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If there is one thing I’d urge you to do as a business using Google AdWords it would be to integrate Google Analytics into your Google AdWords campaigns and workflow. There is a whole heap of stuff from which you will benefit, and the upshot is that you and your business will increase the performance insights of your ads and campaigns.
Here’s how AdWords and Analytcis work hand-in-hand:
Linking your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts aligns the two tools enabling them to work together to provide actionable insights that will augment the success of your advertising spend. Linking Analytics to AdWords will give you the ROI cues to deciding on spending more or less budget based on actual data.
The two way street sees data pushed in both directions:
Google Analytics –> Google AdWords
Google AdWords –> Google Analytics
This can then be supplemented by the following features of Google Analytics:
There are various AdWords reports that give you AdWords traffic data for site sessions. The full list of default AdWords reports that can be found in Google Analytics includes:
For companies using Remarketing with Google Analytics the, Demographics and Interests report gives useful insights into aspects of your audience such as gender, age, affinity categories (what people are interested in) and what site type habits users have. This can really boost your ability to segment your audience and deliver relevant ads off the back of what they have done on your site as well as their particular interests.
Google Analytics can have custom alerts configured to observe an aspect of site traffic to detect important statistical fluctuations. For instance, to monitor AdWords for any alarming traffic drops, a custom alert can be configured to send you an email to let you know there has been that decrease. Conversely an alert can be sent to inform you of an out of the ordinary traffic increase to help you manage budgets more effectively or to capitalise on an untapped search query.
Advanced Segments work like a cookie cutter to isolate subgroups of traffic, such as paid traffic or non-paid traffic. They can be applied to historic data across Google Analytics reports and viewed alongside other segments to understand the relationship or behaviours between traffic sub categories.
Event tracking combined with Advanced Segments can demonstrate the behavioural aspects of your paid search users. Event Tracking comes into its own if you’re looking to measure on site activities like PDF downloads, video plays, social shares and newsletter signups.
Again, using a Paid Search Advanced Segment, the In-Page Analytics report gives you a visual representation of how users use and interact with your pages.
What better source of keyword ideas than your own site users? Implementing search functionality and enabling the Site Search tracking feature in Google Analytics will reveal exactly what users are seeking. This is a very powerful resource to use when considering keyword targeting and Ad text.
Conversions are rarely straightforward to attribute to a traffic source. Making the most of the Time Decay attribution Model will allow you to work backwards from the conversion to understand how critical AdWords was in any set of conversions.
With the implementation of Google Analytics’ Ecommerce tracking, businesses are able to pinpoint your products’ sales performance. AdWords users will be able to track transactions to specific keywords, understand customer behaviours in the purchase journey, as well as refine site features to increase the life-time value of a customer.
If you’re investing heavily in AdWords it’s vital that you understand any potential barriers to conversion that your site throws up. Using the Goal Flow report will identify entrance and exit points as well as where users dwell due to not understanding what is expected of them or where site content lets them down.
The last click prior to a conversion is only part of the picture. Multi-Channel Funnels demonstrate the conversion paths and combination of sources on the customer journey that are delivering your site conversions. This is an incredibly valuable way of understanding the role and the value your AdWords campaigns are playing in your site’s performance.
On top of the varied analytics reports at your fingertips, there are a number of ways to output this analysis to provide people of all levels within the business hierarchy the insights your work has uncovered.
Custom reports take the default report and take on customised metrics and dimensions so if you’re finding the default reports in Google Analytics aren’t giving you quite the insight you’d like then a custom report is the solution. For instance AdWords advertisers may like to combine both AdWords campaign data with analytics engagement metrics within one reporting view. This can be achieved using a custom report. They are quick to build and have email scheduling functionality to help with stakeholder visibility.
Dashboards are a fantastic visual executive level summary of site metrics. The use of Widgets allows for tables, graphs, pie charts and more to quickly demonstrate the key measurements required by C-level colleagues.
With the use of Ecommerce tracking and Goal values you can start to see what value site actions are giving your business. To provide further ROI analysis, Google Analytics allows you to import cost data so that you can calculate net performance. The Cost Analysis report can be used with traffic sources as well as Attribution models to give you a more rounded ROI analysis of your marketing efforts in particular your advertising spend.
Taking everything into account, there is a pretty compelling case for integrating Google Analytics and Google AdWords. The benefits are, increased insight and a closer understanding of what ROI your advertising spend is driving.
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Samantha Noble is well known within in the search industry, she even won the UK Search Personality 2016 at the UK Search Awards in November. This year, she continues to make an impact on the industry by judging not only one, but three, prestigious industry awards.