The Essential Google Analytics Guide for B2B Marketers

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:

  1. How much traffic are we getting?
  2. Where is traffic coming from?
  3. What companies are visiting?
  4. Are different audiences acting differently?
  5. Are we generating sales leads?

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Question #1: How Much Traffic Are We Getting? (The Home Report)

B2B Google Analytics Guide: In GA, you can see 'sessions' and 'users'.

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.

  1. Users: Unique people who’ve visited.

  2. Sessions: Total number of times people have visited the site, including repeat visitors.

Question #2: Where Is Traffic Coming From? (Acquisition Reports)

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Under 'Aquisition,' you can see where people are visiting from.

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.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Under 'Acquistion' and 'Overview' you can see the common characteristics for those channels.

It also shows common visitor characteristics for those channels.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Top 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.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/ Medium

This is one of the more powerful reports that Google Analytics offers.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Source/ Medium

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.”

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Secondary Dimension

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.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Page

You’ll get a report that looks like this:

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Click a link to see keywords.

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.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Breakdown of Search Queries.

Question #3: What Companies Are Visiting My Website?

It’s not commonly known that Google Analytics can help you identify the businesses that are visiting your website.

This is a massive advantage for B2B marketers. When you know someone from a company has visited your website and what pages they looked at, you can pass that information to your sales force for investigation and follow-up.

To see this information in Google Analytics, use the “Network Report,” which is under Audience > Technology > Network.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Audience > Technology > Network

The majority of the data you’ll see in this report is internet service providers, which aren’t really helpful to your B2B sales team.

If you dig a little deeper, however, you’ll find individual companies or organizations that have visited your site from their own network.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: See specific organizations/companies who visited.

By setting the secondary dimension to “**Page,” **you can see the pages visited by that individual organization.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: You can see the specific pages on your site that were visited by that company.

If that seems like a lot of digging, we agree with you.

This is one example where the out-of-the-box reporting in Google Analytics isn’t as immediately useful as it should be.

That’s where Leadfeeder comes in.

Leadfeeder pulls those leads out of Google Analytics and shows them to you in a single report, no digging required.

In that way, you can see who visited your website, even if they don’t fill out a form.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: You can see who visited, 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.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Within 'Audience Overview', you can add in different segments.

For the purposes of this example, I’ve added ‘Direct Traffic,’ ‘Organic Traffic,’ and ‘Referral Traffic,’ as segments in my report.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: ‘Direct Traffic,’ ‘Organic Traffic,’ and ‘Referral Traffic,’ are segments in our 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

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.

Event tracking can be set up either through individually tagging JavaScript in your site code, or using Google Tag Manager. However, Google Tag Manager is much more efficient for managing analytics tagging and tracking.

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.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Google Tag Manager

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.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Behavior > Events > Overview

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.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Set up goals

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.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: 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.

B2B Google Analytics Guide: Goal Flow Reporting Funnel

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.

  1. Traffic numbers tell you if enough people are visiting your website.
  2. The “Network Report” shows you specific 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.
  3. Channel analysis tells you where traffic is coming from
  4. Advanced segmentation reveals which segments are generating the best results.
  5. 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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