Maximize Your Advertising with Google Analytics and Adwords
When it comes to paid search placement, it’s no longer a game of simply sending traffic to a website, but getting the greatest return from your PPC advertising. In this article, we’ll discuss linking your Google Analytics account to your Google Adwords account, the importance and benefits provided to tracking and optimizing your campaign, and its ROI.
Imagine that you manage a restaurant and are advertising your “World Famous Steak Dinner”, but just can’t seem to get it to move out of the kitchen? Wouldn’t you want to know if customers are buying lasagna by the pan-full? What if you knew that from 3-5pm your customers are only buying coffee and pastries? Would you stop your advertising completely, or shift your ad message?
Understanding the “Buying Cycle” of your customers, along with insight from key performance indicators, quality calls to action, and conversions are all significant factors in the optimal performance of your paid search campaigns. Surprisingly, these metrics can also provide valuable insight to your traditional off-line marketing efforts.
In order to get the best results and return from your PPC campaigns, you need the best information available. Linking your Google Analytics account with your Google Adwords account can provide a deeper analysis of the data and enable you see what customers do after reaching your landing page.
Linking both your Analytics and Adwords account is a fairly simple process, as long as you have the correct access levels to your accounts. Your digital marketing agency, IT department, or a combination of both, can help with implementing this connection. Importing Google Analytics metrics into your Adwords account requires additional customization of columns in Adwords dashboard, but provides valuable, new insight on performance after the ad click.
Benefits of Linking Google Analytics and Adwords Accounts
Reduce and eliminate discrepancies in data.
There are various reasons why Analytics and Adwords data don’t match up. On the list of reasons for data discrepancies between ad clicks and user sessions, are users who might double-click an ad, click fraud (human or bots), expired cookies on returning users, or goal or conversion time delays. Query strings, mobile domains, and proxy sites can at times strip the signals to Analytics causing paid traffic from Adwords being incorrectly categorized as referral traffic.
Linking your Analytics account with your Adwords account can help to correct, identify, and eliminate many discrepancies in the data. Since Analytics and Adwords data will rarely match 100%, understanding the difference between sessions and clicks can help to explain the difference and locate problem areas.
Search Volume Changes
Digital marketing specialists almost always start with a review of key search terms and search volume when devising overall strategy. While search volume is a great metric for keyword strategy, it is not static and can change over time. Linking Adwords with Analytics can provide quick visualization of keyword trends, changes in user search patterns and competition share.
By linking Adwords and Analytics specific insights into keyword can be made by reviewing Bounce Rate, CTR, Pages per Session, and Session Duration directly in Adwords.
Return on Investment
Which ads are driving users to rich engaging content, which ads are driving customers to action? Conversion tracking can help answer these questions. Clicks, Click through Rate (CTR), and conversions have traditionally been good indicators of ad, campaign, and keyword performance for driving traffic to your site.
Linking Analytics with Adwords uncovers new details into how users interact with your site between the click and conversion. Now, they are accompanied by the engagement metrics of SEO and organic search strategists:
- Bounce Rate
- Pages per Session
- Session Duration
Adwords receives the added benefit of importing goals from Analytics as conversions. In Analytics, the gain is viewed in keyword level data by revenue and cost. The information fueling these trends is extremely valuable to ongoing conversion optimization.
Landing Page and Ad Conversion Optimization
Are your ads working as effectively (or poorly) as you think they are? Understanding the “Buying Cycle” and which phase of it your potential customer is in, can change the overall strategy of your paid search campaigns.
Improve Calls to Action
Pages per session and session duration have always been indicators of users engaged in the content, products or services you provide. When clicks, pages per session and session duration are high and conversions are low, it may be a sign that your customer is in the knowledge seeking part of the “Buying Cycle”. Don’t abandon those ads or keywords too quickly. Rather than shutting down effective ads and keywords for cost savings, consider landing page optimization and stronger calls to action for your conversions.
Increase User Engagement
When CTR% and bounce rate is high, it may be a sign that users aren’t seeing what they expected to find. If conversions are low, you may be bidding on the wrong keywords.
This can also be an indicator your landing page may not be in alignment with the keywords, message or call to action of the ad. Are your customers seeking more knowledge? Are they price shopping? or are you missing the opportunity to convert a sale? Split testing landing page variations for conversions and/or testing different keyword groups on the original landing page can help you decide if you need to reconsider strategy.
Drive to Conversions
If CTR %, bounce rate and conversions are high simultaneously, this can be a sign of a strong call to action and conversion. In this case, customers are often in the last stage of the “Buy Cycle” and are ready to make a purchase. In the case of a phone call conversion and some simple web forms, it is possible for a customer to convert so fast that they register as a bounce. This is common with immediate service industries like taxi cabs, towing services and locksmiths.
Adwords is great for tracking your ad campaigns and how visitors reach your site. Analytics is superb at tracking how customers navigate within your website. Combine the power of both to have them communicate and track valuable conversion data. Together, they give insights into where you should be spending more or less to get the optimum ROI.
Utilizing the information discuseed can aid in further optimization of both paid search campaigns as well as organic landing pages, ultimately providing your business with more customers and greater return on both paid and organic search.