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How to Define Custom Visitor Segments

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Visitor segmentation is a way of categorizing your website visitors into groups, based on specific criteria such as location, device used to access the site, hour of the day, and any other user behaviors. Visitors in a specific subgroup are likely to behave or purchase in the same way. You can create segments by defining conditions that allow VWO to determine which segment a visitor qualifies for and run the appropriate test or variation.

After you have enabled segmentation for a test, you can slice and dice the reports data, based on the segments you have defined for it.

Define Custom Visitor Segments

To define visitor segments, select the specific visitor group while setting up your test. The Segmentation box displays Segment Gallery and Custom. Segment Gallery contains default VWO segments you can use for your tests. To define a custom segment, click Custom.

Next, you can select any category and condition to run your tests for a visitor group.


  • Landing Page URL: Select this option to track visitors who land first on a specific URL before landing on the test page. For example, you can select this option to track only the visitors who first land on the home page of your site. For running a site-wide test using a URL pattern, you can specify the landing page URL as the home page URL in a segment condition, to collect data of visitors who first land on the home page.
  • Referring URL: Select this option to enable the test for visitors who land on the test page through a referral website or search engines. For example, a visitor might land on your test page via Facebook, Google, and so on.
  • Search Keywords: Select this option for visitors who use certain search keywords to land on the test page. The 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 because these search engines encrypt the search keywords using https.
  • Referral Type: Select this option to enable the test for visitors who are a part of organic, direct, or referral traffic. You should use this condition to exclude paid traffic, because in some cases, paid traffic may be tracked as organic.
  • Direct: This option refers to the traffic that directly lands on the test page and when document.referrer in visitor information is empty.
  • Organic: This option refers to the unpaid ad traffic, when document.referrer in visitor information has a value. It includes 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 option refers to the paid ad traffic, when document.referrer in visitor information has a value. It contains utm_medium query parameters such as cpc, ppc, cpa, cpm, cpv, or cpp.
  • Query Parameter: Select this option if segments are based on the value of the query parameter in the URL (used for test variables). For example, The query parameter in the example is _utm_campaign, and the value is brandNew.


  • Visitor Type: Select this option to create different segments for returning visitors and new visitors. VWO places a tracking cookie to determine if a visitor is new or returning. A visitor who is already a part of one of the test running on the domain is classified as a returning visitor for a test.
    • New Visitor: A visitor who is part of any test on the domain for the first time.
    • Returning Visitor: A visitor who has already been part of another test running on the domain.
  • Location: Create segments based on visitor geography. The location of visitor is identified by using Maxmind to track their IP addresses.
  • User Language: [For Reports Segmentation only] Filter visitor data based on the language used by the visitors in their browser settings.


Adding in-session behavior to activate a segment allows you to define visitor action on the website for which the targeting conditions are evaluated. For example, you can add the targeting condition as “visitors landing on your website through Facebook + US Region + iOS users + Click Buy Now CTA button”. Here, the visitor is included in the segment only after the visitor clicks the Buy Now button.

After the click event, VWO checks all the target conditions and include or exclude visitors into segments accordingly. Please note that behavior targeting options are not available for split URL test and form analysis.

When you select Behavior as a target condition, the elements on which changes have been applied in the test are not hidden. To learn how to change the default option, click here.

  • Click on Element: Displays the changes when visitors click a predefined element on a page. If the element happens to be a hyperlink that redirects to another page, make sure that the redirected-to page is also a part of the test. You can use this option when trying to test items that appear on the page after any user action.
  • Time Spent on Page: Selecting this option triggers the changes when a visitor spends “x” seconds on a single page. For example, if you have defined the time for the trigger as 10 seconds, the changes initialize when the visitor spends 10 seconds or more on a page.
  • User Is Trying to Close the Page: Displays the segment changes when visitors attempt to close the test page. So when the cursor moves outside the browser viewport, VWO executes this trigger. You can use this option if you are trying different designs/content on the exit intent pop-up on your website.
  • Page Scroll Is More Than: Displays the changes when a visitor has scrolled the page for more than the defined percentage in this section. This option is helpful if you are trying to test changes on elements that are placed at the bottom of the page.
  • Custom Trigger: Displays the changes when the executeTrigger() function is executed. Users can add their own custom code, and then call the executeTrigger() function. This way, the custom trigger condition is fulfilled and the campaign is displayed.


  • Operating System: Create segments based on the operating systems used by visitors. Example includes segmenting only for Mac OS users.
  • Browser: Create segments based on the browsers used by visitors to access the test page.
  • User Agent: Assign User Agent (UA) as a string to identify the browser or device used by a visitor to access the test page.
  • Device Type: Create segments based on the devices used by visitors to access the test page like Desktop, mobile phones, and tablets.
  • Screen Resolution: [For Reports Segmentation only] Segment reports based on the screen resolution used by the visitors to access your website. Example: 1280 x 768.
  • Document Encoding: [For Reports Segmentation only] Filter visitor data based on the character encoding technology used by the visitor’s system. Examples include US-ASCII, UTF-8, and so on.


  • Day of Week: Run your test for visitors who access your test page on specific days.
  • Hour of the Day: Run your test for visitors who access your test page within specific hours. VWO considers visitor’s local time zone and runs the test accordingly. If you set Hour of the Day is equal to 10, the test will run from 10:00–10:59 a.m.


  • Cookie value: Create segments based on whether or not a user has a cookie from your website. Select this condition and then type the cookie value. VWO determines if a user qualifies for the test, 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, provided they are not restricted to be read by JS only.
  • JavaScript Variable: Create your own custom Javascript condition to define a visitor segment. The test runs only if a user passes through the JavaScript condition while loading the pages. 
    PRO-TIP 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.
    ATTENTION You can apply the cookie value, JavaScript value, or IP address parameters to target a test 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 a complex visitor segment, use brackets and AND and OR operators to define your conditions.

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