Let me summarize this post to you in two words: traffic and conversions. B2B website performance is not rocket science but as digital marketers, we insist on making it complicated by analyzing website metrics that don’t matter.
It’s simple actually: drive the right audience to your site and convert that traffic into quality leads.
My goal for this post is to help my fellow digital marketers focus on 10 B2B website performance metrics that tell a story and are actionable to drive website growth.
Let’s break this down into two sections.
First, we will look at essential traffic metrics. Organic traffic, sessions, traffic cost, keyword rankings, and organic top landing pages are metrics that will determine if you’re driving the right traffic to your site.
Second, we will look at conversion metrics. Goal completions, conversion rate, A/B tests, bounce rate, and exit rate are metrics that will determine if your conversion pathways are implemented strategically. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
B2B Website Traffic Metrics
As B2B digital marketers, our goal is to tell a story driven by data which is powerful in this day and age. As storytellers, first, we need to know if we’re talking to the right audience who finds value with what we have to say. These traffic metrics will help us determine that.
1. Organic Traffic
What does organic traffic tell us? This number is your audience. Fun fact, the Staples Center in Los Angeles has a capacity of 19,000 for concerts. As an analogy, our website is Staples Center and we brought in 4,515 people to our concert. This number can also serve as our baseline for future growth.
In Google Analytics, you can find your organic traffic metrics by clicking Audience > Overview and then click on “Add Segment”. From there, click on “Organic Traffic”. Then click apply. You can remove the “All Users” segment to get a cleaner dashboard to get more accurate data as this removes out traffic that may not be actual “organic” viewers who arrive on your site.
Your dashboard should look something like this.
2. Organic Sessions
In the same dashboard, we can find our organic sessions. Google defines a session as “the period time a user is actively engaged with your website.” A session can entail multiple page views, interactions, etc.
What does a session tell us? A session can tell us that our audience is interacting with our website which is a good thing.
3. Traffic Cost
What is traffic cost and why is this important? Traffic cost tells you what you would have to pay if you were to run paid efforts based on your keyword rankings and it’s value. The metric is essentially a simple calculation of the number of organic clicks received for specific keywords multiplied by the average CPC (cost per click) of each keyword.
This is an important metric to monitor because you can make an estimated ROI on your SEO efforts.
Platforms like SEMrush automatically calculate the metric for you, but it can be done manually by pulling data from Google Search Console and Google Adwords.
In SEMRush, input your domain and click search. From there, click on “organic research” and your dashboard should look something like this:
4. Keyword Rankings
Monitoring your ranking position for your company’s important keywords/phrases is a must, but tracking the progress of 5 or 10 keywords will not tell you the full story.
Leverage Google Search Console or SEO platforms like SEMrush (shown below) to see a list of keywords that are actually generating traffic to your site. Now ask yourself, are these the queries that your content should be showing up for? Are these keywords relevant to your target audience? From there you can formulate your content strategy and approach.
5. Top Landing Pages
This one might catch a lot of people by surprise. Most of the metrics mentioned above can be agreed on by most marketers so hear me out on this one.
To truly leverage the data you have, as far as website performance metrics go, you need to know the pages users are landing on organically for one reason.
Those pages are most likely ranking well for specific keywords, meaning they are valuable pages on your site. By looking at your top landing pages, you are able to prioritize pages that you need to optimize for better user engagement and provide more value in your content.
Again, leveraging a tool like SEMrush you can see which keywords they are ranking for and perform a SERP analysis to see how you can boost each page’s rankings even further.
B2B Website Conversions Metrics
When I talk about conversions, I’m referring to online form submissions. These forms are where users land on a “thank you page” or a unique URL that triggers as a conversion after a form submission on Google Analytics.
These type of conversions are the ones you want to track and should be part of your foundation before reading any further. Other trackable conversions include whitepaper downloads, case study downloads, etc.
6. Goal Completions
To start, make sure your goals are actual conversion goals in the form of destination URL, button clicks, etc. Try to avoid engagement goal metrics such as time on site, traffic, etc. You can get those metrics through a different view on Google Analytics.
The metrics highlighted in red below are our form fills for proposals requests, case studies, and new email subscribers. Got a case study? Create a thank you page and a goal completion. Got a white paper? Same thing. This way, you’ll have clear data that shows when your audience is downloading and engaging with your content.
7. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate can tell a lot about what may be going on with your site but don’t get too hung up on it. If you’re confident in your website’s conversion funnel, maybe you’re not bringing in the right qualified traffic.
If you’re confident with the quality of your traffic, maybe your website is not doing it’s part of showcasing the value of your product or services. Or worse, maybe your main conversion page (contact us, request a demo, free trial) is not accessible on your homepage, which you’ll want to adjust ASAP!
Whatever the case, you should keep a close eye on your conversion rate to see where you can improve your website’s performance.
8. A/B Testing
A/B testing is a method of experimenting with two or more variants of a webpage to see which performs better. Creating and running tests should be a regular part of your B2B marketing and is essential to hitting goals. A/B testing your key landing pages, core sales pages and their primary design elements (ex: CTA copy, headlines, and visual elements) can drastically improve your website’s performance. Your B2B website should be running this type of test at least once a month to see what works best and stay ahead of the game.
However, your monthly traffic will determine the validity of your tests. Even if you’re receiving less than 10,000 users a month, it’s still important to test various elements on your site. Don’t you want to see what’s working so you can eventually get over 10,000 users?
I recommend Google Optimize as an essential tool to perform various tests and increase your website performance metrics ASAP. Quit wondering what may or may not be working and actually run a test and find out what’s happening.
9. Bounce Rate
Analyzing your pages’ bounce rate can reveal a lot about your site’s performance. If it’s a page with core content around the 30-50% bounce rate range, you’re good to go, that’s normal! Blog pages normally have higher rates due to the intent.
Below is what Google defines as a bounce:
“A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.” source: Google
When it comes to website performance, what you should be looking for are alarmingly high or extremely low bounce rates. This metric alone shouldn’t influence your overall strategy but rather help determine if your audience is finding the content relevant.
10. Exit Rate
Some people confuse bounce rate and exit rate as the same metric but they are actually two completely different metrics. Exit rate accounts for all exits that occur on a page, while bounce rate only accounts for the loss of user after a single page visit.
Exit rates can tell you a lot of important details in a user’s journey in your site especially when making conversion optimizations. If a page has a high exit rate, you might want to consider making adjustments especially if the intent is to push users down further into the conversion funnel.
These 10 B2B website performance metrics should set a solid foundation to determine if your website is optimized for success. Think of your website as your stage. You are the star, traffic is your audience and conversions are the people who want to come backstage and/or buy your album and merch. Your stage should provide the best experience to the right audience as much as possible because they can easily find a better stage with a better star.