In this article, I’m going to share a case study on how to determine where your website leads are coming from. Once you understand which marketing tactics lead to leads, you can focus your resources on improving those tactics to generate even more leads and sales.
One of our customers recently saw an increase in the number of leads requesting information about one of their services. It’s important to note that this wasn’t a general surge in leads across the board. This client offers different types of services, so we only had to isolate one of them for our research.
The goal was to determine what exactly caused the increase in website leads for this service. Once we know the cause, we can invest more resources to get even more leads.
I will pause here and let you ponder a solution. How would you solve this problem?
To complete our research we only used one tool – Google Analytics. Right, the same website analysis tool that any company can set up and install on their website for free. That means someone can do this!
With that said, there are some requirements to our analysis. Since this was a customer, we already had goals set up on their account to keep track of the website forms. We also had Google Analytics already linked to the Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), which opens up a few more reporting tools that I will mention later in this case study. As long as you have followed these two basic steps, you can easily complete the following steps.
Step 1: check the target ID
The first step in this analysis was to verify the Google Analytics target ID. This particular customer had multiple goals in Google Analytics and we had to make sure we were getting the right goal that was tracking the website leads. For example, many websites have targets for email newsletter subscriptions or e-commerce orders that would not be relevant to our analysis.
Take the time to review your Google Analytics goals before proceeding with reporting. Otherwise, you will make decisions based on incorrect data.
Step 2: review the channel report
Now that we knew which goal to report on, we moved on to the Google Analytics report page. Specifically, we looked at the channel report by going to Collection> All Traffic> Channels. Then we selected the Target ID in the “Conversions” column at the top. This ensured that we were looking at all of the marketing channels and seeing how many goals were being achieved per channel.
In our case, most of the goals came from Organic Search. In addition, some came from direct and referral traffic.
This report is great, but it was not enough to give us a complete picture. As mentioned above, this client had multiple services and the Google Analytics target was tracking ALL services together. That means we weren’t sure how many of the target achievements were for the service we analyzed. We had to take it one step further to make sure we knew exactly what was driving these leads.
Step 3: Review the Reverse Goal Path Report
Since the target ID did not distinguish the services, we needed another way of knowing which service was being requested. We could do this by looking at the webpage that the prospect read right before completing the web form. For example, if the prospect read a page about the XYZ service and then filled out the web form, we can be sure that the lead was for the XYZ service.
The Reverse Goal Path report does exactly what we needed. Go to Conversions> Goals> Reverse Goal Path and you’ll see the pages your prospects visited right before they filled out a web form. In our case, we clicked the expanded link next to the search box and filtered the report on “Goal Previous Step – 1” so we only looked at goal accomplishments for the service we were serving.
This report showed us the total number of target achievements but was not segmented by traffic sources like the channel report. That means we have one final step.
Step 4: add segments
The last step, while we were on the Reverse Goal Path report, was to add segments to filter by traffic source. For example, we added “Organic Traffic” to see how many of the goals were generated by SEO. Then we added the Direct Traffic, Paid Traffic, and Referral Traffic segments to get a clear picture of the source of those leads.
Ultimately, through this analysis, we were able to confirm that the majority of leads for this particular service increased because of SEO. We also knew the URLs that were driving the leads because they were listed on the Reverse Goal Path report.
That means we knew exactly which pages to focus on in order to improve their ranking in the search engines!
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