Thursday, April 23, 2009 | 5:28 PM
Labels: google analytics
Guest post by Barbara Pezzi, Director Webmarketing and Ecommerce, Swissotel
In many companies web analytics is mainly used to track clickstream traffic, or at best, to track pay per click campaigns. But there is so much more to it. Whilst tracking the return on investment of web marketing campaigns is definitely a must, unless we understand how our site visitors interact with our pages and adapt our content accordingly, even the best marketing campaign will ultimately just bring additional traffic, which will fail to convert due to poor content.
In order to truly understand the site experience from our customers’ perspective, it is essential to segment them into relevant groups and give the figures some context. Every website is a mix of visitors, sources, and behaviour. Looking at the data in aggregate means nothing. The recent introduction of advanced segmentation in Google Analytics makes it really easy to “group” our visitors into relevant segments and understand what they were looking for and what they enjoyed.
We are no longer limited to tracking paid vs organic traffic, but can now create our own segments, relevant to our business needs, in just a few clicks:
- visitors who stayed less than 10 seconds
- visitors who booked more than once
- visitors from a specific Google AdWords campaign
- visitors from a specific country or city
Let’s take, for example, the Swissotel Merchant Court in Singapore. 50% of our website visitors are from Singapore. This is an important segment. We need to be able assess the unique characteristics of user behaviour from Singapore if we are going to be able to optimise our content and marketing for this important audience. With just a couple of clicks the “Visitors from Singapore” segment is created.
I can now see what pages are popular with our visitors in Singapore (in the example below, 90.53% of the traffic to the hotel restaurant page is from Singapore), what keywords are used to find the site, what promotion is working, search engine used, and so on.
Based on the data I can now add more relevant content, choose the right search engine and keywords when I run specific PPC campaigns for Singapore, and create additional packages which will appeal to the market, even for off-line sales. And when I run my next campaign targeted at Singapore, I will create a new segment “AdWords Singapore Visitors”, compare it to the “Singapore Visitors” segment, and start the exercise again. Web analytics is a continuous cycle, and with advanced segments the possibilities are endless.
I am always on a quest for real actionable data. The actions we take based on this data more often than not result in a more enjoyable site experience for our customers, and in return, higher conversions and repeat business for us. Advanced segmentation is a powerful and very easy to use feature, but extremely addictive…