Google Analytics offers many great features. Unfortunately some of them are hidden under the surface.
Or should I consider myself lucky to know where to find and how to use them. :-)
Anyway, like you already know, I don’t like to hold things back.
On default, if you select a Google Analytics report you see something like this:
In my opinion, most often comparing two metrics doesn’t deliver great results in Google Analytics. In that case I prefer to build my own reports in Excel.
“Plotting rows” is a very powerful way to compare data segments without the need to set up segments first.
On the left of “Secondary dimension” you see this grayed out Plot Rows button.
Tip 10: Plot Rows to Compare Segments
Why to Plot Rows in Google Analytics
In Google Analytics, you can compare segments on the aggregated level over the time period you have selected.
That is useful to a certain extent, but what if you would like to compare trends directly in Google Analytics?
Or maybe you have not yet set up your automated exporting tools and still want to export segmented data in an efficient way?
Plotting rows will save you a huge amount of time!
How to Plot Rows: Device Category Example
For the sake of this tutorial I use device categories in relation to plotting rows.
Google Analytics can show you data from:
If needed, you can dive deeper into each category.
Please note that you can select six rows at maximum. This in addition to the aggregated data line.
How it works:
- Select all devices (rows) at once
- Select one or more devices (rows)
After you select the device categories, you need to hit the Plot Rows button.
In my example it looks like this:
Let’s assume we would like to see the goal conversion rate instead of sessions. Besides that we need data on trends so we select six months of data. And we would like to see the data aggregated per month.
Here is the resulting graph:
This graph shows a lot more! Think about the trend per device category and the relative performance in relation to the overall goal conversion rate. Interesting numbers!
In short, by plotting rows a lot more information is visually displayed to judge the performance of specific segments.
- When exporting data (e.g. for different campaigns or traffic sources) I recommend to plot the maximum number of rows that you need
- Select up to four different rows when you want to use the graph function (otherwise numbers are getting hard to compare)
Why You Still Want to Use Segments
This plot rows function is powerful in specific situations. Please keep in mind that it only affects the report currently selected.
Google Analytics segments provide you with the ability to analyze many different reports for the selected segments.
Now it’s your turn.
What do you think about this feature and have you already used it?One last thing... Make sure to get my extensive checklist for your Google Analytics setup. It contains 50+ crucial things to take into account when setting up Google Analytics.