Understanding your Google Analytics Data in Relation to your Adwords Campaigns
For your Google Adwords campaigns to be optimised to their full potential, it is critical that they are integrated with Google Analytics. Once this happens true business intelligence can be realised leading to better, more profitable decision making.
Once you have integrated your Google Adwords account into your Google Analytics account you will have greater visibility of relevant data. Analytics segments this data to make it easier for you to find the information you need to make smarter decisions to improve your return on investment (ROI).
Google Adwords Segment to Monitor
Under the Acquisition segment, you will find a segment called Google Adwords. One click and a whole range of sub-segments become visible. If you click one, you will see relevant information to that sub-segment, and you can apply various filters to dive into the data. You can also sort the data by heading on the chart by low to high, or high to low. Useful if you want to see the best and underperforming aspects of your Adwords campaigns.
The information is shown by date which can be a custom range, yearly, monthly, or daily.
Here you can see an overview of your active campaigns together with campaign spend, clicks, cost per click, numbers of sessions, bounce rates, pages viewed per session, and, if you have Goals established and selected, the number of conversions (Goals), Goal value if assigned, and conversion rate.
The Keyword segment is a highly useful segment and displays similar information to Campaign, but the information is shown by keyword. These are the same keywords and keyword groups that you specified when setting up your Google AdWords campaigns. Here you can see which keywords generate the highest number of clicks and if those clicks are resulting in a successful conversion. You can also see which keywords are not inspiring your visitors to click through to your site.
Search Queries provides long tail keyword information identical to the keywords section above. Arguably, the information here is a little harder to dissect as you’re not just looking at keywords you specified but entire phrases that inspired a visitor click. Nonetheless, you can never have too much information when looking for trends.
This segment allows you to break down campaign spend, clicks, cost per click, number of sessions, bounce rates, pages viewed per session, and Goals by device. This is highly useful for developing your landing pages and optimising them for mobile. Making landing pages work on the smaller screen is arguably one of the greatest digital marketing challenges in 2018.
Google Analytics shows other segments which are optional such as Display Network, Video Campaigns, and Shopping Campaigns. The format is the same as outlined above.
If you have not already done so you should set up goals in line with your marketing objectives. Purchases, downloads, sign-ups should all be established. To help you calculate ROI you should if applicable assign a value to your Goals. This will help you grasp the big picture of profit vs. cost.
Without active Goals, it will be impossible to make use of Google Analytic’s attribution segments which are an invaluable resource in optimising a Google Adwords campaign.
Attribution and a Holistic View
One of the key aspects that Google Analytics offers are segments related to attribution. Attribution is all of the traffic drivers that led to a conversion. So, your visitor might have clicked on your ad and this led to a conversion, but did they come in contact with your brand via a different source first, say social media?
Although the information is not complete, the information provided can still help you make better marketing decisions and it gives you the bigger, holistic picture of your online marketing efforts.
Under the Goals segment, you will find several sub-segments:
Overview gives you a snapshot of how many conversions (Goals) you have made over a given date range. This can be seen both as the final URL of the Goal, and seen as a ‘source/medium’. This is useful for seeing what other sources are leading to conversions. Your AdWords campaigns will show as ‘Google/CPC’.
Reverse Goal Path
The Reverse Goal Path segment can be used to track what actions your visitors took to reach the point of conversion. Where this really comes into its own, is if you have multiple call to actions on your landing page, and or multiple products. Careful analysis can tell you how effective your landing page is at retaining visitors, and what call to actions get the most clicks.
Where this segment is not as good is if your Goal is a download. The steps will just indicate the URLs used to complete and submit the form including the landing page, the form URL, and the thank you page URL.
Nonetheless, if applicable the Reverse Goal Path Segment can provide valuable business intelligence.
This segment can be configured by you to show the sales funnel process. This can be particularly useful if you’re trying to work out where visitors are dropping off and not converting. One thing to be aware of is that if a visitor drops out of the process and returns to it and converts, this is classed as two visits. One showing the visitor abandoning the funnel the other showing the same visitor converting.
Goal Flow can provide a good graphical overview by channel and the number of conversions (Goals) they generate. By adding segments you can drill down into the data further isolating the information you need to see. For example, by applying the paid traffic segment you can see which Google generated conversions were generated by your Adwords campaign and which were organic visits. The segments are shown as percentages.
Other useful segments could include bounce visits, mobile traffic, new and returning visitors. You can apply more than one segment at a time, and you can compare date ranges.
Unlike Funnel Visualisation, Goal Flow will count the same visitor abandoning then continuing the path to conversion as a single visit. It also can be used to show historical data which Funnel Visualisation cannot do. You can learn more information about it the differences between the two here.
The Multichannel Funnel segment and sub-segments display intriguing data to help you gain a holistic view of your digital marketing. It also helps you ascertain how your Google Adwords campaigns fit into your marketing.
The overview presents a graphical representation of channels that assisted in achieving a conversion. For example, a visitor searches, finds your ad clicks on it but they do not convert. A few days later, they do a search for your brand finds it and converts. This is shown in the Multichannel Funnel segment. In other words, what marketing channel attribute to a conversion.
By deselecting the tick boxes you can pinpoint the marketing channels that led to a conversion.
Under this segment, you will be presented with a table showing your marketing channels. The Assisted Conversion figure is the number of times a channel assisted in a conversion. It is not, however, the direct click, which is the channel from which your conversion was made. So, a visitor finds your site organically, visits, and does not convert. They then click on your PPC ad and convert. Here, Google will show the organic visit under the Assisted Conversion column.
The channel where your visitor converted, the final step to conversion, is shown in the Last Click or Direct Conversion column.
Assisted/Last Clicks or Direct Conversion column is an estimation of how well the channel performs in a certain role. A value close to 0 is an indication that the channel will be the converting click. A value close to 1 indicates the channel functions well in both an assist role and a converting role. Numbers greater than 1.5 is an estimate of how well the channel performs in an assist role. The higher the number the worse the channel performs.
Top Converting Paths
This segment is a graphical representation of the attributing factors to conversion. It shows the number of conversions and their attributing marketing channels. You will see in some instances two of the same type. Paid, Paid, for example. This is where the same visitor has clicked on your ad twice before converting.
You can apply various filters to this segment to provide clarity. Simply by clicking Source/Medium Path reveals where your traffic is generated. If you have good tagging on your links this makes it far easier to determine where your traffic comes from and you should be able to piece together the path your converting visitor followed.
Once you have identified the important factors needed to optimise your Adwords campaigns, you can configure reports to generate over a given time period. This provides an easily accessed set of business intelligence allowing you to make the decisions necessary to optimise ROI.
Google Analytics, when integrated with Google Adwords, is an invaluable business tool. You get access to business intelligence that is needed to increase ROI of your campaigns, and you can determine how your Adwords campaigns work with your overall marketing strategy.
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