Guest Post by Andrew Holstein, Online Marketing Analyst at eMedia
Much has been made in recent years of the value of Google Analytics (or other onsite analytics) to your marketing campaigns, but it is so easy to get lost in that data and start focusing too much on metrics that really don't matter.
It is easy to determine valuable metrics of an e-commerce site, where everything can be measured by whether or not a visitor bought something. You can break everything down by revenue. But for a B2B site focused on lead generation, the crystal ball becomes much foggier.
So how do you turn that jumble of numbers into something that truly indicates the ability of your site to generate leads?
Make your analytics tell a story.
And the framework for your lead-gen story should be all about the sales funnel. There are many variations of the sales funnel, but I am going to use this simplified version (after all, we're looking for a story, not a novel):
By segmenting your metrics into these three categories, your analytics can help you predict how many potential leads are coming down the pipeline and help you identify the sticking points that are costing you leads.
Awareness is where your visitors find out who you are and what you do. These are visitors that are just discovering you and your business. They aren't ready to fill out a lead form and they are not sure they want what you're selling.
A dead giveaway to a visitor in the awareness stage is someone that arrived on your site from a generic keyword, such as the type of product you sell. If they are searching for a broad term, they most likely are not familiar with you and your products - yet!
Look for visitors who view content on the site that is not specifically about your product, such as your blog, About Us page or homepage.
Visitors in the consideration stage are already familiar with you and are looking for more information about your product.
Most visitors that are already aware of you will arrive by either going directly to your homepage (by either bookmarking your site or remembering your domain name) or by searching for your brand name. Therefore, look for the visits from branded keywords and direct visits to your homepage. You should also look at Returning Visitors.
Chart: Identify which stage of the sales process your visitors are in.
You can tell which people are looking for more information based on the pages that they are viewing. Identify the pages that give detailed information about your products, such as product spec pages, pricing pages, product comparisons or FAQ's.
This is often a prime spot to find sticking points. If you have plenty of people checking out your pricing plans, but very few leads coming in, that's a red flag that people are not finding what they want to see.
I sincerely hope you're already tracking these. If not, think about the one thing you would want a visitor on your site to do. Then track it! This is the point where you turn it over to your sales team and let them work their magic.
Ultimately this is how the success of your website, possibly your business, will be measured. By segmenting your visitors into the stages of the sales cycle, you'll be able to understand where your potential customers are in the funnel and thus able to help move them further down the path to becoming a new lead!