News and insights • Posted on 24 October 2014

How to see who's looked at your site (for free)... then what?

I often get asked, “How do we tell who’s been on our website”. The short answer is you can’t tell who has had a look, but you can sometimes tell which companies have. This article only benefits B2B sites that are targeting company visits and would find that information useful.

There are instances where you can tell which person has had a look, for example, if users have to register/log in to your site, or you send out an email campaign directing people to your site. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to concentrate on generic visitors who you do not know, who could potentially be new customers.

There are a few paid services out there that will apparently tell you every company that’s been on your website and give you the phone number and address… for a monthly fee of course! Before you rush to Google to find them, it might be worth considering these points:

1) Why jump into a paid service when you can get some of this information for free.

2) What do you actually plan to do with the information?

3) These companies cannot provide company names for dynamic IP’s – an increasing % of visitors come from dynamic IP’s.

So here’s how you get some of the information for FREE…. If you haven’t got Google Analytics installed don’t read any further – put your Filofax and fax machine away and go install Google Analytics.

Assuming you know you’re way around GA (give us a call if you don’t), select ‘Technology’ underneath the ‘Audience’ heading, and then select ‘network’.

To have a little bit more data, select ‘secondary dimension’, ‘users’, and then pick “network domain’ from the list. This sometimes gives you a web address, which can help to identify a business or brand name.

Depending on the time frame you’re looking at you will end up with a long list of visits. Some will have company names or domains that are recognisable to you. Most will not be recognisable, for example, people looking at your site from home could appear as “sky broadband’ for example.

A few tips to make fishing through the list more manageable. Only look at 7 day periods to reduce the volume and filter the list by visits, you will find more success with users who’ve been on your site once or twice. You can also set up automated email reports in GA, so you can have it emailed to you or your team weekly. You should see something like this:

So what now? Well this pretty much boils down to the original point, you can’t see which individual person has had a look at your site, you just have a company name. If it’s someone your sales team have been prospecting then great, you’ve probably got a good idea who it might be to follow it up.

But if it’s a totally cold prospect, who are you going to call…? Ghostbusters! If you ring the switchboard at ABC Ltd with 500 employees, who are you going to ask for? This is the most important question. What is the point of collating this data if you don’t have a plan for using it?

I always advise my clients to have a strategy for the information, trial it for free using GA, then if it generates ROI, consider upgrading to a paid service.

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Written by Alison Croston

Partnerships and growth director Ali ensures potential clients are paired with the right services and solutions to propel their business to the next level.

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