Practical Ecommerce

Using Google Analytics for Keyword Segmentation and In-Depth Analysis

Google Analytics provides a wealth of information. But many GA account holders do little beyond viewing their site’s daily traffic and trying to understand terms like “bounce rate.”

In this article, we will learn to segment data in GA to determine the number of paying customers entering a site from a specific keyword phrase and the landing page(s) they entered the site on.

Segmenting Keywords, Step By Step

First log into your Google Analytics account. The dashboard gives an important overview of how many visitors your site is getting and the overall bounce rate. But you must go beyond the dashboard to make meaningful changes to your website and develop your marketing strategy.

Click “Traffic Sources,” then “Keywords,” and then the “Ecommerce” tab. Scroll down the page and you will see the top keywords that users have typed and how these keywords relate to revenue. The column called “Ecommerce Conversion Rate” tells the specific number of sales for each keyword users searched. But, what can we do with this information?

Determine the Best Course of Action

  1. If you are running pay-per-click campaigns, you can shift spending from low-performers to high performing keywords.
  2. You can assess your site for the entry point (landing pages) of users who are searching for specific phrases.
  3. You can update the home page of your site to push the best-performing keywords more strongly.

In Google Analytics, click on a specific keyword to bring up the detail screen. By changing the dimension to “Landing Page,” you can further narrow the data to show the arrival points for visitors. And, if the prime landing page for your keyword does not generate many sales, a bit of search engine optimization work for the targeted term could quickly yield positive sales results.

Advanced Segmentation

You can take GA one step further by using the advanced segmentation to monitor the progress of individual keywords and see how your optimization efforts are paying off. You can create a wide range of segments using Google’s preset criteria or, better yet, define your own.

Click “Advanced Segments” and “Create new custom segment.” Next, expand the “Traffic Sources” heading and drag the “Keyword” dimension into the Reporting area on the right. Leave the Condition set to “Matches Exactly,” and for the Value, enter you keyword phrase. Title the segment and click “Create Segment.”

Now you have a permanently defined segment for all of your GA data that is organized around your chosen keyword. And, by using the Segmentation drop-down, it is possible to view data through the segmentation filter you have created.


Segmenting data is an effective way to fine-tune your traffic analysis. So, roll up your sleeves and start segmenting your Google Analytics data now.

Michael Stearns

Michael Stearns

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  1. Armando Roggio April 7, 2009 Reply

    Thanks for the post. Good stuff.

  2. Chris "Cartel" English April 7, 2009 Reply


  3. robbcapp April 9, 2009 Reply

    Click “Traffic Sources,” then “Keywords,” and then the “Ecommerce” tab. I do not see an “Ecommerce” tab.

  4. Kerry Murdock April 9, 2009 Reply


    The "Ecommerce" tab is in the middle of the screen. There are three tabs there: "Site Usage," "Goal Conversion," and "Ecommerce."

    Thank you for the post.

  5. CherishedGiftFavors April 9, 2009 Reply

    Like robbcapp, I don’t see the "Ecommerce" tab either. In the middle of the screen there are 2 tabs, Site Usage and Goal Conversion.

  6. Michael Stearns April 9, 2009 Reply


    Do you have Ecommerce activated for your account and the appropriate code added to your site? If you don’t have the Ecommerce activated you won’t see the tab.


  7. Armando Roggio April 9, 2009 Reply

    @robbcapp and CherishedGiftFavors,

    You need to identify your site as an ecommerce store. To do that, click on "Analytics Settings" in the upper left.

    Now you should see a list of your website profiles (or profile if you only have one site). At the right of each profile, there is an edit link. Click it.

    The Main Profile Information section has a question, "E-Commerce Website." If you don’t see the ecommerce tab in the report, you have this set to "no." Click edit in the upper right and change this to "yes."

    That should do it.

  8. Armando Roggio April 9, 2009 Reply

    @robbcapp and CherishedGiftFavors,

    Please let me know if this works for you. If you are still having trouble, I can try to make a quick video for you.

  9. Michael Stearns April 9, 2009 Reply

    The only thing I would add to Armando’s comment is that your site needs to be set up to correctly track the Ecommerce Analytics data. There is some code that needs to be on your "success" page and, likely, some other javascript code you will need on your site. Many Ecommerce systems have the Ecommerce Analytics integration built in.

  10. CherishedGiftFavors April 9, 2009 Reply

    Thank you Armando for your help! I have now set up the Ecommerce feature in my account.

  11. nirz April 11, 2009 Reply

    Thanks for the great article, guys. Also, thanks for being active in the comment ‘forum’. I run into quite a few sites that have good articles, but no response to people’s comments or questions in the comments.

    I love your service. I tweet your articles often. :)

    Thanks again!