Searching for Goldilocks


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While a lot depends on the audience being targeted, b-to-b marketers are increasingly using a blend of both paid and free Web analytics services to improve their online marketing efforts. For example, Google's free API enables marketers to integrate other Web analytics tools, such as paid services, with many other services offered by Google Analytics, according to Rich Dettmer, director-digital strategy and partner at b-to-b ad agency Slack and Co., Chicago, who works with Google as a client. “I'm starting to see a move toward a more "scorecard-analytics' model,” said Dettmer, whose other clients include Dow Corning Co. and Fellowes. He added that marketers are trying to “figure out what combination of factors is most predictable for shortening their sales cycle and for turning prospects into sales-ready leads. A function of that is tracking not only onsite but offsite and offline behaviors; monitoring it all together into one analytics package.” SEO, of course, often lies at the heart of an effective Web analytics strategy. In 2009, the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), a research and advisory company, began re-evaluating its SEO strategy when it realized that its marketing campaign pages on its website were landing on pages about CEB itself, rather than driving to content pages featuring the latest research, according to Matt Stevens, head of digital marketing at CEB. “The majority of our website traffic was being directed to background information on CEB, our business model and our client base,” Stevens said. “Pages showcasing the benefits and impact of CEB's research and client engagement actually represented a much lower portion of our overall Web traffic.” Abdul Khimani, senior search strategist at b-to-b ad agency gyro, New York, who worked with CEB on reforming its keyword strategy, said: “Our first plan of attack was to figure out what nonbrand-related keywords people were searching for when researching the services that CEB offers. We made sure that pages on the website were optimized for high visibility on those queries.” Stevens said CEB also redesigned the home page on its website and created a “client testimonials” page. The changes have paid off, Stevens said, with CEB's website traffic up more than 150% in February compared with the year-earlier period.

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