What do a buffet and a web analytics platform have in common?

Both offer such vast abundance that they can leave you feeling sick when you don’t strategically navigate through the options. You can easily overindulge in one item, leaving a much more desirable option on the table at the end of the meal.

When it comes to B2B companies (looking specifically at non-ecommerce sites), there are some key metrics to help construct a wholesome analytical evaluation of website performance. To help narrow your options, I’ve compiled the top seven metrics within Google Analytics to put on your plate:

  1. Goal Creation: If you’re not currently using goals, start! These can be created with some key activities on your site that are the closest actions to what would lead to a conversion. Consider including contact us forms, PDF downloads, video views or registration form completions as goals. Generally speaking, a visitor can be nurtured by your sales team, once a person has made contact on your website through these activities.
  2. Conversion Rate: After goals have been established, monitor your conversion rate for these goals. The conversion rate provides insight into how often visitors are engaging with the key points you establish on your website. Conversion rates will vary depending on how you establish your goals.
  3. Bounce Rate & Time on Site: So this metric is a bit of a two-for-one option. The insights out of these metrics are not mutually exclusive of one another. Bounce rate is a percentage formula created by the number of pages during a session before users leave. A 100 percent bounce rate indicates users entered your site, viewed only one page and left. Bounce rate decreases as users visit more pages. Evaluation of bounce rate should be looked at alongside the time on site. The longer the time on site, the more interesting users may find the content on your website.
  4. Traffic channels: The traffic channels give you deeper insight into how visitors reach the website, as well as how each channel engages with the website. There are likely differences in bounce rate, time on site, conversion rate, etc. depending on whether a session came from organic, direct or referral.
  5. New vs. Returning Visitors: This metric shows how new and returning visitors interact differently with the site. New visitors are likely in the early stages of the decision-making process, so their interaction may be less frequent and focus on informational pages. Returning visitors are more likely to dive deeper into the site, spend more time on the site, and ultimately convert (interact with your goals).
  6. Frequency & Recency: Frequency counts how many sessions occurred from users within the selected timeframe. Recency counts when their last session was recorded. Frequency and recency will fluctuate with marketing efforts. For example, when paid display media is consistent, frequency would likely increase on the website. If a display retargeting program is added on top of paid display media, recency would likely increase as well by nurturing website visitors.
  7. Page Depth: This is akin to bounce rate and time on site, which is why it’s added as number seven. The larger average page depth, the more indicative of an engaged audience and well-structured website. Users are able to flow easily from one page to another to gather more information, download content and make contact.

It is important to note that none of these web metrics should be used in isolation. Each produces valuable insight, but, when combined together, the meal becomes wholesome. Segmenting website traffic by traffic channel or new versus returning visitors gives deeper insight into other key metrics and how particular groups interact differently. Evaluating the performance of each of these key metrics and measuring fluctuations as you change marketing efforts and website content will produce actionable results for your B2B business. Stick to these key metrics when diving into the vast web analytics buffet to avoid over-filling your plate.

Previously published on The M/C/C Minute.