Research from Dun & Bradstreet and Forrester indicates that only about 50% of the marketing decisions made by B2B organizations are based on some sort of quantitative analysis, versus their gut-based intuition.
It’s a statistic that tells us that the use of website analytics, which receives a great deal of lip service and even hype among the marketing crowd, is not as widespread in practice as the technologies make possible.
Part of the reason for this apparent lag in what analytics can do, and the number of organizations taking advantage of it, could be that some B2B organizations aren’t sure how to get their arms around what’s possible through analytics, how to prioritize the many available tools, and how to develop and manage a smart analytics plan.
One way to help make the daunting task of implementing analytics more manageable: set clear high-level goals about website analytics and come up with a staged plan to reach those goals.
We can help B2B organizations with these things by sharing our own goals for analytics when we work with clients, as well as our five-step plan on how we approach website analytics for the best results.
Goals and Priorities for B2B Website Analytics
Our goals when approaching analytics are two-fold: First, we use this data as a means to an end. The results ultimately become the launchpad for us to develop actionable insights and set direction for future marketing efforts. And insights from the analytics also need to be invested to help drive brand awareness and conversions along the marketing funnel.
We use five major steps to achieve these goals.
- Benchmark website pages. We begin analytics programs with an assessment of multiple pages of a client’s website, looking at such key performance indicators as where traffic is originating, the number of unique visitors converted, and bounce rates.
- Compare conversion rates. We also find it helpful to look at conversion rates page by page on the client’s website and then compare them against industry benchmarks overall. The comparisons show what’s working well and where to begin making improvements.
- Test and optimize web page executions. Improving web page performance is partly based on understanding what target audiences are responding to. So we test a variety of web page executions to understand what’s engaging for the client’s ideal audiences and what isn’t, which leads to related web page improvements.
- Maintain analytics collection and review programs. Website performance changes all the time, so analytics assessments are only valuable when conducted repetitively and routinely. We do this on behalf of our clients by continuing to monitor key performance indicators, mining insights from them, and making the changes that these indicators show are needed. We also regularly assess whether the KPI’s themselves might be modified to yield new insights.
- Coordinate analytics results with other data sources. Website analytics is only one source of performance data to track as part of an organization’s marketing strategy. It’s also informative to view web analytics in relation to other key statistics, such as organic search performance, social media engagement levels, and paid media results. Looking at all of these indicators together helps to form a holistic picture and also shows how websites are performing in relation to other marketing tactics.
Companies that are new to using analytics to drive marketing plans may find it’s out of their comfort zone at first. But once they settle into studying, understanding and using analytics, they’ll find their marketing intuition to be stronger than ever.
And, after incorporating this valuable B2B reporting tool, a logical next step of the analytics journey for many organizations can be using marketing automation tools to manage and organize greater quantities of data efficiently. We’ll cover this topic in an upcoming post.Until then, if you’d like a fresh perspective on your current analytics performance or setting up a baseline analytics plan, please get in touch with us.