Top Metrics for Lead Generation Websites

Published November 12, 2014
The Sales team needs leads and your Marketing department is doing everything they can to bring visitors to the website. Both groups need to know what’s working so they can double-down on the lead generation strategies that work best.
Everyone is looking at you, the analytics guru, to help them identify what’s working and what’s not. SEO, email marketing, paid search, social media – which efforts are attracting and engaging high-quality inbound leads?
So how do you measure the effectiveness of a lead generation website? How do you create reports that identify success and highlight areas for improvement?
The key is to focus on goal completions at the top of the conversion funnel and pulling together a report that identifies the channels that most effectively attract website visitors who engage with the business.

image showing lead generation process


Lead Generation vs Ecommerce

If we were talking about an ecommerce business, attributing revenue to specific channels would be pretty straightforward. Thanks to Google Analytics Ecommerce tracking, you can quickly pull a report to see how many people purchased products via the site, how much they paid for those products and how much revenue social media drove vs. organic search. All the information you need is there for the taking.

But when a site is set up for lead generation, attributing revenue can be harder to track. Lead generation sites rely on visitors filling out a form, making a phone call or requesting additional information. Then, the conversation often goes offline, and the conversion doesn’t happen until much later in the funnel.

These actions need to be tracked as Google Analytics Goals. The data you collect from tracking goals provides the key metrics for reporting on lead generation.

It’s All About the Conversions

The most important lead generation metrics are the ones that relate directly to goal conversions. Key metrics include:

  • How many conversions are coming through the site?
  • What percentage of website visitors convert?
  • Which channels drive those conversions?
  • If you are sending people to the site via ad campaigns, how much does the average conversion cost?

Our first step is to show a breakdown of total conversions by channel. This will help provide an overall picture of conversion data while showing the success of SEO, PPC and other online marketing efforts.

In Megalytic, you can show this data via the Conversions by Channel widget. After adding the widget to a report, we’ll select a specific goal to track (in this case, a “contact us” submission form). In addition, we’ll choose to display the data in a table format for straightforward presentation of numbers.


selecting a conversion by channel widget in Megalytic


Once we’ve made these selections, the widget’s table shows a breakdown of contact form submissions. In this example, organic search drove six more conversions than paid search, but paid search traffic shows a higher conversion rate. That data reflects the fact that paid search drives in people with the direct intent of conversion, while organic search may include a wider audience.


Megalytic's conversion by channel widget


If your website has multiple lead-generation goals, this same widget can be used to create a table for each type of conversion. For example, an auto dealer’s report might contain separate tables reporting on new car inquiries, used car inquiries, and service requests.

Of course, looking at just this month’s conversions doesn’t tell the whole story. You also need historical context to compare against past performance.

Compare to Previous Periods

Businesses rely on being able to compare today’s performance to previous months and years. The lead generation process needs to constantly improve and historical comparisons allow us to track progress.

While the report referenced above shows us volume of conversions and conversion rates, it provides no context to help us determine whether these numbers are positive or negative. To add a historical comparison, we’ll take the same widget and click the arrow by the date range. In the dropdown, check “Compare to” and select a date range for comparison. In this case, we’re comparing to last year.


comparing date ranges in Megalytic


Here, we see volume of conversions compared to September of last year. Unfortunately, it shows the numbers have decreased significantly, a red flag indicating that the lead generation process needs attention.


comparing website conversions with last year using Megalytic


This table helps to diagnose where conversions are suffering the most. In this case, paid search only shows three fewer conversions, a decrease of just 8%. However, organic search shows 31 fewer conversions, a major decrease of 43%. Based on this data, we can likely flag organic search issues with the site, causing us to investigate beyond straight-up conversion metrics. For more information on showing organic search trends, see our post on showcasing organic traffic.

User Engagement

While conversions measure our ultimate lead-generation goal, looking at general website engagement also helps to provide a picture of how well the site works toward its goal of lead generation. People may visit a site multiple times, reading blog articles, watching videos or researching service pages, before choosing to contact the company.

To see if people are continuing to engage with your website, analyze how often your users are returning to the site after a first visit. The Frequency and Recency widget in Megalytic reports on how many times uses visit your site.


megalytic's frequency and recency widget


In this screenshot we see most users spend just one session on the site. Around 4,000 sessions were second-time visits, while third-time visits go below 2,000. Only a small fraction of people return beyond that number of sessions.

Based on this information, your company should set goals for return visits, measure them, and report on progress. Once goals have been established, strategies such as remarketing with display ads can help get people back when they may not have initially been ready to contact the business for services.

Using Events to measure positive engagement describes some other ways to measure engagement.

In addition to looking at return visits, your report should break down engagement by channel. This data can help to determine which channels drive people who are likely to later convert into leads.

To do this comparison, we’ll add the Engagement by Channel widget. Then, we’ll select our date range and compare to the previous year, as we did with the Conversion widget.


showing engagement by channel with Megalytic


This report now shows a breakdown of average session duration by channel, compared to the same period last year. We can see that organic search and paid search have suffered a decrease in average time, while social and referral traffic have increased.

This information can guide marketing decision makers to allocate more effort to converting people from the channels driving more engagement. For example, paid search and organic search drive the majority of conversions, but social drives an increasingly engaged audience to the website. Carefully targeted Facebook and Twitter ads could help convert these engaged visitors to customers.


Analytics reports for lead generation websites should focus on conversions, but should also show engagement statistics that identify the potential value of traffic coming from channels that may not be currently converting. Take the time to show how statistics have increased or decreased over time across marketing channels A carefully-crafted lead gen marketing report will examine the current sources of conversion as well as identify channels where engagement indicates an opportunity for additional conversions.


When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:



It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.


Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.