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Analyze lead generation performance

Use case

Highlight opportunities to improve lead generation.

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1. Go to Google Analytics > Admin and select the Google Analytics 4 property that you want to analyze.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a new kind of property released in October 2020 and includes different reports than what you’re used to in Universal Analytics properties. If you’re using Google Analytics but haven’t upgraded it to the most recent version, go to Admin and:

  1. Select the account and property you want to upgrade to GA4.
  2. Click GA4 Setup Assistant in the Property column.
  3. Click Get Started > Create Property.
  4. Follow the on-screen setup wizard, which guides you through setting up GA4 whether you’re using the gtag.js tag the analytics.js tag, Google Tag manager, or a third-party website builder such as GoDaddy or Squarespace.
Join the discussion on how to complete this step.

2. Go to Admin > Events to track and review events that indicate potential lead generation activity.

GA4 treats nearly everything as an event. This includes: 

  • A page view.
  • A link click.
  • A purchase.
  • A specific URL being visited.

Certain events are specifically related to your lead generation campaigns and marketing funnel. Refer back to your funnel or campaign and identify one key user action or page view that would indicate that a prospect has converted into a lead. Examples include:

  • Hitting a specific thank-you page URL after downloading a free case study.
  • Submitting a form to join your email list.
  • Creating a new user account on your blog.

Review the Events report to see everything GA4 is currently tracking on your property. Most common lead-related activity is automatically captured by Google and requires no setup. If you have a unique circumstance that requires creating a custom event, click Configure > Events > Create Event > Create.

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3. Click Life Cycle > Engagement > Conversions to review goal completion activity and turn specific events into lead conversions.

GA4 reports on activity that marks goal completion like conversions, such as a visitor signing up for your email list or submitting a form. If you were previously using the goal reporting tool in legacy versions of Google Analytics, convert past activity into conversions, so you don’t lose historical data:

  1. Click Configure > Events.
  2. Scroll down to see a list of event names, such as file_download or email_signup.
  3. Identify any event name that coincides with a user activity in your funnel connected to a lead being created.
  4. Click the blue toggle button on the far right labeled Mark As Conversion.
  5. Click the Conversion tab > Reporting menu to see all of your past goals now transferred into GA4’s new Conversions report.

If you need to set up new conversions based on new website or app activity:

  1. Click Configure > Conversion > New Conversion Event.
  2. Select a specific activity, such as the URL yourdomain.com/PDF-thank-you being visited, in this example, this would be a page that shows up after someone downloads your lead-generating gated content.
  3. Name the conversion event in the New Event Name field, such as leadcontent-download.
  4. Click Save.
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4. Connect your Conversions report to Google Data Studio and create new Data Studio scorecards for each conversion event.

HubSpot reports that an ideal submission rate on lead-generating pages, such as forms and landing pages, can range anywhere from 5% to 15%, although higher outliers are possible. The current iteration of GA4’s conversion report does not give you this percentage rate. GA4 simply tells you the total number of conversions for that specific conversion event like hitting a specific thank-you page related to gated lead content. To get your actual conversion percentages:

  1. Go to Google Data Studio.
  2. Click Create > Report.
  3. Click My Data Sources and select your GA4 property, or click Connect to Data and follow the on-screen prompts to connect Data Studio to your GA4 account.
  4. Click Insert > Scorecard.
  5. Select this new scorecard and select Conversions in the right column.
  6. Click Add a Filter and use the condition [Include][Event name][…insert your lead generating conversion event here…].
  7. Click Insert > Scorecard to create a second scorecard.
  8. Select this second scorecard and select Sessions in the right column.
  9. Select both scorecards, right-click them and select Blend Data.
  10. You’ll now have a new, third scorecard that gives you the conversion rate for that specific lead-generating conversion event.
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5. Review your Data Studio scorecard for each conversion event to flag low-performing events.

Events with low conversion rates require optimization. For landing pages:

  • Ensure the headline immediately hooks the reader’s attention.
  • Make content scannable and easy to read.
  • Highlight the key benefit of the landing page, such as a free download or the valuable content in your email newsletters.
  • Remove distracting elements, such as buttons and menus that drive users away from the landing page
  • Increase the prominence of the call-to-action button.

For submission forms that have a low conversion rate, optimize by:

  • Reducing the number of required fields.
  • Asking only for information that’s critical for your leads database like first name and email address at a minimum.

For all conversion events, regular A/B testing can help drive your conversion percentages up.

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6. Go to Advertising > Conversion Paths to track where high-performing or low-performing traffic is coming from.

GA4’s attribution models tell you where a lead came from when they trigger a conversion event. This helps you identify:

  • Parts of your marketing funnel that provide high-quality traffic that more readily converts.
  • Parts of your funnel that provide low-quality traffic, and either needs to be optimized or eliminated.

On the Conversions Paths page:

  1. Click the drop-down Conversion Events menu 
  2. Select a specific event you would like to review like email_signup.
  3. Deselect the other events.
  4. Click Apply.

By default, GA4 shows you up to 50 touchpoints such as pages and user actions, and their percentages that led to the conversion event. For example, you might see that 60% of the users that triggered the conversion event came from organic traffic, while 40% came from your email list.

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7. Hover over each of the early, middle, and late touchpoints in your Conversion Path report to see specific percentages. Review the conversion paths and flag low-performing touchpoints.

Naturally, the number of users in the early touchpoints will be significantly higher than those in the late touchpoints. Specifically, look for URLs, touchpoints and other activity that drops sharply from the previous touchpoint. These are areas of your funnel that may be broken, have a poor user experience, or have unclear messaging. 

Likewise, look for touchpoints that generate more conversions than other touchpoints in your funnel. Consider driving more traffic to these touchpoints, or eliminating earlier touchpoints, to capitalize on the success of these specific pages.

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Current Playbook:

Analyze lead generation performance

Nov 20, 2021

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