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Measuring Your B2B Website Analytics

Data is a part of our everyday lives - both as B2B companies and consumers. But it's not enough for us to know it's out there, we need to be able to understand it and do something with it.

Last Updated:December 12, 2018

Digital Marketing

Reading Time:8 minutes

Data is at the center of nearly every business decision we make.

The human resource department gathers data from online resources to determine the best individuals to recruit and confirm details about them.

Upper management examines trends in the market such as pricing of resources, shipping and manufacturing when determining how to steer future business goals.

The marketing department focuses in on market segmentation data to find where the highest quality of customers are located.

Having data empowers us to make decisions based on facts, trends and statistics.

When it comes to our website, a place where we depend on being able to convert prospects to leads to customers, it's critical that we understand the data behind the scenes.

For example, where are our site visitors are coming from? How long they're staying? What are they doing just before they convert to a customer?

For B2B companies, this data becomes even more important because the customer journey is generally longer than with business-to-consumer companies.

Additionally, according to a survey conducted by Demand Gen Report:52% of respondents said the number of buying group members has increased significantly

77% agreed that they conduct a more detailed ROI analysis before making a purchase decision

78% agreed that they spend more time researching purchases

75% agreed that they use more sources to research and evaluate purchases

To learn more about the B2B customer journey, go to chapter 1 of this digital marketing guide.

In this post, we're going to take a practical approach to connecting and understanding your website's analytics.

Enter Google Analytics - a free (and very advanced) tool that you can use to track and review your web analytics.

Below, we're going to look quickly at how to connect your site to get basic web data right away and a few advanced approaches you can take to fuel your future digital marketing activities.

Connect to Google Analytics

To connect your website to a free Google Analytics account, you'll need a basic Google account and access to your website.

Perform a quick search for "google analytics" and click the top result.

google analytics search result

You'll be asked to sign in to your Google Account. Then click "Sign up".

google analytics sign up

Fill in a name for your account and website (anything you'd like), then the URL of your website and click "Get Tracking ID".

google analytics new website example

You'll see the tracking code inside the box. This is where you'll either need to access your website's code, contact your website developer, or (depending on your CMSA CMS or a 'Content Management System' allows you to control and manage the content within your web site without technical training.) find a plugin to help.

google analytics tracking code copy

This code will need to go inside the head tagsThe <head> element is a container for metadata (data about data) and is placed between the <html> tag and the <body> tag (w3schools) of every web page that you want to track. Don't worry, you shouldn't need to add it to more than one place - and this will be the only time you'll need to do this!

Done! Now, if you go back to Google Analytics and click on "Real-Time" and "Overview" on the left-hand side, then visit your website in another tab, you'll be able to verify that everything is connected okay.

google analytics live visitors

There are only a couple other times that we'll need to access our site's HTML code for set-up purposes, but now you're connected and can start reviewing data tracked from this point forward.

Create Goals

Just like we determine goals in business and marketing to motivate ourselves to attain certain milestones, we can do the same thing in Google Analytics.

According to Google:Goals measure how well your site or app fulfills your target objectives. A goal represents a completed activity, called a conversion, that contributes to the success of your business. Examples of goals include making a purchase (for an ecommerce site), completing a game level (for a mobile gaming app), or submitting a contact information form (for a marketing or lead generation site).

Basically, goals help us to measure how and when people complete certain pre-determined actions on our website.

For example, one of the goals that I have on my website is for people to click the green button on my home page that says "GET 1-PAGE TEMPLATE".

google analytics goal example

I've set this as a goal in my Google Analytics account because it's one of the most important ways that I can add value to my site visitors.

To create your own goals, click on the "Admin" tab on the left-hand side then "Goals" to the right.

google analytics goals

Then click "New Goal" to set up a new goal.

google analytics new goal

You'll see a list of options - templates that cover some common business objectives. These templates make it really easy to get started. If you don't want to choose a pre-built template, you could scroll down and click "Custom" to set up your own.

google analytics goal options

We'll go ahead and choose the "Place an order" template.

Now, you can go ahead and name your goal (anything you'd like) and give it a "Type"Goal types are different ways that you can measure an action. For example. choosing "destination" means that when some visits a particular web page, the goal is complete.. We'll choose "Destination" for now and continue.

ga place an order example

We have 2 options here - the simplest thing would be for us to just put the URL of the web page that we'll use to complete our goal in the input field.

The other thing that we could do is set this as a "Funnel" - a series of web pages that only if followed will complete our goal.

ga goal type

Regardless of what you decide, you can click "Save" on the bottom and your goal is now live in your Google Analytics dashboard.

ga goal confirm

Now that you have a goal set up, you can track your website metrics with the goal in mind. This way you'll be more focused on your business-related goals like increasing your leads and impacting your bottom line.

The more goals you're tracking, the more actionable data you'll be able to collect.

Demographics: Who's on your site?

Google Analytics is great at providing both demographics and psychographics to help you make the most of your marketing.

In Google Analytics, go to Audience > Demographics > Overview on the left hand side of the page.

Here, you'll see an overview the general demographic categories such as age and gender for the people who visit your website. You can take a closer look at this data in their specific tabs.

ga demographics overview

If you click on the "Geo" tab you'll be able to see where you site visitors are in the world.

ga geographic overview

You can scroll down a bit and see the raw data in table form.

ga geographic details

Google will also provide you data such as language, interests and technology. It might be more information than you need presently, and you might not be sure what to do with it all, but now you know where to find it!

Acquisition: How are people finding you?

You need to know where your traffic is coming from. How many are coming from your digital marketing activities (chapter 3 of this guide)? What about your email marketing (chapter 4)? Do you know the answers to those questions?

Acquisitions, or referrals, in Google Analytics will show a URL that leads people to your site. For example, if another website links to you in a blog post or another page and someone clicks on that link to go to your site, that original post's URL would be the referral.

To find this data for your website, go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals on the left hand side of the page.

ga referral traffic

You can see when scrolling down that there's additional information listed such as bounce rate, pages per session and average session duration.

What can you do with this information?

Let's say that you notice a fair amount of traffic coming from a specific site. After looking into it, you discover that the website is run by a group of people that try to connect businesses with local solutions and the web page that they linked to you was a featuring of companies in your industry located in the state.

With this new data, you can determine that the referring website is a good gateway to your target audience so you decide to reach out to them for future opportunities.

Knowing how your website acquires its visitors can really help you to fine-tune your marketing strategies.

Keywords: Which ones are the best?

You may be doing a terrific job of implementing the keyword strategy that we discussed in chapter 5 of this digital marketing guide. Even so, your website may over- or under-perform in capturing traffic from the keywords you focused on.

On top of that, your website may get traffic from keywords that you never even thought of. With Google Analytics, we can find out for sure.

On the left hand side, go to Acquisition > Overview.

ga acquisition categories

You'll see a box containing main categories such as "organic search" and "social". Click on "Organic Search" and scroll down to see the keyword data.

ga keywords

This table looks very similar to the referral table we looked at previously but is focused on keywords.

You probably can't help but notice the "(not provided)" result in the very first spot with the largest number of users. Unfortunately, there isn't a great workaround to this. In 2011, Google changed the way it harvests data from search to proect users' privacy. You can read more about there here.

Data protection is good, but for us right now it means we don't have access to that information.

Either way, you can still see a listing of keywords that were entered into Google Search that ultimately led to a visit to your website.

Bounce Rate: Why is it so high?

High bounce ratesBounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. are something that every website struggles with regardless of size or popularity.

Bounce rates typically vary by industry:

bounce rate by industry

But the best way to handle your current bounce rate percentages is to just focus on improving them. Even a low bounce rate of say 10% is negative because that means that 10% of everyone who visited your page left immediately after. Your bounce rate isn't good just because it's lower than your industry's average.

Google Analytics provides us some information that may be helpful for us to improve our bounce rates.

Go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages on the left hand side of the page.

When you see a table like the ones we reviewed for referrals and keywords, scroll to it and click on "Secondary dimension" and type in "Source/Medium".

ga page source medium

Then click on the top of the column for "Unique Pageviews" to sort by popularity.

ga all traffic pageviews

Now review the data in the "Bounce Rate" column.

If you see that any of your most popular pages have a high bounce rate then something's wrong. A large percentage of your traffic are visiting the page but not finding what they're looking for.

Obviously, you want to stop this large percentage of people leaving your site, so here are a few quick things that you can try:

  • Make your content easy to read
  • Avoid popups that disrupt the user experience
  • Create a compelling call-to-action to direct visitors where to go next
  • Improve your storytelling
  • Keep your content fresh
  • Target keywords with high-value traffic

Advanced Segments: A Deeper Approach

Google Analytics provides some advanced tools to hone your marketing strategies.

For example, if you're getting a lot of traffic to your website from a particular state, you can find that out in Google Analytics and then use that information to initiate an ad campaign targeted to that state.

You could take it one step further and only target visitors in that state that come from your ad campaign, or organic search, or wherever.

Something else that you could do is compare the new traffic to your website to your returning visitors and analyze any differences in behavior.

A lot of this data could be find just by digging around for a while, but you can create segments to do the filtering and locating for you.

Start by going to Audience > Overview on the left hand side of the page and click on "Add Segment" on the top.

ga create segment

You'll see a list of existing segments that Google has already created for you. To create a new segment, click on "New Segment".

ga new segment

Take the time to identify the various options and filters that you can set. There's a lot!

Let's say that we're seeing a lot of traffic coming from Texas. After giving our new segment a name, let's select the dropdown next to "Location" and set it to "Region" - "Exactly matches" and type in "Texas".

ga preview segment

After selecting any other desires characteristics, you can click "Preview" and scroll down to see how the segment looks or go ahead and "Save".

Getting comfortable with segments can help you to not only improve your target marketing but also respond quickly to changes in your market.

Think - Do - Measure

To be sure we have a practical understanding of Google Analytics how we can apply it as a useful measurement tool for our business and marketing, let's summarize what we've learned in this chapter by applying the Think, Do, MeasureThe Think, Do, Measure method is a practical tool that I use with clients to develop a simple strategy, decide exactly what we're going to do to accomplish the strategy, and identify how we're going to measure our success. method of learning to this important marketing concept.

Think

We need data in order to do marketing well and Google Analytics is a wonderful, free tool that we can use to get started with collecting data from our website both immediately and in the long-term by implementing some advanced features.

With Google Analytics we can learn how to discover who is visiting our site, where they're coming from, and what they're doing when they arrive.

Before we can even dream about having a successful B2B website, we need data about our visitors that we can then react to.

Google Analytics gives us this data and a fighting chance.

Do

A couple of great ways to start leveraging Google Analytics as a measurement tool is by regularly reviewing key metrics such as bounce rate, demographics and acquisitions.

After getting comfortable with what we see from these more basic metrics, we can dive a little deeper into our data by creating segments and goals.

Measure

Google Analytics, in and of itself, is a way that we can measure the entirety of our digital marketing efforts. However, it would be a good idea to set goals for your company from simply how often you want to be sure you're checking your data to seeing specific improvements in your data.

Summing up

Data is a part of our everyday lives - both as B2B companies and consumers. But it's not enough for us to know it's out there, we need to be able to understand it and do something with it.

Like Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, said:The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.

Now, with Google Analytics, we know how to get and understand our data. In the next chapter, we're going to talk about what we can do to improve our marketing with the new knowledge we've acquired from our data. This is called conversion rate optimization.

Hey, I'm Tyler

I help businesses use digital marketing to generate leads & sales.

Former Operations Manager at Pepsico, I understand the difficulty and hard work that goes into changing the culture of management teams and business systems that are content with the status quo. Why is that important? Because I'm passionate about empowering individuals and companies to build and consistently manage marketing systems unique to their brands even if it means making radical changes.

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