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Your B2B Guide to Google Analytics

B2B Guide Google Analytics

Can you solve a Rubik’s cube with your eyes closed? Actually, some people can, but it’s pretty hard. This is what B2B marketing without data is like. If you want to grow as a B2B business and generate more leads, you need data. At least 38% of companies rely heavily on data to gather information about customer behavior that they can use to improve their sales flow.

Customers are people that are seriously interested in your business services, and without having information about those visitors, you won’t know what, who, and why visits your site, not even the percentage that converts, and not even the ones that don’t.

If you really want to increase your conversion rate, understanding analytics is crucial. Having insights is the driving force of every B2B company, and it’s something that if it’s used strategically, it has the power to transform your business. So, how can you acquire a more insightful understanding of your website visitors?

Enter Google Analytics, one of the best analytical tools for your company that you can use to track customer behavior and website data analysis, completely for free! In this article, we’re going to help you understand how to use GA for your B2B business, and how you can develop the tactics that will increase your conversion rates only by understanding how your targeted customers use your website.

Why Google Analytics?

First of all, it’s completely free. Yes, you have the option to upgrade as you scale your website’s traffic demands, but the free version is definitely capable of analyzing tens of thousands of visitors without any problems.

Second, it’s a robust tool with tons of powerful options such as visitors tracking, setting website goals, creating campaigns, and audience filtering. It even goes beyond that by providing demographic and psychographic analysis of your web visitors.

It’s a tracking tool that is really easy to use even on the go, with an app that is available both on iOS and Android so you can check how your website is doing even if you’re not in front of your desk, and the implementation and the tracking code is effortless, especially if you use WordPress as your CMS.

In lots of ways, GA is possibly the most powerful and practical tool available which can help you:

  • Learn what’s working with your content and what not.
  • See who opens your website.
  • Understand how your website performs.
  • See where your visitors come from.
  • Get a sense of how people engage with your site.
  • Discover where users land on your site.
  • Determine your target audience.
  • And much more…

Setting Google Analytics Goals

If you want to find out if your website meets the defined B2B KPIs and to develop the actions that will lead to an increased conversion of your website, you must use Google Analytics to define goals and estimate their progress.

In GA, there are three main goals that you can define:

  • Destination Goals: Track the visitor’s activity on an individual or a set of pages. For example, an order completion or a filling out a form.
  • Engagement Goals: Track the time that people spend on your website, the number of pages that they visit and their activities.
  • Event Goals: Trac actions that occur separately from a page load, such as document downloads, video plays, AJAX elements, etc.

Setting Up Destination Goals

Here are the steps that you’ll need to set up destination goals for your B2B website:

At the bottom of your left navigation area, select ‘Admin’

In the next column, select ‘Goals’:

Select ‘New Goal’

Select ‘Custom’ and go to ‘Continue’

Name your goal and select the Destination

In the destination field, you can include the URL of the page that you want to track the goal for. Check if each of the settings is ok, and when you save the goal, you can access it on your Goals page.

Setting up Engagement Goals

As an example, let’s say that you want to set up ‘Session duration’ or ‘Pages/Screens per session’.

Again, use the Admin panel to access ‘Goals’, and also, under ‘Goals Setup’, again, access ‘Custom’. Give your goal a name, for example, “10 pages in a visit”

And click on ‘Save’ after you’re done. Again, you can access the goal in your ‘Goals’ page.

Setting up Event Goals

Event goals are completed when a specific event is executed on your page. The event goal can measure and track CTA button clicks, video views, and other visitor interaction on your website.

Follow the steps above to create a Custom goal, and in ‘Goal Description’, name your event and select ‘Event’.

If you know what type of event you want to track, you can insert the category, the action, label, and value too, for example:

  • Category: CTA
  • Action: CTA Click
  • Label: Landing Page CTA
  • Value: N/A

The Event goals option of Google Analytics is a really flexible one, and you can use it to track pretty much everything on your website.

Create Buyer Personas with Google Analytics

The buyer personas are the key for an effective B2B marketing strategy. This is why it’s vital to understand your target customers on a deep level. When you define your buyer personas, the positioning of your marketing approaches will become much more fruitful.

Demographic Insights

Open your GA account, and go to Audience -> Demographics. Here, you’ll find the gender, the age, and other important demographic data.

Audience Interests

As a B2B company, it’s always helpful to see what your audiences are interested in when they check your site. Google Analytics organizes this data in several categories for you. Just click on Audience -> Interests, and voila.

Locate Your Target Users

Another key information for B2B businesses is the geographical location of the website visitors. You can find this data in Audience -> Geo -> Location.

Here, you can examine the location of your web visitors by continent, state, country, or city.

Network Data

With Google Analytics, you can also learn whether the person that landed on your page is from a big corporation or from a smaller company. You just need to tap in their Network data. Just go to Audience -> Technology -> Network.

In most cases, small businesses use regular ISPs, like AT&T or Comcast. But if they’re big corporations such as Amazon, they’ll have their own network that stretches globally, and is fully recognized by Google. When you spot a network that has a company name you need to be aware that someone from that company has visited your site.

Segmentation

To prepare your data for analysis, you need to create a Google Analytics Advanced Segment. Advanced segmentation can help you isolate distinctive types of traffic from your Analytics reports.

You can start creating Google Segments by accessing GA first, then go to Admin > View > Personal Tools and Assets > Segments.

These segments include different reports that include:

  • Visitor type
  • Returning visitors
  • Mobile visitors
  • Desktop visitors
  • Organic visitors
  • Paid visitors
  • Traffic Source/Medium
  • Location/Geography
  • And more…

Within your audience data segments, there is a lot of data that you can use to make a better marketing optimization decision. Each segment can tell you how your website is performing and which visitors you need to keep a close eye on.

Watch the following video if you want to learn how to use Google’s advanced segment feature to enhance your buyer persona analysis.

B2B Marketing Metrics That You Should Measure

With the right metrics in place, you’ll be much better prepared to increase your marketing ROI and you’ll know where you’re at in terms of achieving your business and website goals. Let’s outline the B2B metrics that you need to start tracking right now.

Volume Metrics

You need to be aware of how many people you reach each stage. By analyzing the volume metrics, you’ll get more insight into the effect that your marketing activities have on the users:

  • Traffic: At what time of the day are prospects more inclined to visit your website? What are the traffic stats per day, week, and month? To get the bigger traffic picture, you need to measure organic and paid traffic at the same time.
  • Impressions: A simple metric that taken individually doesn’t tell much about the effect of your marketing efforts. To make it valuable for your report, you need to match it with results of engagement and its impact on revenue.
  • Page Ranking: If your page ranks high, your organic traffic, you’ll receive a regular organic boost, and as a result, you won’t be dependent on budgeting for advertisements and paid traffic.
  • Paid Search: If you do the data analysis thoroughly, you’ll be able to create a smart paid search strategy that can grow your reach even further. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your budget and make sure that your ROI for each paid click is worth the spend.
  • Referral Sources: You have so many channels you can use to reach your target clients, and it’s vital to learn from which source do they come to your website.

Conversion Metrics

Analyzing your conversion rate and its trend allows you to find out if you have some weak spots in your sales pipeline and if that’s so, decide what you’re going to do about it according to your data.

  • Lead Score: The primary metric that will help you understand the position of your leads in the sales pipeline. Your sales and marketing teams need to collaborate to develop a thorough and effective lead scoring system.
  • Channel Origin Rate: Keeping track of which channel you get the best leads so you can invest more of your budget and effort there.
  • Inquiry to Qualified Lead Conversion: A measurement of how well you engage with your leads at the start of the sales funnel.
  • Fit Rate: You can calculate your fit rate by determining the number of sales qualified leads – SQLs that your salespeople need to talk with to the point where you’re able to make a proposal. If your salespeople need to talk to four qualified prospects to get to a proposal, your Fit Rate is 25%.
  • Close Rate: How good are you at closing the deals? You need to keep track of the opportunities that directly lead to sales.
  • Win Rate: Multiplying your close rate with the fit rate. With this metric, you’ll understand what amount of qualified leads are necessary to win a client.

Value Metrics

You need to know the exact value of your revenue pipeline at each stage of the sales funnel and the speed at which leads move through the funnel, as well as the speed’s trend over a given time period. Again, these metrics will help you find the gaps in your pipeline and determine how to serve the needs of your prospects better by fixing those gaps.

  • Return on Marketing Investment: You need to look at marketing as an investment, not as an unnecessary expense. This is a direct metric that points out how profitable your marketing efforts are.
  • Cost per Inquiry: Divide your marketing budget with the number of inbound requests that you get from prospects. With this, you’ll measure your marketing program’s cost-effectiveness.
  • Cost per Acquisition: Take your marketing budget and divide it by the number of clients that you acquire. Analyze the part of the sales pipeline that costs you money but doesn’t bring results. Figure out how to reduce marketing spend by keeping the sales performance efficient.
  • Monthly Revenue by Channel: You use multiple channels for your marketing and sales approaches. Keep a monthly track of the revenue that each channel brings.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): The client’s worth over the full extent of the time that they’re working with you. Among other things, this metric will help you estimate the segment that will bring the most revenue in the long run.

Engagement Metrics

Social media and website mentions, likes, shares, clicks, conversations, are all engagement activities that you need to benchmark and measure their progress over defined periods of time. The most important thing in engagement metrics is to not confuse them with your bottom line and forget about their impact on your revenue.

  • Likes: If you have real likes from followers and readers within the realm of your buyer personas, you’re on good track to convert them through with your content strategy.
  • Comments: A like is something that doesn’t require too much muscle from a prospect. But, a comment is an effort that requires a bigger investment and thinking through, and because of that, it’s much more important engagement metric than a like.
  • Shares: People that share your content act like promoters of your company, and that exposure alone is a valuable metric.
  • Followers: You must be doing something right with your B2B marketing if your number of followers is on constant increase mode. You need to keep track of your followers and always provide them with an incentive to sign-up and enter the sales funnel.
  • Repeat Visits: Someone that visits your website more than once is always a lead that you can consider for your sales pipeline.
  • Email Open Rate: The metric that is the basis of every lead generation campaign. By examining your open rates, you’ll learn if you need to alter your approach to grab your prospect’s attention.
  • Click-Through: If people don’t click on your offers, whether on a post, an ad, or a link in your email messages, it means that you need to have a closer look at your pitch and the quality or your content.
  • Bounce Rate: How many users have opened your site, not taken any action, and just opted out? If you have a website that has compelling and engaging content, keeping visitors there and having a low bounce rate shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Exit Rate: The exit rate points to how many users left the website from a specific page. A page that has a high exit rate definitely needs to be redesigned or its content needs to be completely revamped.

Track the Form Engagement

Collecting contact information is the number one thing that you need to start the sales cycle. If you truly want to collect a good pile of leads, you need to provide some value first in the form, such as content, e-book, and other resources and trade them for the contact information.

Source: Neil Patel

These forms must be your focal point of measurement. The crucial form engagement aspects that you need to be aware of are form views, total form submits, attempted (failed) form submits, and successful form submits.

In order to track your form engagement with Google Analytics, you need to use Google’s compatible software called Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager is a program that you can use to deploy tags to your website, such as the Google Analytics tracking code, the Google Analytics Event Code, tag for remarketing, for Adwords conversion, and so on.

To start tracking your forms, first, you must use GTM. If you don’t have a GTM account, go to the Google Tag Manager page, and click on the ‘Start for Free’ button.

You’ll be redirected to a page where you need to create a new GTM account. Enter your Company Name and country, and click Continue.

In the GTM Setup Container, you can decide which tags you want to manage. Label it with the name of your website, define where you are going to use the container, and click on ‘Create’.

In the next step, you’ll need to agree to the Terms of Service of GTM. If you want to track your forms and improve your B2B marketing campaigns, must agree.

Now, you’ll be redirected to the tracking code that you need to install GTM on your website.

To add the code to your WordPress website header section, follow the simple process that is described at the end of the following video from WPBeginner.

Now, after you add the code, you need to create the Google Analytics tag. Go to the Tag Manager Dashboard -> Tags – New

In your tag configuration, choose Google Analytics – Universal Analytics

In the Configuration settings, select:

Track type: Event
Category: Form Submission
Action: Contact Form
Label: {{Page URL}}
Google Analytics Settings: {{GA Settings Variable}}

Next up, you need to set up your trigger. You need to create a new trigger

Choose to start the Trigger Configuration and select the Form Submission trigger.

You can use the “Wait for Tags” option to delay the form submission until all the tags that depend upon this trigger are activated or the specified timeout has elapsed, whichever comes first. If unselected, slow tags may not fire before the form submit causes the next page to load.
The “Check Validation” option set the trigger to fire only if the form is successfully sent. If unselected, the trigger will fire whenever a user attempts to submit the form.

According to Google, for better performances, you should:

“specify conditions (e.g. a specific URL) where you expect the form submission to take place. Under “This trigger fires on”, select “Some Forms” and enter a trigger filter that specifies where the form action will occur.”

When a form submission trigger fires, the following built-in variables are populated:

  • Form Element: The element that is clicked.
  • Form Classes: The array of values that are found in the form class attribute.
  • Form ID: The ID attribute of the form element.
  • Form Target: The target attribute of the form element.
  • Form URL: The href attribute value of the form element, if it is present.

When you click the ‘Check Validation’ option, GTM will not fire the trigger if the form submission and redirect happen. If it’s unchecked, the trigger will be fired when the event happens, even if it happens with errors, for example with blank fields.

So, click the ‘Check Validation’ option, select Page path, contains, and enter “contact-us”, and save the trigger.

To see if your GTM will work for the form tracking, you need to enter the ‘Preview Mode’. In your GTM account admin, at the top-right, click on ‘Preview’.

An orange banner looking like this one should appear

Now, after the Preview mode is enabled, you need to access the page where the contact form is, and you’ll see a debug console that won’t be visible to the users. To learn more about the GTM Debug Console, watch this video from GTMtraining.

The next thing you need to do is test the form and see how the tracking works. In the debug console, a gtm.formSubmit event should appear. If this appears, it means that the form submission is a success and that the form can be tracked with GTM’s form listener.

Content Marketing Reports

Through the tracking code, GA collects a huge amount of data about your website visitors, that you can transform into an actionable insight. This shows how your content marketing strategies are performing and can detect where you need improvement.
In terms of content analysis, Google Analytics can help you answer some of the following questions:

  • Is my Content Marketing strategy effective?
  • What are the key tactics that I can implement to improve my content strategy?
  • Which content is more effective in bringing traffic to my website?
  • What are my content gaps?

Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

With this report, you can see the channels that you’re receiving the web traffic from. The other metric that you need to keep an eye on is the Bounce rate for each of your traffic channels.

In most of the cases, a bounce rate of more than 70% should sound the alarm that something is wrong with your website. Pay close attention to the channels that bring you the most traffic. Always think about how you can bring the bounce rate down and keep an eye at the percentage of visitors that actually complete the desired goal when landing on your website from a specific channel.

Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

This is an excellent report if you want to comprehend what are the most effective pages of your website. Again, make sure that you focus your attention on the bounce rate. If some pages drive more traffic than the rest, perhaps you need to create a similar content or redesign your weakest pages according to the architecture of the most effective ones.

GA SEO Reports

If you can’t track and measure SEO, you can’t improve it. Keywords matter, but to make SEO work, you must look at the whole picture. Luckily, Google Analytics is again the tool that can help you gauge how successful your search optimization efforts are.

Behavior > Site Speed > Speed Suggestions

Speed is one of the key ranking factors. Having a slow website can push visitors away and reduce your search ranking. The ‘Speed Suggestions’ report will provide you with suggestions that you can use to accelerate your page. Take note which pages load faster and which are the slowest. Follow GA’s suggestions to fix them.

Acquisition > Search Console > Queries

This is an excellent report if you want to have a look at which keywords bring you the most traffic. Make a list of your best performing keywords and think about more topics that you can write about that are related to them.

UX/UI GA Reports

Even though Google Analytics is primarily a marketing research tool, it has a powerful reporting feature that can collect valuable insights for UX design purposes without the need for additional software or tools.

Behavior > Behavior Flow

The ‘Behavior Flow’ report is a graphic representation of the prospect’s movement on your website.

Examine from which pages the users leave the most often. If a big percentage of the users leave a specific page, maybe it’s because the page is loading slowly, or you have another UX/Content problem. If you have some pages that you would love to bring more prospects to, you need to figure out new ways to interlink pages in your website to create a behavior flow that can lead to conversion.

Google Analytics Custom Campaigns

A Custom Campaign tracks from which sources prospects visit your website. GA Custom Campaigns are set through UTM parameters which are attached to the end of your URL which users click on.
The are three main UTM parameters that Google Analytics need in order for the Custom Campaign to work:

  • Medium Campaign: utm_medium
  • Traffic Source Campaign: utm_source
  • Campaign Name: utm_campaign

For example, let’s say that you’re running multiple Facebook ads, you’re not able to get insights into the performance of each individual ad in GA by default. This is why you need to use UTM parameter.

And when you click on the ad, as you can see, the UTMs are inserted in the URL

The UTM parameters overwrite the original traffic referral and send back the information to Google Analytics.

The part of the URL above that starts after the ‘?’ is called a query string, and is made up of one or more parameters with a ‘key=value’ pair. For example, in the URL above, the query string is made up of pairs such as:

  • utm_source=Facebook
  • utm_medium=cpc
  • utm_campaign=RT_oCPM_Global_EN_Conversion_USD

The five keys of UTM parameters are the following:

  • utm_source: The key that sends information related to the traffic source of your custom campaign to GA.
  • utm_medium: A key that is used to send information for the traffic medium of a custom campaign to GA.
  • utm_campaign: This key is used to send information associated with the custom campaign name in GA.
  • utm_term: Key that is used to send data back that is affiliated with to the campaign term (keyword) to GA.
  • utm_content: Used to send information that corresponds with the campaign content (advertisement version) to GA.

There’s not a strict order in which the UTM parameters can be used. The value of your UTM parameters should depend on the key that you are using. If the ‘utm_source’ key is used for sending the traffic source data to GA, its value should indicate the traffic source. A traffic source can be defined in two ways:

  • System-Defined: A source that Google validates as an identifiable traffic source, such as google, bing, yahoo, m.facebook.com, etc. These traffic sources are lower-case sensitive by default in GA. When you alter the spelling of the system defined source it turns into a user-defined source. For instance:

www.myexamplesite.com/?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=organic….

  • User-Defined: A source that by default is not detectable for Google. For example:

www.myexamplesite.com/utm_source=twitter_campaign&utm_medium=social

The ‘twitter_campaign’ is used as the user-defined traffic source.

According to Google, the following are the best practices when it comes to using Custom Campaigns:

Tag Only What You Need

If your GA account is integrated with a Google Ads account and your auto-tagging is enabled, you don’t need your destination URLs to be tagged in Google Ads. GA tracks all of your Google Ads campaigns automatically. But, if you run paid search campaigns on search engines other than Google, you’ll need to tag the destination URLs for those ads.

Referral sites are automatically detected and displayed in your reports. However, if you want to associate a campaign name or ad type (such as “banner_ad”) with referral traffic, you should tag links on referral sites.

There are certain links that you don’t need to tag, and many times are not able to tag. You should not attempt to tag organic (unpaid) keyword links from search engines. Search engine names are automatically detected and displayed in your reports. And again, you don’t need to tag Google Ads URLs as long as you are using auto-tagging.

Create Links with the URL Builder

A campaign link is composed of a URL address followed by a question mark (?), and then your campaign variables separated by ampersands (&), for example:

http://www.example.com/?utm_source=adsite&utm_campaign=adcampaign.

If you use the URL Builder to generate your URLs, you don’t have to think about the syntax and the parameter’s order. You can just copy and paste the links in your ad.

Use Only the Variables That You Need

Your URL builder has six fields, but in general, you only need one to create the Campaign Source, Campaign Medium, and Campaign Name.

Campaign Term allows you to specify the paid search keyword. You can use Campaign Content to indicate the specific ad, button, or link that was clicked.

Don’t Send Personal ID and Information

The Analytics terms of service forbid sending personally identifiable information (PII) to Analytics, such as names, social security numbers, email addresses, or any similar data. You can learn more about the Analytics privacy rules here.

To keep your campaign tracking precise, you need to be unvarying with your UTM parameters. The way you capitalize, spell, and space the parameters must be the same to keep your GA campaign consistent.

Wrapping Up

When you use Google Analytics correctly and consistently, it can have an impressive effect on your B2B marketing effort, and as well as on your overall business performance.

This is why GA is that powerful as an analytics tool, you can use it to gauge whether your marketing tactics are worth the effort and whether your goals are aligned with the KPIs that you’ve defined in the first place. You have the right guide, and you have the right framework to get things going.

Getting the right insight and knowing how to use them properly is what prepares you for the marketplace. Address the data across your entire funnel, ensure that your sales pipeline is fully covered, and start bringing more revenue for your venture.

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