Segmenting your traffic into different buying groups using Google Analytics

A subscriber emailed me a segmenting question:

I am writing to you as I’m looking for your advice. We sell to Businesses of all sizes and schools K-12 plus higher ed, and recently have started to embrace consumer. Our challenge is identifying traffic (and behavior) on our site that is consumer vs business.

Do you have any good insight or recommendations and/or tools that can help us quantity consumer traffic vs non consumer traffic?

You’re going to need something to act as a switch that can reliably mark a visitors as a business or a consumer.

An easy one is a landing page for each type and make that a prominent part of your homepage. Even two boxes that are linked would work fine.

Make sure each landing page has a different url. This is important.

Assuming you use Google Analytics, you can now setup a custom segment for both types of traffic (and a third: "Unknown" and fourth: "Both").

Using the advanced conditions you can have the segment only include people who visited each of the pages.

For example:

  • Users
  • Include
  • Page starts with /url-for-consumers

This means that any session where someone visits the /url-for-consumers landing page would be grouped into this segment. You can then use this segment anywhere in Google Analytics to lookup traffic sources, ads, content, etc.

There are two catches though.

Some people won’t go to those landing pages at all. Those should be caught in the "Unknown" segment:

  • Users
  • Exclude
  • Page starts with /url-for-consumers OR
  • Page starts with /url-for-business

Other people will go to both landing pages so they’d show up in both segments. You can add them to a "Both" segment using the AND option like this:

  • Users
  • Include
  • Page starts with /url-for-consumers AND
  • Page starts with /url-for-business

This won’t be perfect but it’ll give you some idea about the different visitors.

I use something similar in my own Google Analytics to segment visitors based on which app(s) they’ve looked at.

If you haven’t installed Repeat Customer Insights yet, it’s another easy way to segment your customers by their behavior.

Eric Davis

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