SEGMENTATION
The vast majority of this section will be dedicated to the different segmentation tools Site Catalyst offers. While using Site Catalyst you have surely seen the vast amount data you can collect. The sheer volume of data can be daunting and sifting through it to find the actionable data that will help you achieve your goals can feel impossible. This is where segmentation becomes so critical. This section will help you understand what segmentation is as well as the primary types of segmentation. Much of the rest of this manual will cover, in detail, the different tools you can use to track and analyze your segmentation. How many different people visited my site during ....

  • Define segmentation as compared to metrics.
  • Understand the different types of segmentation.
  • Explain the objectives and benefits of segmentation.
  • Give segmentation examples.
  • Identify your key segments.
THE PURPOSE OF SEGMENTATION
Segmentation is core to web analytics. Counting up the good things that happen on your site, such as the number of page views, subscriptions, purchases, downloads and dollars generated, is easy. Those are the types of reports that let you pat yourselves on the back and say, “look what a good job we’ve done.” But metrics don’t necessarily inform you about what to do next. To understand how to act on this data, it is imperative that we understand the difference between metrics and segmentation.
  • Metrics count the things that happen on your Web site.
  • Segmentation lets you determine who or what is responsible for this metrics.
How would you know if the jump in traffic you received last month came from a banner ad campaign you’ve been running on affiliate sites or from your recent efforts at search engine optimization? If you knew that 80 percent of your visitors were teenagers, but that 80 percent of your merchandise was purchased by visitors who were 25 - 40 years of age, wouldn’t you start developing strategies to make your site more attractive to the older demographic and / or to make your products more desirable to the younger ones?

This is the power of segmentation.

The purpose of segmentation is to define focus on a specific “slice” of your site visitors.

A FUN COMPARISON
Let’s play the “Segmentation Game”. For this game all of the employees stand up, and our CTO pulls a “segment definition” out of a hat. He says, “if you never lived outside of this state, please sit down. He then pulls a second segment out of the hat, and says, “if you have no cash on you, please sit down.” He continues to read segments that might be pet owners, or people who have been skydiving, etc., until only one person is left standing. This person is the winner of a fabulous prize.

Using segmentation strategies on your site is very similar (okay, kind of similar) to playing the Omniture segmentation game. You will first want to identify the segments that are important to you. They might not be “cash-carrying, multi-state-living, pet owners” but instead people who log into your site, trial users of your products or visitors from a specific geographical area.

Once we have identified key segments, we can start to look at the metrics on your site to see what they do. Who buys the most? Who is responsible for the most traffic, etc?

PRIMARY TYPES OF SEGMENTATION
There are 3 primary types of segmentation on your site. Odds are, as you start look at your organization’s goals and key performance indicators, that you’ll want to focus on segments from all three types.

Type 1: Page-Based
Page-based segmentation is usually a way of grouping pages into more abstract, and often more telling, groups. A content site might have several pages per article, or entire sections developed to sports, technology, entertainment and politics. There are generally static ways to divide and sub divide your site, and page-based segmentation is usually the easiest to code and maintain.

Examples:
  • Defferent page types (such as product pages vs info pages).
  • Hierarchical groups of pages that commonly follow the main navigation of your site and are then broken into sub categories of pages.