The top Google Analytics metrics all B2B websites should monitor to ensure they understand where visitors are coming from and what they are doing when there. When it comes to measuring the performance of a professional services firm’s website, most people tend to focus most of their attention on one metric: total traffic or website visits. But if you only focus on the number of visits, you won’t know how someone finds your site. More importantly, you won’t know what they are doing when they do.
I recommend tracking six metrics that together provide the best picture for anyone assessing the overall performance of their B2B website.
Top B2B Website Metrics to Check with Google Analytics
1) Pages Per Session
Pages Per Session or Average Page Depth is the average number of pages viewed per session.
Why is this metric important? Most visitors will come to your site through your home page. Unfortunately, some of the most important information you want to showcase found on pages dedicated to your services or industries. This requires the visitor to take an extra step.
If they do take the next step, they will log at least two pages viewed during that session. Hence, B2B companies should aim for at least 2.00 in this particular metric. A value above 2.00 means that, on average, visitors view at least two pages when they visit your site. In Google Analytics, the graph for pages/session looks something like this:
How can you improve your page-per-session ratio? Make sure your website has easy-to-understand navigation elements. And less is always more when it comes to the options presented to visitors on your site. Once they land on your home page, they should easily identify where they want to go.
For example, the website of an executive search company attracts both job candidates and employers looking for talent. Both audiences are vital to a firm’s success, but each should be able to quickly determine where to go once it hits the home page.
2) Average Session Duration
Average session duration is the average session duration.
Why is this metric important? Think about when you last viewed websites and how quickly you switched from one site to another. The longer a visitor spends in a session, the more he interested in being a potential leader.
B2B firms should aim for an average session length of at least two minutes (2:00). In most cases, someone who spends more than two minutes on your site interested and found something relevant to what they were looking for. In Google Analytics, a graph of the average session duration looks something like this:
How can you improve the average session duration? Make sure you have rich, informative content. On the pages dedicated to your services and industries, review the specific problems potential customers may have and explain how your firm can solve them.
Having a resource section on your site with various forms of content (including blog posts, guides, and videos) will also keep visitors on your site for an extended period. The hinge library is a good example of this. Another example is a technology company that builds custom business applications and publishes blog posts in its resource sections on how to improve business processes and overall efficiency.
3) Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of visits to a single page (i.e., visitors left your site from the login page without interacting with the page).
Why is this metric important? Bounce rate related to both pages/session and average session duration. But it is a clearer indicator of how qualified the traffic to your site is. The general rule of thumb for B2B companies is to try to keep the bounce rate below 60%. In Google Analytics, you will see a chart like this to indicate your bounce rate:
A high bounce rate is a sign that your site visitors are not finding what they are looking for. A low bounce rate indicates that visitors are finding your site for the right reasons. Often, organic search (which we’ll talk about later) has a significant impact on the bounce rate. If your site attracts visitors for certain keywords or search queries, but visitors don’t find relevant content, you can expect them to leave without interacting with your site.
How can you improve your bounce rate? Be sure to optimize your website pages with content-relevant keywords. For example, if the title of one of your pages is “Building Design Consulting” and the content on the page is about electrical engineering, the visitor will likely leave your site immediately.
Note: If you increase your blog activity, you will likely see an increase in your bounce rate. Do not panic. This is normal. As you might expect, traffic growth comes from readers who are only interested in a particular post.
Channels are the paths or processes that led a visitor to your site. There are four main channels you should track: organic, direct, referral, and social. You can also track paid search if your firm is participating in a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign or Google Ad campaign.
Why is this metric important? To answer this question, let’s explore how each channel defined and how to identify possible opportunities.
- Organic search is when someone finds your site using a search engine. This is usually broken down into branded (search terms that include your business name) or non-branded (search for specific services or issues) keywords. When someone selects your site in search results, it recorded as regular search traffic. Organic search is the most important metric to track when it comes to how your site is performing from an overall SEO perspective. Is your site properly optimized to display the keywords you want to rank for? Are you driving quality traffic to your website? These questions can be better answered by tracking this metric specifically.
- Direct traffic is when someone enters the URL of your pages directly into the address bar of their browser. For example, if someone types hingemarketing.com in the address bar, it will record as direct traffic.
- Referral traffic recorded when someone comes to your site from a link on a website other than a search engine. The number, and more importantly, the quality of the links that lead to your site play an important role in how Google ranks sites in organic search. So, it is important to make an effort to get quality links to your site. Moz.com has great tools to help you determine which sites have the highest authority.
- Social traffic, like referral traffic, logged when someone visits your site from a link on a social network. The two most popular social media platforms for B2B businesses are LinkedIn and Twitter. Other popular networks for B2B businesses include Facebook and YouTube. So remember to share your content on social media whenever possible to expand your company’s online presence and improve the effectiveness of increasing social media traffic.
5) Landing Pages
Landing pages are the pages that a visitor sees when they first visit your site. These are often separate pages, separate from your main website.
Why are landing pages so important? Your most popular landing pages will shed light on the content that drives traffic to your site. B2B companies can identify pieces of content like blog posts or specific pages that rank high in search results by tracking their most popular landing pages.
For example, if there is one blog post that you consistently rank as one of your best landing pages, the post is likely ranking on the first page of search engines for several different keyword variations.
How can you increase the number of landing page hits for your content? Be sure to do keyword research and make sure your content and site page titles optimized for the keywords you want to rank for. Moz.com and SEMrush.com have tools to help you determine which keywords are best for your website.
6) B2B Website All Pages
All pages, or top pages, displayed in a list similar to landing pages but are instead ranked in order from highest to lowest page views. Pageviews differ from sessions in that there can be multiple pageviews in a single session.
Why is this metric important? Often B2B companies assume that the majority of their site visitors are most interested in their services and pages served by industries. This is sometimes the case, and looking at your most popular pages can confirm this. Many B2B companies will find that their “about” section actually gets the most views.
Think of someone evaluating several different firms on the Internet. Most likely, all firms offer similar services and serve similar industries. What will differentiate your firm? A visitor will appreciate the experience and knowledge of your firm by viewing your About Us page.
B2B Website Conclusion
While your site’s overall traffic is an important metric to track, it rarely tells the whole story. Dive deeper into Google Analytics to learn about how your professional services firm can improve the overall performance of your B2B website.