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In today’s ever-more-competitive business-to-business (B2B) digital marketing landscape, you already know you need to track your numbers. Those who are ahead of the pack have a strategy that captures the right information at the right conversion path milestones.
Getting analytics and conversion tracking right leads to better data, better customer insights, and ultimately better business performance and competitive advantage.
So how can you tell if your strategy is on track? Or where do you start if you don’t have a strategy?
Keep in mind when you start building or updating your analytics strategy that there are a lot of potential tracking opportunities, and that the more you capture about your users, the better the insights you can gain. Even if you don’t have a robust suite of analytics tools at your disposal, with some planning and follow through, you can position yourself and your organization for success.
To get started, make sure you have an optimization plan that accounts for relevant data capture, conversion analysis, and deeper analytics. This plan can be broken down into three key areas: marketing strategy, conversion channel analysis, and tool selection and configuration.
As a B2B tech player, your marketing strategy likely already accounts for the long conversion path typically followed by B2B purchasers. This is critical to aligning your analytics plan with your users. While your conversion optimization plan will ultimately result in improved audience understanding, make sure that you’re leveraging any information you already have. Potential inputs include primary and secondary market research, established key performance indicators (KPI), company strategy documents, product documents, and other sources.
These inputs help you understand both what you know, as well as what you want to know about your audience. With this information, you can identify, update and iterate your user personas, key tools in making sure you have your prospective conversion paths recognized and prioritized.
With the context understood, you’re ready to take the next step and start conversion channel analysis. When it comes to conversion, content is king, so if you don’t already have a thorough understanding of your existing content and content opportunities, then that should be the focus of your attention at this point.
Once you understand your content, both existing and planned, you are in a position to validate that the content aligns with your personas — and identify key opportunities to track B2B purchasers as they move through the process.
There are many common KPI to consider as general guides along the B2B purchase conversion path. Two important areas to consider are calls to action (CTA) and form submission opportunities.
Common conversion path tracking opportunities surrounding CTA include the following:
High quality, gated content affords a critical opportunity to capture information on users as they work their way through the conversion path. Content types that lend themselves to form-gating opportunities include the following:
You can also capture valuable data by reviewing your search performance: both how users are searching your site once they arrive — assuming you have site search — and how organic search referrals are helping users find your products.
Be careful to separate paid search from organic search. Organic search is the better conversion path metric, while paid search can skew results.
Once you understand your content and the opportunities it affords to track your conversion paths, you’re ready to start evaluating tools that can best support your optimization strategy. Look for measurement accuracy and data visualization tools as key factors.
Many of the more-sophisticated tools come with large price tags, but there are solutions that can be adapted to suit nearly any budget.
Two relatively simple techniques to help you capture and analyze campaign performance are UTM codes, which can help you understand which of your campaigns is bringing the most users to your site using Google Analytics or other tools, and A/B testing, which can help you evaluate the performance of your forms and CTAs by comparing different versions with users in real time.
Building, maintaining, and optimizing your analytics strategy is a critical part of any digital marketing plan and is a continuous process. With the right content, conversion channel analysis, tools, and techniques, you can position your company for success.