Make Better Business Decisions with Google AnalyticsMoneyball, the best selling novel by Michael Lewis and the fodder for Brad Pitt’s academy nominated performance, describes how the Oakland Athletics used carefully chosen statistics to build a winning baseball team on the cheap. The novel and the concepts have been used in many business classes since but businesses continue to ignore the Moneyball message: Use your data and choose your stats wisely.

The era of “big data” is upon us. There has never been a time in history where data that can help us drive important business decisions is at our fingertips and in many cases, it’s free! We just need to know where to look and what to look at. If you are a CEO or business owner, an important question you should be asking yourself right now, before you spend another dime on anything online, is:

How do I know if my B2B website is working?

First, let’s talk about why the success of your website should be important to you:

  1. Everyone who buys from you will visit your website during the buying process.
  2. You need to know if your website is helping or hindering the buying process.
  3. You want to engage your website visitors so you can form a relationship with them.
  4. Ultimately, you want your website to support the buying decision.

Why does Google Analytics data matter to the success of your B2B website?

Before Google Analytics, most people guessed. They relied on marketing consultants or marketing managers to use their “marketing expertise” and arrive at a series of tactics that they felt could generate demand.

Here’s the first problem with this approach: You need to clearly identify your goals and know how much it costs to achieve these goals in both offline and online mediums. Most companies and marketers can’t do this.

Instead of making business decisions based on “I think…”, you need to quantitatively measure the success of your campaigns in achieving your goals. Google Analytics provides you with the data required to make better business decisions. You will be able to determine what content is working and eliminate content that is not working. Poor content will only be a distraction from achieving your goals and also your visitors from achieving theirs. By looking at the success of campaigns (content marketing, blogs, social media, email marketing and Google Adwords) and keywords on your site, you can make better decisions about what campaigns to invest in and what keywords to focus on.

The final numbers are really the only thing that matters. Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion.

The real reason Google Analytics data matters is that it helps you determine where to allocate your marketing dollars based on ROI.

The Challenge of Google Analytics

Keeping up-to-date with Google Analytics takes dedication and knowing what data to choose takes experience.  There is an overwhelming amount of data accessible in Google Analytics that you could be buried in it for days and still come out with the wrong data to make your business decisions.

What Google Analytics data really matters?

Different data will be useful to determine the success on different goals. You can look at the Audience area to determine if something you pushed out affected results. You can look at month-over-month results to see if a theme on your site has had impact. An important area to examine are Traffic Sources. This area can illuminate whether specific campaigns, social media effort and external sites are performing well for you. You can also study the Content section to determine which content on your site is visited and read and see if the path you have carved out for your visitors is being followed.

The most important area is looking at the Conversions/Goals on your site.  A goal can be anything from a download, a form filled out, a specific time on site or an actual purchase. By looking at the goals in relation to your content, you can determine exactly which content is working to deliver on your goals.

Google Analytics is a powerful analysis tool for anyone with a web presence. We’ve provided some direction on how to use Google Analytics but the most important question to ask yourself is:

Do I have the resources to effectively leverage the power of Google Analytics to deliver on my organization’s goals?

 

For more tips and details on leveraging Google Analytics data, stay tuned for our How Do I…Know if My B2B Website is Working Guide which will be released in the next few weeks. You can subscribe to our email list on the right and be the first to get your hands on our newest guide.