When it comes to online businesses, it is widely accepted that having an analytics platform to keep track of your website’s data is an absolute must. Understanding your audience’s behavior and optimizing your website accordingly is undoubtedly an asset for any company that is trying to optimize its online presence in an effort to increase revenue.

While this is a great start, unfortunately this is where many businesses abandon their analytics data. The powerful data that analytics provides can do so much more, particularly when it is connected to the sales data that many companies already have. Platforms like Salesforce allow businesses to connect their analytics data all the way to the lead, opportunity and eventually even an account through APIs and third party platforms. In the world of B2B service providers, understanding and having this data readily available can help a business further optimize itself for even greater ROI potential. Here are five reasons why having this data is so helpful:

1) See Which of Your “Conversions” Are Actual Conversions

As mentioned earlier, Google Analytics is a great start for any business. Unfortunately, the standard setup doesn’t allow companies to fully understand their data when it comes to the amount of conversions an individual website might have. More specifically, it is hard to tell the difference between an actual conversion and when a goal completion is taking place due to spam.

Salesforce Spam Data
By tying your analytics data through to your sales data, a company can better understand which “conversions” in Google Analytics are actual conversions and which are not. By having this data, the real value of your website can be more accurately understood and the amount of money a company is making online due to digital marketing efforts can become much clearer for a business.

2) Optimize Your AdWords Campaigns

If your business is running an AdWords campaign, understanding and optimizing your existing campaign can lead to a lower cost per acquisition and an understanding of what your cost per real conversion is.

Salesforce AdWords Data
What do I mean by this? Just because your AdWords report is telling you that you are paying $200 per lead (for example), doesn’t mean that is the actual cost. Leads that don’t actually translate into a sale, and “leads” that are actually spam, are not accounted for by AdWords or Google Analytics. By incorporating this data all the way through to your sales data, you can see what you are actually paying for a customer, a cost per qualified lead – not just a click on a button. For most businesses it is this number that you should be paying close attention to – not AdWords’ “Cost-per-Acquisition” field.

Furthermore, by using third party software like Bizible or Daddy Analytics, you can actually see what keywords people are searching for when they click on your AdWords search or display ads. This means that instead of optimizing for just a “conversion” in analytics, you can optimize based on the actions of leads who you know have become actual customers. This cuts out “acquisitions” that aren’t leading to actual customers and will make sure that your business is getting the best possible ROI out of an AdWords campaign.

3) Better Understand Your Buyer Behavior

Understanding what your actual customers do before they make a purchase is extremely important data to have readily available. By seeing where they go, how long it takes them to convert, and how many times they return to your site, you can better optimize your existing website to increase online conversions. While this data is available in analytics, seeing what actual customers do instead of just a lead that clicked a goal completion button will help paint a clearer picture of what pages on your website are providing the most value.

This is particularly helpful for content marketing. Justifying a business’ spend on content such as blog posts, webinars, infographics and other assets can be difficult to do, because the pages that house these assets are often not the ones that lead directly to someone buying a product or service. When a consumer’s behavior on a website can be tracked from when they entered your site to when they became a customer, it becomes clearer where these assets provide value. The ability to highlight an individual piece of content that appears regularly in the conversion process of users who actually become customers allows businesses to see the value content brings while simultaneously giving content marketers the evidence they need to show businesses what their money is getting them.

4) Understand What Devices Your Customers Are Using

At a time when mobile devices are beginning to overtake desktops as the main source used to connect to the internet, it is becoming increasingly important to understand what devices your customers are using and optimizing accordingly. Once again, analytics provides the framework to do this, but just because a large percentage of your visitors might be coming to your website on a mobile device, doesn’t necessarily mean that a large percentage of your customers are coming from mobile devices.

Making sure that your analytics is being sent through to your sales information will help solve this issue. Furthermore, it will allow you some insight into what the differences are between users who become customers on their desktops versus those on their mobile devices. Getting insights as to what the differences are between the two kinds of users, how much they are wiling to spend for a product or service and what differences exist between the two in what they view on your website will allow you to better understand your customer and optimize your website accordingly.

5) Gain a Clearer Picture of Where Your Customers Come From

While Google analytics data gives you a pretty good sense of where your traffic is coming from, tying that data to your sales information will allow you to better allocate your time and resources for specific channels. If you are paying for placements on sites, or trying to understand where your marketing efforts will be best spent, having data that shows you an actual value that dictates where your time will be worth the most is extremely powerful. For example, if you have three sales a week from your organic traffic and only one from referral partnerships you have built, it might make more sense to concentrate on building up your organic rankings through search engine optimization going forwards, as that is where the real value will be for your company.

Why this is Necessary for Your Business

Using analytics to optimize your online marketing sales is a necessity for any good online business. However, it doesn’t paint a complete picture of what is going on, and often can’t provide marketers the hard numbers to show what their efforts are doing for an online business. By tying your analytics data all the way through to your sales data, you can more effectively optimize your digital marketing efforts while also gaining the ability to show the real monetary value of your marketing efforts.