September 04, 2007

Use Google To Your Advantage

Looking for a very simple way to segment online visitors into actionable segments?

Take any visitor who arrived at your website within the past thirty days following a paid/natural search via Google.

Store this fact as a Yes/No attribute on your database.

Now analyze your catalog, e-mail, online marketing, and retail marketing activities against your usual set of analysis segments --- overlaying the "Google" factor on each segment.

I promise you will learn something about your customers, and your marketing activities, that you didn't previously know.

Go ahead and expand upon this idea using other referring URLs identified in your clickstream data. Again, I promise you'll learn something actionable about your customers you didn't previously know.

Some folks are really doing sophisticated stuff with this information. We can all benefit by starting with such a simple attribute, a yes/no indicator, and then work toward complexity from there.


  1. Anonymous12:45 PM

    That's a very interesting idea, Kevin.

    Can you say more? What sorts of things have you found when you've done this?

  2. If you are a cataloger, you want to carefully look at any customer with a recency greater than twelve months. Customers with recency greater than twelve months and visiting with a referring URL from Google may be better candidates for catalog mailings, as these customers are actively researching your brand.

    A similar behavior can be inferred for e-mail customers who haven't purchased in more than a year.

    Maybe best of all, you can create database attributes based on referring urls, and then create customer profiles based on the referring urls, website visitation behavior, and catalog/online purchase activity by merchandise division. The profiles (called "Personas" can be used to understand which customers are likely to be responsive to various merchandise assortments.

    Those are a few things that can get folks started.


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