How can you preditably generate leads, acquire new customers, and increase revenue if you have no idea what targets to hit, or which channels and campaigns are driving the greatest ROI?
Short answer: You can’t.
The Top kickass Metrics B2B Marketers Should ALWAYS Measure
Let me summarize this post to you in two words: traffic and conversions. B2B website performance is not rocket science but as digital marketers, we insist on making it complicated by analyzing website metrics that don’t matter.
Let’s break this down into two sections.
First, we will look at essential traffic metrics. Organic traffic, sessions, traffic cost, keyword rankings, and organic top landing pages are metrics that will determine if you’re driving the right traffic to your site.
Second, we will look at conversion metrics. Goal completions, conversion rate, A/B tests, bounce rate, and exit rate are metrics that will determine if your conversion pathways are implemented strategically. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Still with me?
Keeping your website a tuned and efficient piece of “marketing machinery” means to measure the metrics that can help you determine what’s working and what’s not. The data you capture now can help you make critical decisions down the road like, “do I need a new website or just some minor updates?”
Chances are your stuff is pretty darn cool to your ideal buyers, but that doesn’t matter if they can’t find it when they search the web. Much of the time what’s hurting you in Google search, is actually really easy to fix. Issues affecting your SEO may include:
1) Missing meta descriptions
2) Duplicate page titles
3) Pages titles that are too long
4) Page titles without keywords
5) Images missing alt text
Let’s look at metrics to determine how well your SEO is working:
What does organic traffic tell us? This number is your audience. Fun fact, the Staples Center in Los Angeles has a capacity of 19,000 for concerts. As an analogy, our website is Staples Center and we brought in 4,515 people to our concert. This number can also serve as our baseline for future growth.
In Google Analytics, you can find your organic traffic metrics by clicking Audience > Overview and then click on “Add Segment”. From there, click on “Organic Traffic”. Then click apply. You can remove the “All Users” segment to get a cleaner dashboard to get more accurate data as this removes out traffic that may not be actual “organic” viewers who arrive on your site.
In the same dashboard, we can find our organic sessions. Google defines a session as “the period time a user is actively engaged with your website.” A session can entail multiple page views, interactions, etc.
What does a session tell us? A session can tell us that our audience is interacting with our website which is a good thing.
What is traffic cost and why is this important? Traffic cost tells you what you would have to pay if you were to run paid efforts based on your keyword rankings and it’s value. The metric is essentially a simple calculation of the number of organic clicks received for specific keywords multiplied by the average CPC (cost per click) of each keyword.
This is an important metric to monitor because you can make an estimated ROI on your SEO efforts.
Platforms like SEMrush automatically calculate the metric for you, but it can be done manually by pulling data from Google Search Console and Google Adwords.
Monitoring your ranking position for your company’s important keywords/phrases is a must, but tracking the progress of 5 or 10 keywords will not tell you the full story.
Leverage Google Search Console or SEO platforms like SEMrush (shown below) to see a list of keywords that are actually generating traffic to your site. Now ask yourself, are these the queries that your content should be showing up for? Are these keywords relevant to your target audience? From there you can formulate your content strategy and approach.
Top Landing Pages
This one might catch a lot of people by surprise. Most of the metrics mentioned above can be agreed on by most marketers so hear me out on this one.
To truly leverage the data you have, as far as website performance metrics go, you need to know the pages users are landing on organically for one reason.
Those pages are most likely ranking well for specific keywords, meaning they are valuable pages on your site. By looking at your top landing pages, you are able to prioritize pages that you need to optimize for better user engagement and provide more value in your content.
Again, leveraging a tool like SEMrush you can see which keywords they are ranking for and perform a SERP analysis to see how you can boost each page’s rankings even further.
To start, make sure your goals are actual conversion goals in the form of destination URL, button clicks, etc. Try to avoid engagement goal metrics such as time on site, traffic, etc. You can get those metrics through a different view on Google Analytics.
The metrics highlighted in red below are our form fills for proposals requests, case studies, and new email subscribers. Got a case study? Create a thank you page and a goal completion. Got a white paper? Same thing. This way, you’ll have clear data that shows when your audience is downloading and engaging with your content.
Conversion rate can tell a lot about what may be going on with your site but don’t get too hung up on it. If you’re confident in your website’s conversion funnel, maybe you’re not bringing in the right qualified traffic.
If you’re confident with the quality of your traffic, maybe your website is not doing it’s part of showcasing the value of your product or services. Or worse, maybe your main conversion page (contact us, request a demo, free trial) is not accessible on your homepage, which you’ll want to adjust ASAP!
Whatever the case, you should keep a close eye on your conversion rate to see where you can improve your website’s performance.
Analyzing your pages’ bounce rate can reveal a lot about your site’s performance. If it’s a page with core content around the 30-50% bounce rate range, you’re good to go, that’s normal! Blog pages normally have higher rates due to the intent.
Below is what Google defines as a bounce:
“A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.” source: Google
Bounce rate is closely related to both pages/session and average session duration. But it’s a clearer indicator of just how qualified the traffic to your site is. A general rule for B2B businesses is to try to keep bounce rates lower than 60%.
Some people confuse bounce rate and exit rate as the same metric but they are actually two completely different metrics. Exit rate accounts for all exits that occur on a page, while bounce rate only accounts for the loss of user after a single page visit.
Exit rates can tell you a lot of important details in a user’s journey in your site especially when making conversion optimizations. If a page has a high exit rate, you might want to consider making adjustments especially if the intent is to push users down further into the conversion funnel.
Net new users (By Source)
This is the least meaningful, but often the most visible metric. It signals brand awareness, and is a much better leading indicator than total traffic. This number can be broken out by source to see which channels are driving the largest increase in traffic month-over-month.
Ok that’s it …
While total traffic to your site is an important metric to monitor, it almost never tells the whole story. Dig deeper into Google Analytics to find the opportunities that may be present to improve the overall performance of your B2B website.