Traffic Segmentation

Segmentation is an important part in creating personalized content strategies & web journeys.

Go beyond new vs returning and device type and consider where you are spending the most time and money acquiring traffic. Determine the reasons why people would be interested in your business and design audiences and user experiences based on that.

When evaluating conversion rates and optimization efforts on your digital properties, keep in mind that not all your visitors are looking for the same thing. In most cases, only a small percentage of visitors are actually convertible. Some may be browsing for information, and some may have previously converted and returned for contact information or support. A good portion can be employees or sales and support staff. The important thing to understand is the need to filter and segment your traffic into audiences and analyze each group differently.

Segmentation is the first step into creating personalized web journeys and content strategies for your audiences. Identify the size and volume of traffic you get from your most valuable, important, loyal visitors, and those on the other end of the spectrum. Monitoring the size of these segments and changes in their growth or behavior provides marketers insight into changes in demand or the market in general Determine the reasons visitors are coming to your website and figure out ways to make it easy for them to get what they want by delivering personalized experiences and relevant content. This can be done by creating dedicated content and landing pages or utilizing dynamic elements within a singular page based on the audience that the visitor is currently in. Segmentation helps those in charge of driving demand to be more efficient where they invest time, money and other resources by allowing them to focus their efforts on specific objectives instead of mass marketing.

Bounces, abandoners, and non-converters are also groups you don't want to ignore. Sudden changes in the size or share of one of these segments can give insight into links, pages, or conversion funnels that may be broken, especially after a deployment or change in production. Relying solely on QA processes and manual testing will not catch every issue. Having benchmarks and monitoring variances and abrupt changes in behavior will do a good job at exposing those pesky intermittent issues that only affect a percentage of visitors.

As your marketing teams drive traffic and engagement with the content on your site, being able to analyze various segment clusters brings more context and detail to your data. Utilizing segments is also a good way to maintain a level of consistency and be able to accurately track performance over time. Use segmentation to isolate highly concentrated groups and audiences like funnel abandoners and identify opportunities for optimization and improvements. When you look at the performance of any section of your site that offers a conversion opportunity, it is key to understand the true potential and exclude those that are not viable to get a more accurate representation. For example, if you are selling a product and a person converts, generally they should be excluded from your conversion calculations for a period of time. Someone who converts will not convert again immediately in most cases. However, it is common for consumers to come back to a site to check if the price of a product they just purchased has changed. Businesses that rely heavily on promotions are susceptible to this scenario where funnel traffic spike and conversion rates tank just after a promotion has ended. These swings may cause alarm to the unseasoned analyst but excluding recent converters from the calculation would reduce variances and provide cleaner measurements.

And do not ignore the need to scrutinize and "clean" your data regularly. Check for sources of bad traffic or bots and decide how you want to filter those out. The Direct channel can serve as a "catch all" and will receive a lot of unearned credit because of tagging issues. Make sure all sources of traffic including email, social media, redirects etc. are attributed correctly. When data and information is at the heart of so many decisions and processes, ensuring the validity and accuracy is at utmost importance. Duplicates, outliers, missing data, and structural errors like misspellings and nomenclature are some of the most common things that need to be addressed. Even the most sophisticated analytics software integration will have some noise and unclean data. Adhering to good data governance and protocols will help set the stage for your analysts to flag and filter out bad data. When companies do not take the time to implement governance and clean their data, decisions can and will eventually made based on bad data. Individuals will have to spend time manually adjusting data, investigating false positives, and frustration amongst employees and clients will grow leading to a loss of productivity. If you can't trust your data, can you expect your clients and consumers to be confident in what you are telling them?

If you have questions about segmenting your traffic or any other topics we’ve mentioned, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to know how you’re leveraging segmentation and analytics to succeed.