June 20, 2018

How to Use Data from Google Analytics to Optimize AdWords Campaigns

google analytics - google adwords

Are you getting users to your website with Google advertising? Great! Now what? You’re probably tracking your campaign performance and trying to understand how you can continually optimize and get even more users. With so many tools provided by Google, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed on where to start. Google AdWords has many metrics available to get the most relevant information for optimization out of campaigns, ad groups, keywords and ads.

However – what happens to users once they actually reach your website? The problem for many online marketers is that, except for a few metrics, you can’t really get this info from AdWords.

This makes AdWords optimization very superficial and lead-based. It’s especially a problem for branding and e-commerce campaigns, as these require more complex optimization techniques that take into account both how to get the users to the website and how they behave once they reach the website.

This is exactly where Google Analytics comes in handy.

Google Analytics has an abundance of information about traffic coming to your website, who your visitors are, and what they did once they reached the website. With endless segmentation and easy integration to Google AdWords, it’s the perfect tool to help you dig deeper and get more from your AdWords campaign optimization.

AdWords already has metrics such as bounce rate, pages/sessions, average sessions duration and percentage of new sessions, that will help you find out whether your landing page is good and your ads relevant. In this post, we are going to talk about some tools that will help you get more information out of your campaigns.

Before you begin – make sure your tracking is working properly

For these Google Analytics tips to help you in your optimization, you need to, first, make sure that your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts are linked to each other – this will give you information about costs, keywords and search terms.

Second, make sure to set up the different conversions you are interested in as goals – this will allow you to go from one conversion to another with ease.

What are users doing once they land on your landing page?

Whether it’s a dedicated landing page or a certain page on your website, Google Analytics can give you a lot of information about what users are doing once they reach the page.

One example is Behaviour flow – this tool is used to see how customers act after landing on your website:

  • Do they move forward from the landing page?
  • If so, how many pages do they visit and in what order?
  • What is the drop off rate for each page according to its place in the visitor’s journey?

To use behaviour flow, first select the dimension you want to see – source/campaign/landing page/event (there are many options) – then either look at the big picture or select to highlight a specific traffic source.

Let Analytics help you find the right attribution model for you

AdWords offers several attribution models – from last click to data-driven, each model has its logic and it’s up to you to find the right model that will show your campaigns’ attribution properly.

Here are two tools you can use in Google Analytics to better see the path users take before they convert.

Top conversions paths – this a great tool to see how many steps it takes for a user to convert for a specific goal. This will show you which campaigns (or any chosen metrics) convert on the first click, and which campaigns are part of a bigger journey the user goes through before converting. If your attribution is last click and you see that you need at least three clicks from two different platforms for a user to convert, it might be time to change the attribution model to another that will give the proper credit to your AdWords campaigns.

In case you want to see a more simplistic picture and not the entire journey, you might want to use Assisted conversions. Assisted conversions allows you to see how many times your campaign/source was involved in a conversion without being the last click for that user. This information shows you the bigger picture about the campaign. If you feel your AdWords results aren’t amazing, even though you are optimizing at a maximum, you might want to look at your assisted conversions – your campaign might be a pivotal step for conversion on a longer journey.

Get to know your audience better

Now that you know how your audience behaves, it might be a good time to get to know them better – Are they in a certain age group? Does your product attract mostly women or men? – the audience report in Analytics gives you just that. Of course, you can get demographics for each campaign on AdWords, but Google Analytics gives you more options:

  • Your audience’s interests for GDN (which affinity categories do they belong to?)
  • Their behaviour (are they new visitors or returning?)
  • What kind of browsers they use

This is just some of the information Google Analytics shares with you. All this information can be crossed with different goals, so you’ll be able to better understand and target the most relevant audiences for you.

To Summarize – Become friends with your Google Analytics

We only got to talk about a few tools, but Analytics has a variety of tools and collects a lot of information about your site, users and campaigns, and can give a you a lot of valuable insights about your activity:

  • How are people from a certain campaign interacting with your landing page?
  • What do they usually do on your website (which pages do they visit, what buttons do they usually click, etc.)?
  • Are there keywords that give you more assisted conversions than direct conversions?

This information can help you better understand your campaigns and find new ways to optimize and improve your results. So, it’s time to grab a cup of coffee, take some time and really get to know Google Analytics.

By combining Google Analytics and AdWords, you are well on your way to higher conversion rates and better understanding of your users and their behavior patterns!

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