Google Analytics for PPC
With over 1 billion active websites across the world, you should be doing everything you can to ensure your brand’s webpage is standing out from the competition. As the most popular website-statistics and data-trafficking tool in the world, Google Analytics is used by over 28 million websites. If you aren’t leveraging this ROI-boosting tool, chances are: your closest competitors are.
Google Analytics brings functional features and benefits to a wide variety of users. From marketers to business owners, GA puts valuable insights into the hands of business stakeholders and, in most usage cases, at no cost. It features an intuitive data dashboard, free online training, and countless integrations with other marketing and CRM platforms. PPC is a combination of expertly-crafted content and delivering it to the right people at the right times. Without PPC management, even the best content can miss your audience. Google Analytics enables users to unify and decipher their data and, in turn, better understand how to improve their PPC strategies.
Which metrics should I be tracking?
Google Analytics usage can be as detailed and drilled down or as standardized and broad as you’d like, depending on your level of experience, your brand’s relevant key performance indicators, and the overall nature of your PPC campaigns. Google is phasing Universal Analytics out by July of 2023, so getting to know the new features of GA4 is vital for PPC managers. If you are just getting started with using Google Analytics to improve your PPC, here are a few key metrics to focus on:
Website Traffic: Volume & Sources
In GA4 you can see if traffic comes from organic vs paid searches or social channels. You can also discover how many are unique visits, the number of sessions, and the average engagement time per session each channel fulfilled. Knowing how your website’s traffic is evolving over time will help you better understand which efforts are working, and which ones are falling short, helping you make data-based decisions on which advertising channels are best and which campaigns had the most conversions. PPC is a constantly-shifting field, with costs of entry fluctuating rapidly with demand and viewers responding to social forces as well as predictable trends. This makes intuition and experience less valuable than the ability to read and respond to the data coming from your analytics tools.
Understanding your viewership is vital when it comes to ensuring your PPC efforts are performing as intended. When one has a complete understanding of who they are being exposed to, they can better tailor their messaging and content to appeal to that or a different audience. GA4 has an easy to use demographics report that groups users by age, gender, and interests. You may find that you are having great success but with the wrong market subset; without alteration, your budget may be absorbed by unqualified viewers. Without interpreting and adjusting, your buyers may find you a decade before they actually need you.
You can set up conversion tracking in Google Analytics in order to track the actions you intend for your users to take. Conversions might include visiting a landing page, filling out a form, or purchasing a product or service. Tracking conversions is vital to PPC management because it will help gauge what ads or campaigns are working best to drive prospects down the marketing funnel. It also helps keep campaigns distinctly separated from one another. In a competitive and fast-paced marketplace, you need to know which assets perform well to give credit where it is due.
You can view each landing page’s individual performance on Google Analytics. This will allow you to identify the pages that have the most visitors, average on page time, and lowest bounce rate. Once you’ve identified your top landing pages, you can link your PPC ads from Google Ads to these pages, as well as remedy any usability or design errors on underperforming landing pages. Often, underperforming pages can be rectified with fresh imagery, calls to action, or faster loading speeds which otherwise went undiagnosed.
With the majority of modern web traffic conducted on the go, it’s important to prioritize the mobile experience when formulating your PPC strategy. With GA4, you can see which mobile devices were used to access your website or application and uncover any issues with a specific type of device. If a specific device consistently shows a high bounce rate, you can uncover any issue with web design or development of that page. You can also see which mobile devices visited your website most frequently, and optimize your user experience for those devices. PPC managers should take this information into consideration when formulating their ad copy and assets. Images and text should be tailored for mobile usage.
If you are new to utilizing Google Analytics for your PPC campaign planning, it’s essential to understand how to pull and utilize reports in GA. Google Analytics collects data from your channels to create reports with valuable insights into your business’ performance. If you are new to reports in GA, you can begin by leveraging:
The Referrals report in Google Analytics uncovers which websites are linking to yours, and in turn sending qualified traffic to your website.
The Location report in Google Analytics shows you how visitors interact with your website based on geographic location and climate. This will help you to better target your audience and understand how your campaigns are performing in different areas.
Affinity & In-Market Segments Reports
The Affinity & In-Market Segments reports in Google Analytics help you better understand your audience. The Affinity report shows you how people interacted with your website based on their interests, while the In-Market Segments report shows you what products or services your site visitors are currently in the mindset to purchase.
These reports help you to uncover specific audiences who respond well to your campaigns, but they also discover audiences that don’t. When utilizing this report for PPC, you can purposefully exclude poor-performing audiences to better allocate your spend and bid higher on audiences with a better conversion rate.
This report shows users a high-level overview of how each of their advertising networks is performing. It integrates the source and medium of a channel to provide you with valuable metrics like traffic levels, conversion rates, and revenue. Within this report, you can compare and contrast your performance, identify high-performing channels, and uncover opportunities for growth.
In order to optimize your data tracking for PPC planning, there are a few Google Analytics integrations that are valuable to understand.
Google Ads Integrations
When using Google Analytics for PPC efforts, it is vital to ensure your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts are linked. This will enhance your data by allowing you to obtain multi-channel reports, better visualize your performance, unify your performance insights, and identify conversion drivers.
If you have a WordPress website, there are a number of plugins available for download that will enable you to connect your GA to your website. These plugins are tailored to your specific needs, whether you run an agency, eCommerce, or branding website.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service that allows you to obtain valuable information about how your site is ranking on search engine results pages. It gives users a complete illustration of their SEO performance by providing information on popular search queries, keyword analysis, historical ranking, and competitor analysis. Integrating your Google Analytics profile with your Google Search Console profile enables you to target the right keywords in your PPC campaign, identify competitors, and understand how your campaigns and linked landing pages are performing over time.
Work With us
While Google Analytics and PPC are obviously complementary practices, it can be difficult to ride the learning curve for campaign creation and analysis simultaneously. If you are a new player in the PPC game or you lack extensive Google Analytics experience, consider hiring a PPC/Analytics digital agency.
Are you ready to revamp your PPC strategy? Fahrenheit Marketing can deliver custom solutions to relieve the stress of managing your PPC accounts. We utilize Google Analytics to diagnose and remedy any underlying issues with your strategy and deliver measurable results for your business. Fahrenheit Marketing is a digital marketing agency in Austin, TX that prides itself on a client-first mentality. Want to see some of our exceptional work? Check out our portfolio.