Gathering information about potential customers is a critical component of your B2B marketing strategy. Without it, you won’t know where to target your marketing efforts, what strategies to implement or how those efforts are being received.
As the saying goes: “what isn’t measured can’t be managed”.
Successful business owners understand the importance of assessing the market to make informed decisions that align with internal goals and external market forces. By monitoring how potential customers interact with your website, you can leverage data-driven tactics to improve their experiences; building visibility, engagement, clicks and conversions for your brand.
Website analytics is an effective tool that enables you to collect, measure and analyse visitor behaviour on your website and channels. There are many analytics platforms available – many of them free – so why isn’t everyone using it?
Why some people struggle with analytics
The power of analytics lies in its ability to measure a vast volume of data such as web traffic, demographics, device type, views, clicks, unique visitors, bounce rate, conversion rate, organic and paid traffic and much more. However, if you haven’t yet dabbled with analytics, you may be in for a bit of a shock the first time you dip your feet in.
The sheer amount of data and complexity in navigating through the interface of an analytics tool can be very intimidating.
Undertaking the learning curve of setting up your analytics website tag, identifying how and what to measure, then translating that into a coherent picture is enough to blow your gasket. Small business owners, especially those who manage their own websites, often interact with analytics for the first time scratching their heads over where to even begin.
While the thought of managing a web analytics tool can be daunting, in reality, the essential metrics required for making sound business decisions can be quite simple. Identifying the data insights that add value to your business and user goals will help you focus on what’s important and filter out other less important metrics.
But how do you know which metrics to measure? And how do you start measuring?
Let’s start with the basics
Google Analytics is a very robust tool to efficiently analyse website stats and traffic, but there are many other paid and unpaid platforms available. Given that Google Analytics is one of the major industry standards for tracking, analysing, and reporting site data and many other platforms piggyback off it, that will be our focus.
As mentioned earlier, you need to insert a piece of code on your website called a website tag, which triggers every time someone lands on your site.
Adding the tag is not easy; some code is required, so you’ll require some web development skills to put the tag in your website. To be frank, without some tech skills or intuition, you’ll struggle to do it without expert help, although you can find easy to follow instructions on the web.
Once your tag is set up and has begun monitoring user behaviour, you can access real-time information from your account. You can measure anything from overall site visits through to campaign or action-specific data.
But whilst having access to raw data is all well and good, the real value lies in applying this knowledge.
For new users to analytics, the following three metrics are ideal for getting your finger on the pulse of user interaction with your website:
Overall traffic users and where they are coming from: This metric measures the number of incoming website visitors you receive and what channels they are finding your website through. Generally, first-time visitors will come across your website via links instead of typing in your URL. To see overall traffic figures in your Google Analytics, visit audience -> overview. To see where this audience is coming from, this can be found in your Google Analytics account under Home -> Reports -> Audience -> Overview.
Pages linking to your site are your traffic sources usually come from four categories:
- Search engines (known as organic search)
- Links from other websites (an example of referral traffic)
- Followed links from email campaigns or directly typing your website url into the search bar (direct traffic)
- Social media links (social traffic)
Ideally, the number of traffic users will increase over time. If your numbers plateau or diminish, it could be a sign something needs to change. Because organic searches are generally the highest source of traffic to your website, the first place to start would be your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), re-optimising your keywords for higher search engine rankings.
Also, try writing fresh blog content of between 700 – 1000 words and be sure to share it on your social networks to improve ratings.
If your traffic isn’t growing, and you want to optimise your SEO, check our blog on easy ways to improve your SEO
Bounce Rate: This refers to the percentage of single-page visits to your site without any further interactions (clicks) on that page. The average bounce rate for most websites ranges between 60% – 70% – the lower, the better. A high bounce rate (i.e. more than 60%) could indicate a potential issue.
Areas to look for may include high bounce rate pages or high bounce rate traffic sources. It could indicate users can’t find the information they need or navigate easily through your site. Ensure the navigation bar is on every page, and you have complementary links to other pages.
Conversion rate: A website conversion rate is one of the most valuable metrics for B2B marketing, indicating how well the site is performing its sales initiatives and lead performance. Conversions don’t just refer to direct website sales; it circles back to your established goals – your call to action (CTA): do you want to increase readership, build lead gen or convert sales immediately?
There are many opportunities to increase or establish conversions such as sales-ready form submissions, free trials or downloads, sales contacts, webinar registrations etc. Basically, the more you can drive form fills, the greater lead opportunities for sales to successfully close.
As a B2B business, you know your buyers are looking for content that is both informative and helpful to aid them through their buying process. Consequently, making information on your website easy to find and navigate will help drive traffic to your site and increase conversions. Track which traffic source is contributing to your conversions, so you can attribute which sources are driving the best leads.
Using website data to improve business outcomes
Much of what you need to track will come down to knowledge of your industry, your business goals, and strategies to achieve them. From there, you can devise a marketing plan that incorporates those goals by interpreting and acting on insights gleaned from your data analytics.
The following techniques will also help your B2B business get the most out of Google Analytics.
- Monitor attribution: Where is your traffic coming from? What are the sources of this traffic? Focus on what’s working and improve what’s not. Naturally, organic (search engine) traffic is your best source so develop strategies for increasing organic traffic
- Track engagement: Identify what your audience or market is interested in by assessing the higher click rates to a certain blog or page. Continue to develop similar content and ensure you provide links to this content on the popular pages to increase engagement
- Track demographics: Who and where are your audience, and which devices do they interact with your website on?
- Undertake benchmarking: Compare your website performance against the industry and your competitors, and where you are situated in comparison. Adjust your strategy accordingly to maintain or increase your market share.
- Monitor changes: To gauge the effectiveness over time of your changes, keep track of what your analytics were prior to the changes and determine which metrics will demonstrate your anticipated outcomes.
Once you understand how to use analytics, you’ll have access to exclusive data which will aid decision making to adapt your business solutions in targeting lead generation and increasing website conversions. If you’d like to explore the business improvement opportunities embedded in analytics, or have your current analytics set up aligned to your business goals, reach out to us today.