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Defining custom visitor segments

Monday, February 17, 2014

Visitor segmentation is a way of categorizing your website visitors into groups that share common traits, such as location, device used to access the site, hour of the day, and other behaviors. Creating segments allows you to target campaigns for a specific visitor group and filter reports, based on the data collected for each segment.

When creating segments, you can add conditions that allow VWO to determine which segment a visitor qualifies for and enable the appropriate campaign or variation. After you have enabled segmentation for a campaign, you can slice and dice the reports data, based on the segments you have defined for it.

  • To define conditions for a segment, enable the Segmentation option. Next, to define a custom segment, click Custom. The Segmentation box is displayed.
  • On the right side of the segmentation box, select a category. Click Add condition to add new conditions.
  • Source

    • Landing Page URL: For visitors landing directly from the URL on the campaign page. For example, you can use this option to track visitors who become part of the campaign only when they first land on the homepage. If you are running a site-wide campaign using a URL pattern, you can specify the landing page URL as the homepage URL in segment condition to collect data of visitors who first land on the homepage.
    • Referring URL: For visitors landing on the campaign page through a referral website or search engines. For example, a visitor might land on your campaign page via Facebook, Google, and so on.
    • Search keywords: For visitors using certain search keywords to arrive at your campaign page. Search keywords condition applies for both organic and paid search traffic from all major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and so on. Please note that Segmentation does not work for Google or other search engines, as they encrypt the search keywords using https.
    • Referral Type: For visitors based on the URL that your visitor came from - organic, direct, or referral traffic. We recommend that you use this condition to exclude paid traffic because in some cases, paid traffic may be tracked as organic.
      • Direct: This type refers to the traffic that directly lands on the campaign page and where document.referrer is empty.
      • Organic: This type refers to unpaid ad traffic, in simpler terms, where document.referrer has a value. Organic traffic from a search medium but does not contain utm_medium query parameters such as cpc, ppc, cpa, cpm, cpv, or cpp.
      • Referral: This type refers to paid ad traffic, in simpler terms, where document.referrer has a value. Contains utm_medium query parameters such as cpc, ppc, cpa, cpm, cpv, or cpp.
    • Query Parameter: For segments based on the value of the query parameter in the URL (used for campaign variables). For example, The query parameter in the example is _utm_campaign, and the value is brandNew.


    • Visitor Type: To create different segments for returning visitors and new visitors. VWO places a tracking cookie to determine if the visitor is a new or returning visitor. A visitor who is already a part of a campaign running on the domain is classified as a returning visitor for a campaign.
      • New Visitor: A visitor who is part of any campaign on the domain for the first time.
      • Returning Visitor: A visitor who has already been part of another campaign running on the domain.
    • Location: Use visitor location (country, city, and region) to create different segments, based on visitor geography. Location of a visitor is identified by the IP addresses using Maxmind. This feature is available with VWO Enterprise plans only.
    • User Language: [For Reports Segmentation only] Filter visitor data based on the language used by the visitors in their browser settings. This feature is available with VWO Enterprise plans only.


    • Operating System: An operating system used by the visitor. For example, segment only for Mac OS users.
    • Mobile Device: A mobile device used by the visitor to access the test page.
    • Browser: Create a segment, based on the browser used by a visitor to access the campaign page URL.
    • User Agent: Assign a User Agent (UA) as a string to identify the browser or device the visitor uses to access the campaign page.
    • Screen Resolution: [For Reports Segmentation only] Segment reports based on the screen resolution used by the visitors to access your website. For example, 1280X768.
    • Document Encoding: [For Reports Segmentation only] Filter visitor data based on the character encoding technology used by the visitor's system. For example, US-ASCII, UTF-8, and so on.


    • Day of Week: The day on which most visitors access your campaign page.
    • Hour of the Day: The time during which visitors access the campaign page. VWO considers visitor’s local time zone and runs the campaign accordingly. If you set that hour of the day equals 10, the campaign will run from 10:00 AM to 10:59 AM.


    • Cookie value: Based on whether or not a user has a cookie from your website. Select this condition and enter your cookie value. VWO determines if the users qualifies for the campaign, based on the cookie value you have set. Please note that this condition works only if the cookie is accessible using JavaScript. VWO can read server-side cookies too if they are not restricted to be read by JS.
    • JavaScript Variable: Create your own custom Javascript condition to define a visitor segment. The campaign runs only if the user passes through the JavaScript condition while loading the campaign. This feature is available with VWO Enterprise plans only.
    • Note: Please ensure that the JS variable is available before the VWO tracking code executes so that the segmentation condition can be successfully checked.

    • IP Address: This option allows you to target visitors, based on their IP addresses. This feature is available with VWO Enterprise plans only.
    • Attention!

      You can apply the cookie value, JavaScript value, or IP address parameters to target a campaign but not to filter reports for these segments.

  • Select a condition match type for the segment.
  • Enter details for the selected segment condition such as URL details, query parameters, or location, and so on.
  • To create create a complex visitor segment, open the parenthesis and use "AND" and "OR" operators to define your conditions.
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