Google Analytics is the industry standard for tracking website visitors and their behaviors. Even out-of-the-box, it provides deep insight into how people use your website. For SaaS businesses however, additional customization is necessary to get a complete view of how visitors interact with your website.
Google Analytics’ Segments feature allows marketers to granularly slice their website visitors into specific groups. With access to demographic as well as behavioral data for use in your filters, segments are a key tool for tracking differences in user behavior based on specific criteria, as well as split traffic out to ensure you optimize for the right audience. These 5 segments are a good start for any SaaS business looking to utilize Google Analytics to its full potential. The actual implementation of these segments will vary based on how your website and pages are set up, so make sure you pull in an analytics expert if you need implementation help.
1. Logged In Users
One of the most common, if not the most common, visitor intent when visiting a SaaS website is to simply login. These visitors have one specific purpose in mind, and so do not tend to linger on your website once they’ve found the login button. Unlike your other visitors, these visitors already have experience with your product, and so the conversion goal for these users will differ from your other visitors.
By creating a separate segment for login traffic, you can easily exclude these visitors from certain reports, like top-funnel conversion reports.
There are a few ways to define this segment, including:
- All visitors to a login page
- Visitors who complete a custom login event
- Visitors with a specific custom dimension
2. Paying Customers
If your segment does not have a free plan or a free trial, this segment will be almost exactly like the Logged In Users segment. If not, this segment is useful for tracking the behavior of your most important visitors: those who actively pay for your product. This segment is crucial for understanding your customers and ensuring they have an optimal user experience on your site. For example, with this segment, you can track how many 404 Page Not Found errors your customers experience, as well as see which support articles they are reading.
The ideal way to implement this segment is with a Custom Dimension that pulls in the name of the subscription plan a user is in, for example “Free Plan” or “Enterprise Plan”. Then you can simply define the segment as users where Plan is not blank and is not equal to “Free Plan”.
3. Referral Traffic
Does your product have a referral mechanism where users can invite others into your product? If so, it’s critical that you be able to track traffic from this referral mechanism to track conversions from referrals as well as ensure an optimal initial experience.
This segment is easily implemented if you use UTM parameters to track referrals. In this case, you can simple define your segment as any user where their Traffic Source/Medium matches your referral parameters. Alternatively, you can define this segment as any user who landed on a specific page that signals they were referred to your product, such as an “Invite Accepted” page.
4. Named Accounts
One of Google Analytics most underutilized data points is the Network Domain. This dimension identifies the company managing a specific user’s network. Most of the time, this is a network provider such as Xfinity. However, many businesses manage their own networks, so a user’s Network Domain can be used to identify which company they work for, giving you a list of named accounts visiting your website for future sales targeting.
For this filter, we want to define our criteria as any user where Network Domain is not blank and also does not contain the words “network”, “communications”, “cable”, “wireless”, and other terms that denote a telecommunications company. Then you can add an additional layer to specifically identify named accounts that have not yet converted by adding a negative filter for Goal Conversion Rate.
5. Price-conscious Visitors
When looking at a heatmap of the most popular pages on a SaaS company’s website, the pricing page is often without fail among the top of the list, making this one of the most important pages on your website. This segment will help you identify price-conscious users who left upon visiting your pricing page. With this segment, you can start to identify patterns among these visitors. Is there one traffic source that is overrepresented? Or a specific landing page that's delivering price-conscious visitors?
To implement this segment, simply define your criteria as any user where their exit page is your pricing page, i.e “/pricing”.