LinkedIn is fantastic for building business connections and interacting with other business people.
Website analytics packages are fantastic for giving good insights into website visitors, often including their company details.
Here we look at how you can use both together for business benefit.
What you need
All you need to make this work are:
- A strong website analytics solution (no, not Google Analytics – it won’t help you here) installed on your website, that allows you to identify which companies have visited (and ideally, what they looked at on your website). Obviously, you’d expect us to say that A1WebStats is one such solution but there are other products on the market that will allow you to identify companies that have visited your website. Your choice of package and functionality depends on needs and budget for analytics.
- A reasonable number of LinkedIn connections either directly yourself or via people you are closely linked to. Reasonable would be anything from 400-500 connections upwards.
Starting with webstats analysis
Using your chosen website statistics analysis package you should ideally be looking on a daily basis at which companies visited your website in the previous day (or perhaps the previous week, depending on your levels of traffic).
Using A1WebStats as an example, here’s the basic view of a few visitors to a company website over a few days, showing the organisation name and keyword phrases that brought them to the website (where they can be identified) …
Taking that to a deeper level, we can see the details of how each individual company moved through the website. Taking one example from the screenshot above, we can see how someone from Babcock International looked at the website on one particular day …
In this case the person didn’t search for a particular phrase to get to the website but we can see from the 2 day(s) since last visit link that they had originally come to the website 2 days before, having searched for ‘70mm plastic plug’ (and had been to the website again in the following days) …
At this point we know that someone from Babcock International may be interested in the products being offered and if they haven’t made contact yet then it may be a case of:
- They’re not ready to make contact yet.
- They didn’t find quite what they were looking for.
Usually, point 2 is what happens.
Unfortunately, you can’t identify the individual person from that company who was looking at your website – all you know is that there is a potential need for your products or services from someone within that company. This is where LinkedIn can become very useful …
The power of LinkedIn connections
Using the example above, we know that someone from Babcock International may be interested in the products offered by the company of the website that they’ve visited. The next step is to type the name of the company into LinkedIn to see whether we’re connected to people within that company. This is what comes up based on my own connections …
Here you have a choice …
- Pick up the phone to the company (who visited your website) and see if you can get through to the right person.
- Make use of your LinkedIn connections to find a route in.
This is where the strength of your connections becomes important. As you can see above, I have a few connections (via my contacts) to people within Babcock International. Some of those connections are going to be stronger than others. So, I can discount those people who will connect to anyone at all, but have no real ‘proper’ connection with the people at that company.
That leaves me with the people who I know well enough to contact via LinkedIn (or otherwise) and find out how strong their link is to the people within Babcock International. Although it’s highly unlikely that I’m going to hit the jackpot of the person who looked at the website in the first place, I may get a step closer to them via having a conversation with someone who is introduced via a mutual connection.
What if LinkedIn doesn’t get results?
Let’s be realistic – someone from a company has visited your website and all you can identify is the company name. There are relatively few chances that one of your contacts is directly connected to that person. There are a few more chances that one of your contacts is connected to someone who may be able to bridge the gap to the person that you need to speak to.
But what if you get nowhere at all?
The first point to make is that you’ve tried. You’ve already done more than most of your competitors have done because:
- You’ve identified that the company has visited your website, and know what they were looking at.
- You’ve tried to make contact.
Now it’s a case of thinking “what next?”. Our advice would be:
- If a company (or company in your target market) has been, or is likely to be, going to your website, then it makes sense to use LinkedIn to get connections into that company because they may be useful in the future. You can try to connect directly or you can get involved in LinkedIn groups where your ‘target’ people are active, and build up a rapport, leading to a proper connection.
- Connect to more people overall. Look at the screenshot below – it shows you that although 6 of their employees are in my network, 1,758 aren’t. That perhaps tells me that there’s an opportunity to connect to a lot more people in general, which should then connect me to more people within the target company I’m interested in.
Isn’t this all a bit time-consuming?
Yes, it can be time-consuming but in our experience, the vast majority of companies have people from companies visiting their website and they do nothing about it. In most cases they’re not even able to identify the companies that have visited. So they spend lots of time and money marketing themselves in other ways. Logic says that if someone has been to your website, from an identifiable company, then it’s got to be at least worth a try to find a connection into there, whether via LinkedIn or other methods.
The vast majority of companies won’t do this but from what we can see (and I’m sure many other webstats analytics solutions providers also see this), the numbers of proactive companies are on the increase. Those are the companies that are making the most of the systems available to them in order to strengthen their businesses for the future.