Visitor Segmentation

What is it?

Visitor Segmentation is the process of dividing visitors to a website into clusters which are defined by common characteristics such as referring traffic, devices, geo-location, seasonality, type of products purchased, time of visit to the site, existing vs new customers and many others.

Segmentation Criteria

There are multiple criteria for visitor segmentation. Most common practices include:

Visitor segmentation based on technology:

  • Devices
  • Browser

Social and demographic segmentation:

  • Geo-location
  • Gender (if this information is available)
  • Age (if this information is available)

Behavioural Segmentation

  • New/Returning visitors
  • Items in the basket
  • Number of pages browsed

Company specific visitor segmentation

  • Referring campaign e.g. PPC, direct or referral traffic
  • Existing/new customers
  • Type of product purchased previously

Why visitor segmentation is important

Visitors now expect a personalised experience on your website

Features such as delivery options based on geo-location, time specific promotions are all part of the personalised experience and optimisation projects continuously demonstrate that visitors engage more with the companies that offer them such personalised experience.

Improved conversion from marketing campaigns

Segmentation creates opportunities to customise your site for the audience and increase conversions for landing pages of the PPC campaigns, email marketing campaigns, direct traffic, affiliate traffic and many others.  

Decreased costs

Using segmentation for website customisation increases website stickiness and improves user experience thus decreasing acquisition cost and waste.

How visitor segmentation can be used Webtrends Optimize

Segment based testing

When running a website optimisation project consider which visitor segments may have common behaviour. A classic segmentation is dividing visitors based on traffic source and the device. Mobile visitors tend to behave differently from the desktop. Other popular segmentation principles for optimisation projects include new and returning visitor segmentation using geotargeting.  

Segment based content targeting

Customers are more likely to respond to propositions that are more relevant to them. With targeting based on segmentation you can target the right group of customers with the right messages. For example, run special offers available during limited time, promote next delivery for morning purchases, or highlight products available for the visitors in certain geo-locations.

Retargeting

There may be a group of visitors who have shown interest in the products on your site but did not complete the purchase. Such visitors may need additional information or incentive in order to become a customer. Use of promo codes, exit intent messages, messaging for return visitors may take website conversions to the next level.

Three tips to be aware of when setting up visitor segmentation

1. Target sizeable segments

There seems to be numerous segmentation opportunities available to marketers. However, when identifying segments it is all about striking the balance between the size of the segments and the revenue it can generate. Broader segmentation creates more opportunities in increasing conversions but there are also times when marketers can uncover a sweet spot of a very niche but high-value segment.

2. Avoid having too many segments

It is technically possible to create multiple segments in one optimisation project, but too large a number of segments creates excessively granular niches that may not deliver expected uplift. Moreover, such practice entails additional overhead and technical costs. It may become too difficult to keep content updated for all the segments and making sure the messages are aligned with each other.

3. Remember the same visitors can fall into different segments

We should not forget that visitors change their status, browsing habits and devices. When setting up an optimisation strategy, segments should also remain fluid and site content should account for this flexibility in visitor behaviour.

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