Universal Analytics.
Event (hit) based scope
In Universal Analytics, the most granular you can make your segment scope is within a session. Say you want to target users who clicked “Apply Promo Code” on the delivery page but this button appears on all checkout steps. If you use Universal Analytics, the segment would include all sessions where the user clicked the apply button on any page and also visited the cart page at some point in the session. The App + Web Segment Overlap report now let’s you target the hit itself so you can segment users based on multiple rules that apply to a single hit.
Sequential criteria, within X time frame.
App + Web segments can have a time frame included within their sequence, meaning the user did X within seconds, minutes, hours or days of doing Y. For example, you could segment all mobile users who read a certain blog page and subsequently added a featured item to the cart within 5 days.
You can exclude groups from a segment you’ve created. Say you are in the process of solving a technical issue only affecting Chrome users on mobile. You don’t want to target these users with marketing while you know the site experience will be subpar, so you could target all mobile users who aren’t using Chrome and build an audience from there.
Once you have created and applied your segment, it will appear in the Segment list on the left hand panel. You can have a maximum of 10 so once you’ve reached the limit you will need to delete one before you can create a new one, remembering that it is not saved anywhere so it will be lost.
You now can drag your created segments into your report to see how they overlap. If you right click on the cross-section of the segments you can build an audience to send through to your Google Ads platform.
There are some great features waiting for you in this Segment Overlap report such as timed sequences and hit-level filters. Ultimately though, you first need to invest some time in building your App + Web configuration to unlock the true value of this report.
For more information and limitations around building segments in App + Web, visit the Google help page.