All data in aggregate is “crap”.
~ Avinash Kaushik
It starts from assumptions, experiences and guess work logic however creating visitor segments require reiterative tweaks and optimization. Precisely targeted audience can help in avoiding wastage and also helping to calculate total value added to the business.
How to track a user?
Putting in simple words:
Use a script on every webpage, site/property which will drop a browser cookie and you show ads as per the user’s interest, location, demography etc.This may be within your network or outside depending upon the option of ad network you choose.
Not all visitors are prospects, only time and proper segmentation will guide you to the ‘profit’ trend and path. The ratio of prospects to visitors can be called as ‘successful optimization’ ratio and be a part of a media professionals KRA.
What are the most popular ways of visitor segmentation?
1. By Visitor type: New Vs Repeat Visitors
2. By Source or Channels: Direct, referral, Organic, Paid, Email, Social
3. By Location: Country, region or city specific
4. By User Behaviour: First visit, navigation, number of jumps and bounces, orders (Sub orders), transactions etc.
5. By Session, logged in/out state
6. By Page: News, Press Release, most popular, main or sub
How the Big Guys do segmentation and acquisition successfully?
Google DART for Publishers (DSP) has inbuilt options to segment by number of views, recency of activity and segment expiration.Best thing, users are assigned to audience segments in real time.
Adobe (Omniture) SiteCatalyst:
Omniture classifies the segments in ‘containers’ as Pageviews, Visits and Visitors.
Pageview Criteria: The difference is whether two pageviews from one visits are to be included or not.
Visits Criteria: All visits in a particular time frame are considered for analysis.
Visitors: All visits and pageviews are taken into account from a ‘visitor’
Success Events such as add to cart, thank you page visit, form submit etc can be pre-defined.
Unique id per visitor with a back date / historical lookup option.
Maximize Impressions to Maximize ROI:
A debatable topic of whether to go for a CPA model or choose eCPM will take a couple of years to arrive at a winner. Still for now impression is the most important criteria for online media buyers & sellers.
With the advent of ad exchange systems, cross channel and property/device targeting is possible. You can catch a visitor within 15 mins on other site using latest advertising technologies by cookies.
Publishers can maximize returns by bidding programmatically for adspots or RTB (Real Time Bidding) while site owners too get returns from the generally unsold spots.