Now that upward of 75% of the buying cycle happens online, there’s a lot of focus on the importance of website analytics. But as a marketer with limited time and resources, how do you make sure you’re not accumulating data for data’s sake?
First, take a step back and think about the goal of your website.
You want to:
- Attract the right visitors
- Engage them with the right content
- Convert the right, high-value prospects
Unfortunately, there’s no universal formula for achieving these (seemingly straightforward) goals. However, you can optimize your website based on the right analytics. The million-dollar question is: what analytics? Rather than collect huge amounts of scattered data, you want to designate a specific set of reports that ladder up into your three key goals of attracting, engaging and converting prospects.
We have a specific set of recommendations based on the programs that have been most successful for our customers. Here are the five reports that every B2B marketer needs in order to analyze website performance and most importantly, to optimize website performance.
Rather than collect huge amounts of scattered data, you want to designate a specific set of reports that ladder up into your three key goals of attracting, engaging and converting prospects.
- Visitor Composition (Who are your visitors?)Organizations invest lots of time and effort to define audience segments for everything from product/service development to marketing campaigns to revenue measurement. Yet for some reason, when it comes to measuring traffic, we’re more worried about individuals. In fact, knowing the key attributes of visitors on your website should be your first priority. Then, you can measure their activity by segments such as industry, organization size (revenue or employees), or account status. Your reports on their behavior will allow you to answer critical questions about your website performance. For example, does the quantity of traffic from a particular segment match spend on acquisition tactics for that group? Based on this insight, optimize to get the right visitors on the site.
- Engagement by Visitor Segment (What are they doing?)Once you know how many visitors you’re getting from each target segment, it’s time to look at exactly what they’re doing on your site. (Or in other words, “engagement.”) Measure what types of content are being consumed by visitors in each segment. Are the right visitors engaging with the right pages? If so, replicate the successes. If not, dig into the buyer experience of each segment and find ways to deliver the right message to them.
- Segment Channel Preferences (Where did your visitors come from?)How does each of your target segments actually end up on your website? This data will help you to understand which channels are most effective at attracting visitors. There may be substantial differences in the effectiveness of a channel from one visitor segment to the next. For example, SMBs may click directly on display ads, while enterprise visitors might prefer a direct email. Compare visits from each medium (organic, paid, direct, social, etc.) within a visitor segment to understand the effectiveness of each channel. Then, adjust the channel mix that each target visitor segment uses to find your site.
- Content Group Preference (What types of content get the most eyeballs?)Rather than wading through hundreds of URLs to determine which content is most engaging, start by breaking up your content into groups and use those groups to uncover behavior patterns. Create a simple hierarchy of content groups based on the theme of the content, then report on the groups. This becomes particularly powerful when combined with the visitor segments you defined in #1. For example, are Emerging Accounts gravitating towards online tools and communities, while Strategic Accounts are all over the product pages? Based on insight from these reports, you can optimize the website to make it easy for each segment to find the right content.
- Content Influence (What types of content lead to conversions?)Content Influence is a measure of a group or piece of content’s likelihood to lead to a conversion event. You can set goals/events in your analytics platform -not every piece content leads to form conversion. In fact, the content value metric can be used to map content to buying stage (early stage = research = less conversion, later stage = getting ready for sales contact = higher conversion). Based on account status, you can promote the content that moves prospects through the appropriate buying stages.
These five reports are certainly not an exhaustive list of B2B web analytics, but they do provide a way to measure progress against the three fundamental objectives of a web site: Attract visitors, engage them with relevant content, and influence them to take specific actions (convert).
If you’re now extremely excited about analytics, we don’t blame you. Learn more here.