Comparing Google Analytics and B2B Website Visitor Identification Tools
How does Google Analytics compare with other software tools designed specifically to help identify and track visitors on B2B websites?
This post summarizes main product features, similarities, and differences to help B2B marketing and sales teams understand how these software tools help improve lead generation.
Last Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Google Analytics and Other Tools for B2B Lead Generation
Google Analytics (also called “GA”) is by far the most commonly used website analytics software today. It’s free for most organizations and is relatively easy to use at a basic level for tracking website user activity, traffic volumes and sources, etc.
A related category of web analytics tools is focused on identifying and tracking visitors specifically for B2B websites .
These software solutions identify some visitors at least down to the company level, and then send actionable prospect data to B2B sales teams for lead generation purposes.
They fall into the B2B software category of website visitor tracking or visitor identification products.
The discussion below provides a summary comparison between GA and these more specialized web analytics products.
As we’ll see below, there is some overlap… and quite a few important differences when it comes to helping B2B sales teams find and pursue new leads.
Google Analytics vs Website Visitor Tracking Tools
Comparison Summary - Marketing Features
Comparison Summary - B2B Sales Features
Website Visitor Tracking for B2B Marketing and Sales
For identifying and tracking website users, GA and several 3rd-party tools all provide the following:
- Track website users (visitors) and sessions (visits)
- Track visitor geo-location (e.g., City, State, Country, etc.)
- Identify visitors by service provider and/or network domain data
- Identify traffic acquisition sources (organic search, PPC, ads, social, etc.)
- Support filtering and segmentation
- Track visitors’ website content engagement (pages viewed, content engagement metrics, etc.)
- Track marketing campaigns (e.g., via UTM-tagged links)
Google Analytics Visitor Tracking Mostly Helps Marketing
These product capabilities are typically most useful for the marketing team, since they measure website activity at a higher, more ‘macro’ level. The same is true for GA’s features in the area of user behavior flow visualizations, conversion funnels, and GA goals and events.
GA also typically offers more robust features in the area of advanced filtering and segmentation, content analysis, and campaign analysis.
More Prospect Context For Sales
While the items above may seem more marketing-focused when taken individually, they still help to paint a fuller picture for the B2B lead data produced by the 3rd-party website user tracking tools.
Let’s look now at the more sales-focused features offered by the 3rd-party tools.
Adding B2B Sales-Focused Features
Unlike GA, the 3rd-party software tools for identifying and tracking website visitors are built specifically for B2B firms with direct sales teams.
Sales reps, sales development, business development, inside and outside sales staff can all benefit from these products.
These tools build upon the more general activity tracking features described above and add the following product features and attributes:
- Are designed specifically for B2B marketing and sales
- Have a sales-friendly user interface and workflow
- Can identify some % of visitors by actual company name
- Can identify some actual visiting people by name, email, etc.
- May use proprietary IP-to-company matching databases (some tools)
- Filter out ISPs automatically
- Provide visiting company profile summary (firmographic data)
- Provide individual contact lookup functionality (via LinkedIn, etc.)
- Provide simple ‘click stream’ data of pages viewed
- Provide customizable prospect lead scoring
- Associate visitor buyer intent insights (some tools)
- Provide visitor ‘watch lists’ to trigger alerts to sales
- Send real-time lead alerts to sales team
- Automate sales prospect lead reporting
- Integrate directly with CRMs, marketing automation, email platforms, etc.
- Offer free (limited) versions of their paid tools
Software Similarities and Differences
As these product features show, Google Analytics visitor tracking is great for analyzing website traffic at a more macro level, where individual visitor identities are not a major concern or priority. This is primarily the domain of the marketing team.
On the other hand, tracking software that focuses first on identifying anonymous website visitors is clearly designed for B2B sales teams interested in lead generation.
There is also an area of functional overlap. For example, GA and other vendor tools will track number of visitor sessions, which pages are viewed during each session, geographic region, and traffic source (organic, PPC, social, etc.)
This functional overlap is especially apparent for the tracking tools that use GA as a data source. Software from vendors such as Leadberry, Leadfeeder, and Visitor Queue fit into this category.
Also Note: Google Analytics visitor identification capabilities are more limited by design. It’s against the Terms of Service (ToS) to collect PII – personally identifiable information – inside GA.
Leading Vendors - Visitor ID and Tracking Tools
Providing What B2B Sales Teams Need
As discussed above in the context of the practical needs of B2B sales teams, here are several vendors whose specialized software tools can help.
Disclosure: I have an affiliate marketing relationship with some of these vendors. I may earn referral fees for purchases made after clicking on these logos and links.
Just wanted you to be aware of that, thanks!
Clickback WEB is a good point-product option for visitor tracking. Features include visitor click-path data and return visitor notifications.
CommuniGator has an interesting B2B software suite that includes GatorLeads for B2B IP-based lead generation.
KickFire’s LIVE Leads solution offers advanced visitor tracking functionality with proprietary IP-based value-added features.
Leadberry is another good point-product solution for B2B IP visitor identification and tracking.
Leadfeeder includes advanced filtering capabilities to help eliminate non-useful visitor data.
Lead Forensics is a well-established vendor in the area of B2B IP tracking. They also offer a mobile app to help on-the-go sales teams stay on top of web lead activity.
LeadLander is another point-product visitor tracking option with an intuitive user interface and no per-user charges.
SharpSpring offers a website Visitor ID feature as part of a complete marketing automation suite. With attractive pricing and no long-term contracts, SharpSpring is a compelling alternative to HubSpot, Marketo, Act-On, etc.
Visitor Queue is an affordable option for B2B IP tracking specifically with sales users in mind.
VisitorTrack is one of the original solutions in this software category. Features include AI-driven traffic filters and B2B intent data to provide higher-quality leads.
Visual Visitor provides an affordable point-product solution with features for email campaigns, form lead capture, and even call tracking.
WhoIsVisiting is a B2B IP tracking solution that features an ‘Engagement Bar’ for simple visual lead scoring, plus advanced filtering and lead management.
Website Visitor Tracking Has Dual Meanings
Google Analytics and third-party IP lead tracking tools all fall under the broad umbrella category of website visitor tracking software.
However, the discussion above helps to illustrate that tracking website user activity can mean very different things to different groups of website analytics users.
For digital marketers tracking overall campaign ROI, website content performance, etc., the website visitors may remain anonymous… and that’s just fine for many of their marketing measurement needs.
In some areas, marketers can still make well-informed investment decisions based on visitor data that is not attached to individual companies or people.
B2B Sales Needs Actionable Lead Generation
It’s a very different story for B2B sales teams, however. For them, website visitor tracking is all about identifying anonymous companies that visit their firm’s website, then essentially turning those identified visitors into new sales prospects for outbound selling efforts.
This is why many B2B firms use GA as their most fundamental website analytics platform, but then add on the third-party tools that take website visitor tracking beyond the macro world of marketing analytics, and into the more outbound sales world of proactive lead generation and follow-up.
For a deeper discussion of how GA helps identify business visitors, see the top half of this post: Google Analytics and B2B IP Tracking Tools
To learn more about many of the top 3rd-party tools that identify and track website users, see this post and scroll down to the vendor overview videos:
More related content…
Insights and tips about conducting free trials of these products
How these vendors handle GDPR compliance
How Lead Forensics works (product demos and reviews)
How LeadLander works (product overview)
How Visitor Queue works (product demo and reviews)
Comments and Feedback
Have you used Google Analytics or any 3rd-party software tools for identifying anonymous website visitors and converting them to B2B sales leads?
Drop a quick comment below if you have feedback, questions, or any other insights to add here.
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