Google Analytics can be a treasure trove of information for B2B marketers.
It can also be a confusing jumble of numbers and charts you don’t understand at all.
In this article, we’ll highlight the essential Google Analytics reports for B2B marketers, how they work, what they tell you, and why you should you (or shouldn’t) use them, depending on your situation.
We’ve broken the guide into five questions you can answer with Google Analytics as a B2B marketer:
How much traffic are we getting?
Where is traffic coming from?
What companies are visiting?
Are different audiences acting differently?
Are we generating sales leads?
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Question #1: How Much Traffic Are We Getting? (The Home Report)
When you log into Google Analytics, one of the first things to look for is the absolute number of people who are coming to your website.
You’ll see this on the “Home” page: the very first page you see after logging in.
The first two numbers you’ll see are ‘Users’ and ‘Sessions’ for the last seven days.
Users: Unique people who’ve visited.
Sessions: Total number of times people have visited the site, including repeat visitors.
Question #2: Where Is Traffic Coming From? (Acquisition Reports)
After you look at how many people are coming to your site, the next question to ask is: where are those people coming from?
Google Analytics has a whole section of reports dedicated to this. You’ll find them under “Acquisition” as in the screenshot above.
Let’s take a look at some of the reports in this section and what you can learn from them.
The Overview Report: Review Top Channels
Acquisition reports provide information to B2B marketers about the channels and campaigns that are sending customers or visitors to your website.
The first report you’ll see is the “Overview” report, which highlights the top channels driving traffic to your site.
It also shows common visitor characteristics for those channels.
The Source/Medium Report: Drill Down for Additional Details
Within the Acquisition report section, use the All Traffic > Source/Medium to deep dive into where the visitors are coming from.
This is one of the more powerful reports that Google Analytics offers.
For example, in the above screenshot, you see “organic” traffic (the “medium”) broken out by the individual search engines (the “source”):
Google / Organic: 886 users
Bing / Organic: 16 users
This level of detail lets you see the breakdown of where different types of traffic are coming from to your site, plus what they’re doing when they get there (by channel).
You can go one level deeper by leveraging the secondary dimension feature.
As Google Analytics Advocate Krista Seiden writes, “The purpose of Secondary Dimensions is to slice and dice your data set for a more advanced analysis.”
Here’s the same report as above with a secondary dimension added for “User Type.”
Keyword Report: See Search Terms That Drive Traffic
With a little configuration, you can see what search keywords are driving organic traffic to your site.
Just make sure you have Google Webmaster Tools connected to your Google Analytics account.
Once connected, you will be able to see the landing pages most commonly arrived at via organic search.
First, click the “Landing Pages” report, which is under Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Page.
You’ll get a report that looks like this:
Click on one of those URLs, and you will get a breakdown of the search queries that are already driving traffic to that landing page.
Question #3: What Companies Are Visiting My Website?
In the past, you could use Google Analytics to help you identify the businesses that were visiting your website.
When you knew someone from a company had visited your website and what pages they looked at, you could pass that information to your sales force for investigation and follow-up.
However, after Google Analytics made edits to some of the fields in the Network Report in February 2020 you can no longer get this data.
This is what you used to see:
The majority of the data you saw in this report is internet service providers, which wasn’t really helpful anyways to your B2B sales team.
This was one example where the out-of-the-box reporting in Google Analytics wasn’t as immediately useful as it should be. And the data is gone now anyway.
The good news?
Leadfeeder can gather this data for you.
Leadfeeder also integrates with Google Analytics to help enrich the data about these companies behaviour on your site.
In that way, you can see who visited your website, even if they don’t fill out a form.
Question #4: Are Different Audiences Acting Differently?
Google Analytics has advanced segmentation features that enable you to maximize your analytics capabilities.
Segmentation means you can view the existing analytics reports for a specific subset of visitors or users. You can use demographic, date, traffic source, technology, and behavior to create custom reports and segments.
Using my basic “Audience Overview” report as a starting point, I can add a segment or segments to my report.
For the purposes of this example, I’ve added ‘Direct Traffic,’ ‘Organic Traffic,’ and ‘Referral Traffic,’ as segments in my report.
I can now view all of my analytics reports with this segmentation configuration, meaning, I can compare key metrics across those visitor segments. You can easily configure your segments to device, location, company, and other visitor demographics.
Question #5: Are We Generating Leads?
The goal of any B2B marketing channel, including your website, is to generate a specific sales-related outcome.
Tracking these leads is the only way you can know the success of your website and the outcome of the leads generated.
Event tracking in Google Analytics is a means of tracking almost any action or activity a visitor makes on your site.
The best place to start with event tracking is button clicks.
Google Analytics Events has three core components: ‘Category,’ ‘Action,’ and ‘Label.’
Start with a basic naming template:
Category: Acquisition (most of your site events will be related to Acquisition).
Action: What action is the user taking? (eg. Homepage header sign-up click).
Label: Important identifying information (including the URL here is useful for report segmenting later).
Google Tag Manager provides clear templates for setting up Event Tracking.
Once those variables have been defined, simply declare when the when » then event tag will fire and you will start generating event tracking data in Google Analytics.
Navigate to Behavior > Events > Overview to start viewing your visitor events.
Setting Up Goals
B2B marketers always need to track leads. In Google Analytics, that means setting up goals, which are managed in the Google Analytics admin settings and are specific to each view.
You can set up a goal flow that mirrors your defined customer journey, and if you have event tracking setup, you can easily use those same events to define your conversion points as well.
A goal flow may be: homepage > product page > form submit.
Goal Flow Reporting
Goal Flow Reporting is derived from the configuration of your conversion funnel and goals.
With these in place, the Goal Flow Report reveals how your website visitors navigate your conversion funnel.
You can use this report to identify where there may be inefficiencies or high drop-offs in the funnel, and how that compares over time.
Five Questions That Tell You a Lot About Your Marketing
By monitoring the answers to the five questions we looked at in this article, you can learn a lot about the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Traffic numbers tell you if enough people are visiting your website.
The “Network Report” is no longer an option to view leads since they changed their reporting to (not set). You cannot see the companies that are visiting your site, along with what pages they looked at—information you can pass on to your sales team for follow-up. If you want to see this data, you have to connect to a website visitor identification tool like Leadfeeder.
Channel analysis tells you where traffic is coming from
Advanced segmentation reveals which segments are generating the best results.
And the lead and funnel reports indicate whether the traffic you’re getting is converting to actual leads for your sales team.
They’re essential starting points for any B2B marketer using Google Analytics.
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