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Google Analytics: should you use Filters or Segments?

This article will help you to

  • Understand the difference between Google Analytics’ Filters and Segments

When exploring your Google Analytics data, there are two options to isolate what you’re looking for: Segments and Filters. Although they seem similar, they are fundamentally different.

Example

Say that two users visit your website: User A and User B. Within one single session, User A browses three pages (/homepage twice, /products, and /cart) and User B browses only one page (/homepage):

Reeport - Segments vs Filters

 

Case 1: Filter

If you apply a filter where pageViews==”/homepage”, you’ll get the following:

  • Number of pageViews for User A = 2
  • Number of pageViews for User B = 1
  • Total number of pageViews: 3

 

Case 2: Segment

A segment is a cluster of users or sessions that matches specific criteria. You can for exemple create a segment that is defined by all sessions that have seen at least one time a specific page; or users that have visited your site at least 2 times etc…

If you apply a segment where pageViews==”/homepage”, you’ll get the following:

  • Number of pageViews for User A = 4
  • Number of pageViews for User B = 1
  • Total number of pageViews: 5

 

Tip

Generally speaking, if you are not familiar with Segments, it most likely means that you should use a Filter.

 

 

 

 

Updated on October 11, 2018

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