Segmenting your Visitors offers you insights

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If you operate an online retail store also known as an ecommerce website, you know the value of information about your customers.   The more you know about their motivations for actions on your site, the more likely you are to create a better user experience.  What’s so important about that you say?  Well the better the experience a visitor has on your site, the more likely they are to convert to a customer.

When taking into consideration that your 1.5% conversion rate actually equals 100% of your online revenue, increasing your conversion rate to 1.75% actually means a 25% increase in your bottom line.  Conversion rates are extremely important and being able to identify certain groups that are more likely to convert on your site is a great way to accomplish that incremental increase.

Below are just a couple of examples of different ways you can group visitors based on types of phrases people may have searched for.  There are several other ways including content they accessed, actions they took, or

For the first example, the website which is an online sports merchandise and apparel merchant was able to use website analytics to divide their visitors into groups based on what they may have searched for.   My goal was to see if I could identify phrases that may convert at a much higher rate so I could increase advertising for those phrases while reducing advertising for phrases that perform below a set standard.   Let’s take a look at some of the results of this exercise.

The following graph shows the site’s conversation rate for all organic keywords which is about 1.2%.

Google Analytics Ecommerce

If we segment these phrases we can observe that some groups are much likelier to purchase.

Google Analytics Keyword Segmentation

If we segment these phrases we can observe that some groups are much likelier to purchase.

We can see that people that are shopping for gifts are about 134% more likely to purchase.  Ah Ha!  Now we have some good information that we can take action on.    You could start with keyword research/discovery, position testing, write more focused and optimized tags and content for these phrases, and the list goes on.  The amazing part is that this is just one example of how you can use ecommerce website analytics to increase your revenue.

Now if we dig a little deeper, we might find something else.   Let’s segment by visitors that were searching for “apparel”.

Google Analytics Ecommerce Segmentations Snapshot

Now we can see that those visitors searching for apparel had a much lower conversion rate.  Why is this?  There are several possible reasons including the inventory selection might not be comprehensive enough, maybe the prices are too high, maybe the visitor is landing on a page that isn’t focused to “apparel”.   As an analyst we are now able identify what’s happening and now need to search for why it’s happening.    To do this, we can investigate the time on page, % of new visits, bounce rates, and other site usage data to help answer the golden question of “Why?”

The point here is that website analytics can make a large impact on your bottom. Knowing how to use these tools or hiring an expert to help you discover your site’s potential is even better.  Google Analytics provides a comprehensive analytics package that allows you to a lot of creative segmenting and this article really only begins to scratch the surface.  If you have additional questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.  Thanks!


  1. Posted September 13, 2008 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    Love your site it is very informative am going to research the other posts to see what else I can learn, cheers! and keep up the great work!

  2. Posted November 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Hi Brad,

    Advanced segmentation was a missing feature of Google Analytics. All other enterprise analytics tool were offering it, but now Google is giving it free. You can now dissect data much easier (segmentation was possible even before in GA, with custom filters and profiles, but now it is much easier). I am planning to create a series for segments idea. The first segment we have described on Google Analytics Segmentation page is called keywords with conversions. Please have a look.

    Feel free to visit our blog and if you have any ideas on what segments could be useful, leave a comment and we will try to write a post on that one.

  3. Silvia
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Hi TraiaN,

    I dare to say that segmentation is much easier in Logaholic Web Analytics. Everything in GA is free, but is made more complex and sometimes the average analytics user cannot find all these features. (hence blogs like these exist to help them). With Logaholic everything is made simpler and more usable. Logaholic also supports log file tracking so this is already one step ahead of Google in terms of control of your data. It is not free, but the price is quite competitive ( just $67 one-time fee for the whole package), and everything you need is included in it.

  4. Posted January 7, 2013 at 4:37 am | Permalink

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