Segmenting your data when analyzing and optimizing your website is crucial for creating a successful and pleasant experience for your visitors. Analysts and website managers know this, and will often use the classic segmentation filters developed over the years in various web-analytics tools (country, languages, device type, etc.) in order to further understand segment groups and optimize their website. But are these really the segment groups you should be focusing on?
When observing behavioral differences and varying conversion rates among visitors from different countries, analysts will easily conclude that visitors from different countries have different customs and rituals and therefore react and behave differently on their website, and will leave it at that. Such notions are based on existing preconceptions and stereotypes regarding people (Germans pay attention to details, Japanese only buy high-quality products, and Americans are patriotic and attracted to red, blue and white, etc.), and canc lead to many missed opportunities as we fail to adequately optimize our website for our desired audience.
We may believe that the behavioral gap between Japanese and American online consumers is too vast to reconcile and cater to at once, but ClickTale’s latest analyses are showing us that, in fact, there is much more in common between a Japanese and an American teenager both of whom, for instance, wear organic jeans, listen to Jazz and are both members of Greenpeace, than among consumers in any specific geographic location.
Websites (and the products or services they offer) are designed for groups of people who share the same values and meanings, and therefore in order to adequately design, optimize and advertise your website, you must segment your traffic by meaning.
Aside from cases in which regulatory restrictions exist or if our website, simply doesn’t cater to certain geographies (language barriers, shipping restrictions, etc.), we should see no substantial differences in conversion rates and behavior among similar visitors – at least not on a geographic or cultural basis.
Let’s demonstrate: As we first segment our conversion funnel by country or language, we will probably see large discrepancies in traffic size and conversion rate. But now let’s add a few additional filters and start specifying who exactly we’re interested in: male visitors, new to our website, who arrived through a specific marketing channel and whose previous page was greenpeace.com. As we add these filters, we will see a drop in traffic size among all countries, but the conversion rates will start levelling.
Website owners need to focus on the meanings and values that their visitors share while breaking any geographic boundaries. The demographic filters need to be reevaluated and redefined. Combining and integrating different advanced traditional and in-page analytics tools allows for such filtering and advanced segmentation, and guarantees a more successful user experience for your real customers.
By: Udi Zisquit