In this article I’m going to present a case study about how to determine where your website leads are coming from. Once you understand which marketing tactics are driving leads, then you can focus your resources on improving those tactics to generate even more leads and sales.
One of our clients recently saw a spike in the number of leads requesting information about one of their services. It’s important to note that this was not a general increase in leads across the board. This client provides several different types of services so we needed to isolate just one of them for our research.
The goal was to determine what exactly was causing the increase in website leads for this service. Then, once we knew the cause, we could invest more resources to drive even more leads.
I’ll pause here and let you think of a solution. How would you solve this problem?
To complete our research we used just one tool – Google Analytics. That’s right, the same website analytics tool that every business can set up and install on their website, for free. That means anyone can do this!
Now, with that said, there are a couple prerequisites to our analysis. Since this was a client, we had already set up Goals in their account to track the website forms. If Goals were not set up already, then unfortunately we would not have been able to complete our research.
Also, we had already linked Google Analytics to Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), which opens up a few more reporting tools that I’ll mention later in this case study. As long as you completed those two basic steps, then you’ll have no trouble following the steps below.
Step #1: Check Goal ID
The first step in this analysis was to check the Google Analytics Goal ID. This particular client had multiple Goals in Google Analytics and we had to make sure we were looking at the correct Goal that was tracking the website leads. For example, many websites have Goals for email newsletter sign ups or for e-commerce orders and those would not be relevant in our analysis.
Make sure you take the time to double check your Google Analytics Goals before you move on to reporting. Otherwise you’ll be making decisions based on incorrect data.
Step #2: Review Channels Report
Now that we knew which Goal to report on, we moved over to the Reporting side of Google Analytics. More specifically, we looked at the Channels report by going to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. Then we selected the Goal ID at the top of the Conversions column. That ensured we were looking at all the marketing channels and we could see how many Goals were completed per channel.
In our case, the majority of the Goals were coming in from Organic Search. Plus, some were coming from Direct and Referral traffic.
This report is great, but it wasn’t enough to give us the full picture. As I mentioned above, this client had multiple services and the Google Analytics Goal was tracking ALL of the services together. That means we weren’t sure how many of the Goal completions were for the service we were analyzing. We needed to take one more step to ensure we knew exactly what was driving these leads.
Step #3: Review Reverse Goal Path Report
Since the Goal ID did not differentiate the services, we needed another way to know which service was being requested. We could do this by looking at the webpage the prospect was reading right before completing the webform. For example, if the prospect was reading a page about XYZ service and then completed the webform, then we can be confident that lead was for 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 that your prospects visited right before completing a webform. In our case, we clicked on the advanced link next to the search box and filtered the report by “Goal Previous Step – 1” so that we were only looking at the Goal completions for the service we cared about.
This report showed us the total number of Goal completions, but it did not segment by traffic source like the Channels report. That means we have one final step.
Step #4: Add Segments
The final step while we’re on the Reverse Goal Path report was to add Segments to filter by the source of traffic. For example, we added “Organic Traffic” to see how many of the Goals were generated by SEO. Then we added “Direct Traffic,” “Paid Traffic,” and “Referral Traffic” segments to get a clear picture of the source of these leads.
Ultimately, by going through this analysis we were able to confirm that the majority of the leads for this particular service were spiking due to SEO. Plus, we knew the URLs that were driving the leads because they were listed in the Reverse Goal path report.
That means we knew exactly which pages to focus on to try to improve their ranking in the search engines!
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