It’s a great feeling when you first sign up for a marketing automation platform. Finally, you have access to the data you need to improve engagement and move the needle with your B2B digital marketing efforts.
But then you log in. Suddenly, you’re flooded with statistics. Leads. Impressions. Views. Clicks. Opens. Bounces. After years of not having enough marketing data, you find yourself facing the opposite problem–there are too many metrics.
Data can be incredibly valuable and can help guide your marketing strategy, but not all metrics are created equal. The challenge is separating the wheat from the chaff. So, which marketing analytics should you pay attention to?
Here are a few of the metrics every B2B business should be looking out for.
1. Marketing qualified leads
Everyone loves hearing about an increase in leads. Which makes sense, right? More leads mean more people you can contact, nurture and convert into customers. But how do you know which leads are worth following up on? This is the plight many B2B companies face, but marketing qualified leads are the solution.
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is someone who is more likely to become a customer than other leads. MQLs show a higher level of engagement by taking actions like submitting contact information, opting into a program, downloading content materials or repeatedly visiting your website. The best way to gauge a lead’s level of interest is to set up a lead scoring system using a marketing automation platform like HubSpot or Marketo.
A lead scoring system ranks a lead based on the actions they take. Points can be assigned based on the pages they visit, their frequency of interactions, links clicked, email engagement, downloads, etc. For example, you could assign 5 points for an email click and 10 points for a white paper download. Once a lead reaches a specific score, they become an MQL. Identifying MQLs allows you to hone in on highly qualified leads rather than wasting time pursuing dead-end leads.
2. Sales qualified leads
A sales qualified lead (or SQL) is the next stage after MQL. Understanding the difference between an SQL and MQL is crucial to effective lead management. An SQL is in the buying stage, while an MQL isn’t ready to make a purchase yet. When an MQL transitions into the SQL stage, that means it’s time for sales to close the deal.
When setting up a lead scoring system, an SQL should have a higher score than an MQL. Only high-interest activities should trigger the transition from MQL to SQL. For instance, someone should be given a higher score if they download a sales guide, fill out a request a quote form or visit product/service spec pages multiple times.
3. Landing pages
Tracking landing page performance is key to analyzing the success of your marketing campaigns. In a landing page report, you can see how many people viewed your page, how long they typically stay on the page, and whether or not they clicked on a call-to-action. Identifying which landing pages convert the most gives you valuable insight into what’s working and what’s not working. This data can help you decide what types of content are most effective and how you want to structure future campaigns.
4. Traffic sources
Knowing your sources of traffic can help you build a more effective digital marketing strategy. In Google Analytics, you can view a traffic report that gives you a general overview of the different sources that send people to your website. Many marketing automation platforms or software also provide detailed reports for traffic sources. They typically break down website traffic into the following sources:
- Organic search: visits from search engines like Google, Bing, etc.
- Social media: visits from social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.
- Referrals: visits from other websites.
- Email marketing: visits from your email marketing campaigns.
- Direct traffic: people who type in your website URL.
Paid social: people who visit from paid ads.
It’s important to know what sources are driving the most traffic to your website. If you’re running paid ad campaigns, you want to know how well they’re performing and if they are leading to site visits. Similarly, you can gauge the effectiveness of your email marketing by seeing how many people are clicking on your emails and visiting your website.
5. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. You can use bounce rate as an indicator of the quality of your website and landing pages. A high bounce rate typically means that your site pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. It could also be linked to slow page load times, intrusive ads, hard-to-read pages or poor design.
Generally, you should target a bounce rate in the range of 26 to 40 percent. 41 to 50 percent is average, and 56 to 70 percent is higher than average, but it may not be a cause for concern depending on the page. For instance, an informational page that answers a specific question may have a bounce rate that is as high as 90%. This doesn’t mean the page is poorly designed; it just means the visitor found the answer they were looking for and left your website.
In B2B tech marketing, tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating new and traditional marketing tactics, your marketing program become more effective and cost efficient. To learn more about how you can increase your lead generation and overall marketing, download our free eBook: Modern Integrated Digital Marketing—A Better Path for B2B Technology Marketers.
Courtney Gursky is a Digital Content Specialist at Schubert b2b. She graduated from Lafayette College with a B.A. in English. When she's not working, you can find her re-reading Harry Potter or taking way too many photos of her 4 cats and 3 dogs.