Google Analytics has quickly become one of digital marketing’s greatest allies, while its parent company, Google, has not only improved internet search — it’s redefined it completely. Successful digital marketers know that being able to track and report on your marketing efforts is crucial to your teams overall marketing strategy, and it sure makes answering your boss’s questions a lot easier!
One of the biggest draws to digital marketing is its ability to change on the fly. The plan you set in January, isn’t the plan you have to keep in July. But this type of strategic marketing flexibility can only happen if you have the right data. Knowing where, when, and how your consumers are interacting with your website is a huge step to remaining agile during the year.
But where do you start with Google Analytics if you don’t know where to start? We freely admit, it can be a little intimidating if you’ve never experienced it before which is why we’ve collected ‘6 Things Google Analytics Can Tell You About Your B2B Website.’
Inside Google Analytics, one of the most valuable things you can learn about your B2B website is how people get to it. By looking at where your traffic comes from
Why is this metric important? To answer that question, let’s explore how each channel is defined and how to identify possible opportunities.
- Organic search is when someone finds your site using a search engine. This is usually broken down into either branded (searches that include the name of your firm) or unbranded (searches for specific services or issues) keywords. Once someone selects your site listing in the search results, they are registered as organic search traffic.Organic search is the most important metric to monitor when it comes to how your site is performing from an overall SEO standpoint. Is your site optimized correctly to show up for the keywords you would like to rank for? Are you driving quality traffic to your site? These are questions that can better be answered by monitoring this metric specifically.
- Direct traffic is when someone types the URL of your pages directly into the address bar of their browser. For example, someone typing hingemarketing.com into his or her address bar would register as direct traffic.
- Referral traffic is registered if someone is taken to your site via a link on another website other than a search engine. The quantity and, more importantly, the quality of links that point back to your site play a major part in how Google ranks sites in organic search. Therefore, it is important to make an effort to earn quality links back to your site. Moz.com has great tools to help you identify which sites have high authorities.
- Social traffic, much like referral traffic, is registered once someone enters your site via a social media link. The two most popular social networks for B2B firms are LinkedIn and Twitter. Other popular networks for B2B firms include Facebook, Google+, and YouTube. So be sure to share your content on social networks whenever possible to expand your firm’s online footprint and increase performance in this gaining social traffic.
Average session duration
To calculate your website’s average session duration, Google Analytics sums the duration of each session and then divides that sum by the total number of sessions. This metric can be important to measure so you can determine how engaged your site visitors are with your website.
If you think about some of the products or services you look for online, you may find that you typically view multiple websites and compare. If your average session duration is low, site visitors are likely not engaged with your website when they’re clicking through from one site to another. The longer someone spends on your website, the more engaged they are and the more likely they are to become a lead.
Pages per Session
Google Analytics defines pages/session as the average number of pages viewed per session. Most of the time, when visitors come to your website, they enter your website through the homepage. This is great, but usually the information you really want your users to see — your services pages or product pages — require them to visit another page of the website. If they do go view that next page, then their average pages per session is two. If your website then requires them to fill out a form on that page that takes them to a thank-you page, their average pages per session is three.
Therefore, B2B companies should count on how many pages it takes for a visitor to become a lead from the homepage. You should aim for your average pages per session to be that number. For most, it’s 2-3 pages. Anything over three, such as 3.7, means that on average, visitors are viewing at least three pages, but sometimes four pages, when they visit your website.
To calculate your website’s bounce rate, Google Analytics divides single-page sessions by all page sessions. It’s essentially the percentage of all sessions on your site where users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the analytics server.
Bounce rate is a good indicator on how qualified your visitors are. A high bounce rate isn’t necessarily bad if you have a single-page site or the page they’re visiting doesn’t require them to visit another page. But, if visitors need to visit more than one page to complete the desired action, then a high bounce rate can be a sign that visitors are not finding what they’re looking for, or that they’re not the right visitors.
A landing page is exactly what is sounds like — the page of a website that you land on. We recommend taking a look at this report in Google Analytics so that you’re able to see what content on your site is really responsible for driving traffic. Typically, if someone is searching for something really specific, Google isn’t going to display your homepage in search results, but is likely going to show the page (like a blog post, service page or industry page) that is most relevant to what the person is looking for.
It’s important for B2B companies to identify specific pieces of content or pages that are high-ranking and that people are landing on. Once you figure out where people are entering your site through you can optimize those pages to make sure they drive visitors where you want them to go.
Google Analytics also provides some great tips for improving landing pages if they have a high bounce rate and you’re using them in ad campaigns.
Lastly, it’s important to take a look at the all pages tab in Google Analytics so you can learn what pages of your website do receive the most views. You’ll also be able to see average time on page, bounce rate, and other metrics for each specific page.
Many times B2B companies think that their site visitors are only going to look at their services pages or their industry pages. Taking a look at your all pages report can confirm if your assumptions are right or wrong. Sometimes you’ll learn that your top pages may include things like case studies or your “about us” page. As a B2B company ourselves, our top pages always includes our “about” page, individual team member pages, our case studies, and some of our most popular blog posts.
We know that when someone is looking for a web design or marketing firm, they’re often going to evaluate a few different agencies. Those companies are going to evaluate what makes us different by looking at the work we do (case studies), information about our company (about us), how talented our team is (team member pages), and if we keep up with industry trends and changes (blog posts).
Ready to Take Your Strategy to the Next Level?
As you can see, there’s no shortage of data your team can collect from Google Analytics! If you’re interested in learning more about how tools like Google Analytics can be leveraged to drive customer-experience and satisfaction, as well as track marketing efforts across the board — shoot us an email, we’d love to nerd out on numbers with you!