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How To Measure the Effectiveness Of Your B2B Online Marketing Program

By Tim Asimos | Small Business

Measuring the effectiveness of your B2B online marketing program is essential. All of your inbound marketing and lead generation efforts—your website, blog, landing pages, SEO, social media and email marketing—should be continually measured, analyzed and fine-tuned.

How To Measure the Effectiveness Of Your B2B Online Marketing Program image FULL blog analyticsHow To Measure the Effectiveness Of Your B2B Online Marketing Program

John Wanamaker, the 19th century retailer and a pioneer in marketing, once family quipped, “I know that half of my advertising doesn’t work. The problem is, I don’t know which half.” With the inherent nature of digital and the analytical tools that marketers now have at their disposal, tracking and measuring the effectiveness of your B2B online marketing efforts in real-time is not only possible, it’s imperative.

Why analytics and measurement are so important

Instead of making blind decisions about where to spend your time and resources, analytics give marketers the insight needed to make intelligent decisions about their online marketing and better inform their strategies and tactics moving forward. Ultimately, analytics and measurement will help you demonstrate the ROI of your online marketing program and provide the proof that your efforts are delivering results.

Establish goals first

As Peter Drucker once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” And you can’t measure without establishing goals and metrics for defining what success looks like in the first place. So before jumping into the execution of your integrated online marketing program, you need to first set goals and determine quantifiable metrics that align with those goals.

What should you be measuring in your online marketing?

Once your goals are established, it’s important to measure just about everything. With so many tools available—many of them free—there’s absolutely no reason not to measure every single aspect of your online marketing program. And while there are some great free analytics tools out there to use, such as Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, some of the best and most comprehensive online marketing analytics tools are found in integrated marketing automation software such as Act-On, Hubspot, etc. Regardless of your preference of tools, it’s important to measure your effectiveness in the following areas:

Website

Your website is the hub of all your online marketing efforts and serves as the headquarters for all your online marketing efforts. Here’s what you should be tracking:

  • Unique Visitors
  • Conversions
  • % New Visits vs % Return Visits
  • Traffic Sources
  • Inbound Links/Referring URLs
  • Indexed Pages
  • Bounce Rate
  • Most Popular/Least Popular Pages
  • Companies Visiting
  • Leads Visiting

Landing Pages

Landing pages play a critical role in online lead generation, helping you to more effectively convert website visitors into leads by simplifying the content offer process and eliminate distractions. Consider tracking many of the same metrics you would for your website, but focus more intently on your conversion rates:

  • Visitor-to-Lead Conversion %
  • Lead-to-Customer Conversion %
  • Visitor-to-Customer Conversion %

Blogging

Blogging is the cornerstone of content marketing and can contribute greatly to web traffic, SEO and lead generation. Here’s what you should be measuring:

  • Unique Visitors
  • Traffic Sources
  • Individual Post Views
  • Subscribers
  • Generated Leads
  • Visitor-to-Lead Conversion %
  • Call-to-Action (CTA) Performance

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your website to get found by search engines is an essential component of your online marketing efforts. Once you’re following SEO best practices and creating quality, customer-focused content, it’s important to dig deeper into your website analytics. Here’s what you should pay attention to:

  • Organic Traffic
  • Top Unique Search Terms
  • Branded vs. Non-Branded Search Traffic
  • Keyword Rankings
  • Inbound Links

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is also a valuable component of your B2B online marketing program, allowing you to promote and share your content, drive website traffic, engage with prospects and customers and build awareness for your product or service. Here’s what you should be tracking:

  • Audience (Followers, Likes, etc.)
  • Engagement (Shares/Mentions/Retweets/Likes/Pins)
  • Website Traffic Generated
  • Conversions Generated

Email Marketing

Email marketing can help to drive website traffic, generate leads, nurture leads and upsell existing customers by sending relevant emails that include valuable information and content offers. Be sure to pay attention to these metrics:

  • A/B Test Results
  • Delivery Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Open Rate (with a grain of salt)
  • Click-through Rate
  • Subscribers/Growth Rate
  • Forwards
  • Click-to-Conversion Rate
  • Unsubscribes

There are other online marketing tactics that companies are using, such as paid search and retargeting, but these represent the primary methods, at least for those utilizing an inbound marketing methodology.

Understanding what works and what doesn’t, and being able to make changes as you go along will have a dramatic impact on the success of your B2B online marketing program. And knowing what to track will allow you to monitor and measure what matters and avoid being plagued by “paralysis by analysis.”

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