Analytics + Segmentation = PB&J

Analytics + Segmentation is the PB&J of web data

Analytics + Segmentation = PP&J

I just love a good PB&J. Tasy, tasty, tasty. At least I loved them before the recall. But I digress. It’s just that they remind me of analytics plus segmentation (or maybe I’m just hungry). But it just never fails me. Each and every time I segment important web analytics data I learn something new and am able to make immediate recommendations that helps my clients save money and grow their relevant search traffic.

So what is analytics segmentation, anyway?

It’s really pretty simple. It’s the process of comparing a set of data against a specific variable. Here’s an example that compares traffic sources of a specific web site against individual bounce rates. A bounce rate is recorded when a visitor gets to your web site and leaves without taking another action, so a lower bounce rate is better than a high one. It means that you have engaged your visitor and they are checking out your web site. It’s important to note, however, that blogs typically have high bounced rates and probably shouldn’t be judged by this metric. Here’s an analytic segmentation example:

referring traffic vs bounce rate

What Can we learn from the data in this example?

In this example, we are comparing the top five referring web sites against the bounce rate average of the web site (22%). In the easy to read chart, green mearures the percent lower than average and red the percentage higher than the average bounce rate (remember, you want low – green = good, red = bad). Let’s find out what we’ve learned that we can immediatelly apply to the web site.

Lesson #1 – Our existing customers are likely a bit bored

Direct traffic comes from visitors that type the web site URL directly and go to the web site (no search or referral). In this example, direct traffic has a 33% higher bounce rate than the web site average. Why is that? We can’t be exactly sure, but we can make some educated guesses. As these are likely returning visitors, maybe they are a bit bored. Maybe they want fresh content. They likely came to the web site, saw that it was exactly the same, and left, thus resulting in a bounce.

Action: Give them some tasty new content!

Lesson #2 – Review your Google CPC campaign conversion rates

Look at that horrible bounce rate for Google CPC! Their Google CPC campaign has a bounce rate that is 87% worse than the web site average. That is a huge waste of money! It’s time to take a look at this pay-per-click campaign and see what keywords have poor bounce rates and throw out the garbage.

Action: Review your paid search campaigs and eliminate poorly performing keywords.

Lesson #3 – Organic search traffic is kicking some serious butt

The organic search traffic has a significantly lower bounce rate than the web site average. The visitors from the search engines are finding their web site and clicking around. Very Nice!

Action: Expand SEO campaign to rank on page one for more long-tail keyword phrases

I hope this helps understand your web analytics a bit more. There are many more ways to segment your data. This is just one example. It’s exciting and powerful stuff. If you have any questions about analytics and what it can do for your business, just let us know. However, for those of you interested in really educating yourselves, I highly recommend checking out Avinash Kaushik’s blog. He’s the man.