B2B Marketers: Why Google Analytics May Not Be The Best Choice

Most web analytics tools, including Google Analytics, attribute online conversions to the most recent visit. Sure, you can define the funnel and see how many people enter the funnel, the visitors who abandon the funnel, and how many people ultimately convert, but only if all of these events happen in a single visit. Conversion in the B2B world doesn’t necessarily happen that way. There may have been many previous visits to your site via other channels that influenced a visitor to finally take the desired action. If you’re not capturing this information, you may not be making good decisions.

In March 2009, Business.com completed an analytics study of more than 27,000 B2B web sites. It’s a great study and well worth downloading. Here are some of the findings:

  • 93% of sites can’t see the influence that multiple campaigns/keywords have on conversions
  • 49% use a third-party web analytics program that only provides basic site traffic data or which, by default, use the “last click” method for connecting a prospect action (e.g., clicking on a banner ad or link in an email newsletter) with a conversion, such as a purchase or registration. (82% of these B2B sites used Google Analytics or Urchin software by Google)
  • 44% use no web analytics or, in rare cases, use a custom in-house solution

Most analytics programs attribute conversion to the last trackable link clicked before conversion, the “last click” method. In some cases, this may be just fine; perhaps conversion actually did happen in a single visit. But with lengthening sales cycles and the significant amount of purchase research that happens in the B2B world, prospects may have visited your site several times through various means before they returned once more to ultimately take action.

Business.com’s study cites the following example:
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