*The following is a guest blog from Ant Musker, Content Writer at whoisvisiting.com.

Until very recently, marketers had trouble deciphering where their website traffic came from. Enter Google Analytics and Website Visitor Tracking — two members of the website tracking data family that help marketers measure the success of campaigns and generate sustainability for future budget planning and return on investment.

As the focus on website analytics is becoming increasingly evident with more attention turning to the importance of tracking the entire buyer’s journey activity, engagement, conversion rates, and understanding your buyer’s behaviors and patterns have become mission-critical data points.

The advantage of being able to react accordingly to these asks from your CMO or board with efficient data collection, reporting, and analysis will soon be a competitive advantage for marketers who utilize different marketing channels and want to operate at their highest efficiency.

If you’re just getting started with digital attribution, you may be asking yourself whether Google Analytics or Website Visitor Tracking would be of value to your business, as essentially, the two platforms branch from the same tree.

Although the two may overlap in some services, the main difference is that Google Analytics is a freemium service, whereas Website Visitor Tracking is a paid service due to its IP tracking and business identification process — a functionality that’s capable of adding significant value to sales prospecting and lead generation.

Let’s take a deep dive into the differences between the two.

Google Analytics

Google’s acquisition of Urchin in 2005 lead to the birth of Google Analytics – the most popularly used tracking platform on the internet.

Since its inception, Google Analytics has become a staple requirement of pretty much any website. Many B2B marketers are already familiar with using Google Analytics on a day-to-day basis since it’s a free, easy to use service that provides some key insights into your website traffic.

The platform displays your analytical data in a number of ways, from real-time traffic to an audience overview, acquisition information, behavioral insights, and conversion rates.  In addition to this, you’re given the ability to pull important metrics from each such as:

  • Social media traffic referral
  • Number of unique visitors
  • Number of page views
  • Pages per visit
  • time on site
  • Bounce rate

It really is an invaluable hub for viewing your website activity and where the traffic is being sourced from. Not to mention that Google Analytics is completely versatility, and the tool can be taken as far or as simply as you wish during the setup to fit in with your own needs as a company.

Once you start going into detail with Google Analytics and implementing more of its customized functions, you’ll find endless opportunities to learn, and a variety of reporting you can use to make informed decisions on how to drive more traffic to your website.

Website Visitor Tracking

Website Visitor Tracking is a tool geared more directly toward business visitor recognition through reverse IP tracking. This software can provide a deeper level of statistics and metrics than Google Analytics to display more personalized information on the visitors who are coming on to your website.

These metrics can enable both sales and marketing teams alike to take charge and react in real time to the visitors you’re receiving by looking at the quality of the visitors against your ideal customer profile. Website visitor tracking can provide your team with valuable metrics such as:

  • Search keywords
  • Companies who visited
  • Traffic source
  • New versus returning
  • Time spent on site
  • Times visited
  • Total pages viewed

Essentially, website visitor tracking gives you the ability to make an initial contact with companies who have displayed a qualified interest in your services by visiting your website but have yet to fill out a form or request a demo. By knowing which pages the company has visited and how much time they spent on your site, your sales team should be able to easily identify their pain points and provide them with the additional information they might require to entice and progress deals.

Sales vs. Marketing Value

Both Google Analytics and Website Visitor Tracking can be extremely beneficial for your business and when deciding which one your team should use, it ultimately comes down to a distinction between qualitative and quantitative data access and which of these is most suited to your needs.

Google Analytics can be used as a quantitative pool of data for marketers to dive into and take perceptions and make future assessments from its numerical, anonymous visitor data, while Website Visitor Tracking appeals more to a direct sales demeanor whereby the volume of data is lower, but more qualitative in nature and can be used for sales outreach to the company who visited.

While there is a crossover where marketers can benefit from Website Visitor Tracking, the  information is more ideal for customer profiling and should be considered a sales tool at its source. However, marketers should manage and qualify the lead quality before handing it to their sales reps.

The Updated Buyer’s Journey

Unfortunately for marketers who want to know where their leads really come from, neither Google Analytics or Website Visitor Tracking has the ability to pinpoint specific people who have visited a website or page. However, with the advent of new digital attribution technology, the anonymous touch has become easier to measure and give marketers a whole new insight into where a lead truly discovered your brand.

In the past, sales and marketing teams have used the data they pulled from Google Analytics and Website Tracking Data to see which companies are visiting and then actively research that business to determine their relevance and determine if the company as a whole has a need for your product or service. As a starting point, you could reach out to the appropriate job title who would use the service you provide, but that wouldn’t necessarily be the exact person who visited your website.

By taking it one step further to track the anonymous touch, the digital channel through which a lead found you originally, your sales and marketing team can tell the complete story and get the full picture into marketing’s impact on pipeline and revenue.

Bringing All the Data Together

The ultimate thing to remember is that there’s no reason to use only one of these systems, when in fact, you can easily use all three methods to get a full understanding of your data.

The right fit for your team will be to balance the correct purposes and use features from all three sources to create a clean system to improve your business output through marketing, lead generation and the sales cycle.

When used as a partnership, you can benefit from the main advantages each offer and interlink them for effective data synergy. Google Analytics is going to help you in the long term get more people to your site, while Website Visitor Tracking software is going to help you access the companies who are interested, and Digital Attribution can tie everything together by telling you which leads are visiting.

Both incorporated together can be an effective sales and marketing weapon and give your business a competitive advantage.