Know How to Optimize AdWords with Google Analytics

Due to its ever increasing popularity, Google Adwords has become a mainstream mode of online advertising for many businesses be it small, medium or large.

These businesses rely heavily on Google AdWords because of its potential to assure immediate and qualifies traffic to their websites.

The platform of AdWords offers a number of metrics that directly correlate with the performance of your AdWords campaigns and also helps you to measure the success of your AdWords campaigns.

These metrics are impressions, clicks, Cost per Clicks, conversions, Cost per Conversion, Click Through Rate and a lot more.

There is no doubt that AdWords is one of the best ways to get clicks and conversions.

However, through AdWords reports you only get to know the total number of the above-mentioned metrics.

What happens in between the process from clicks to conversions remains a secret.

To reveal the secrets of the conversion funnel you need to employ Google Analytics. Click To Tweet

How does Google Analytics complement Google AdWords?

Google Analytics allows you to track the important metrics and tells you about the user experience and gives you the best information on how you can improve the performance of your website.

Google Analytics monitor the effectiveness of the of your AdWords campaigns. Click To Tweet

It gives you insights of what visitors do on your website and how many of them are converting, what is the time duration of conversion.

Google Analytics also finds out ways why some of your visitors are not converting and what all you can do to reverse this action.

By monitoring the important metrics in accordance with your campaign goals, Google Analytics helps you to determine what all factors you have to take into consideration in order to optimize your AdWords campaign.

Therefore, by linking Google Analytics to your AdWords account, you can easily analyze customer activity on your website.

You can import the goals and transactions of Google Analytics and view the data of Google Analytics in your AdWords reports by linking the AdWords and Analytics account.

How to Link AdWords and Google Analytics

To link AdWords and Google Analytics, you will need a Google account to ask for the following permission:

After getting the respective permissions, follow the given steps.

Step 1: Sign in to your AdWords Account

Step 2: Click the Gear menu and then select Linked Account

Step 3: Under Google Analytics, click on the View Details. Here you will have a list of the Google Analytics properties that you have access to.

Step 4: Click on the Setup Link, next to the property that you want to link to AdWords. Here, you need to choose a property for your business that you want to advertise with AdWords.

Step 5: Next, you will see either of the 2 screens explained below.

Screen One

If the property that you choose has an only single view, then you’ll see the name of that view. Then import the site metrics so that you can see Google Analytics data with AdWords reports.

Screen Two

If the property has multiple views, you’ll get to see a list of views that you can link from this property. There are 2 setting for multiple views property:

(a) Link: With this, you can link as many views as you want. The click and cost data will be available in the Analytics and the goals and transactions of Analytics will be imported to AdWords.

(b) Import Site Metrics: This one is highly recommended. Here, you can choose one metric to import the site engagement metrics. It also shows the site engagement metrics in the Google Analytics reporting columns of your account.

Step 6: Click Save.

Google Analytics+AdWords= Improved Performance

On one hand, Adwords tells you about how much money your ads cost and how many clicks and conversions are you getting, while on the other Google Analytics describes what all is happening during the conversion funnel.

To boost the AdWords campaign's performance, AdWords and Analytics make a perfect match. Click To Tweet

Apart from the impressions, clicks, Cost per Click, conversions, Cost per Conversion and CTR, there are few more metrics that give you a complete view of what all is happening in your AdWords Account.

These metrics are the Bounce Rate, Page Visits, Average Visit Duration and % of New Visits.

Before going into much depth, there are few things that need to be explained first.

As the users are becoming more and more organized in their manner of searching and the path from the initial search to conversion becomes longer.

This conversion path is known as the Attribution Path and the detailed description of this Attribution Path is called the Attribution Report.

The Attribution Report basically records the searcher’s path to conversion. Click To Tweet

The Attribution Report data is found in Tools>Attribution

In Attribution, there are various reports that help you to understand different views of your conversion data.

(A) The Attribution Overview Report

It gives you top level view of your conversion paths. It tells you the number of conversions you received along with additional data that tells how many days, clicks and impressions lead to the conversions.

(B) The Conversion Reports

If you are involved in multiple conversion actions, this report will tell you how many conversions you received for each of the particular conversion action.

Under the Conversions Report, the Assisted Conversions Report showcases the number of conversions that your ads assisted.

The Assisted Conversion is further divide into parts:

  • Click Assisted  Conversions- This shows the number of conversions that are assisted by clicks for each keyword excluding the last click.
  • Impressions Assisted  Conversions- This shows the conversions that are assisted by impressions before the last click.

(C) The “Cross-Device” Activity Reports

This report shows you valuable information about how your customers use different devices on their conversion path.

(D) The “Paths” Reports

This report shows you the most common path that your customers take to complete a conversion. It provides information that is based on the ads that were displayed or clicked before the conversion took place.

(E) The “Click Analysis” Reports

Two Reports come under this i.e. First Click Analysis and the Last Click Analysis.

  • First Click Analysis: This report shows you which keywords brought customers to your website.
  • Last Click Analysis: This report tells you about the keywords that completed the conversion.

(F) The Attribution Modelling Report

This report tells you about the marketing channel that led to the conversion. An attribution model is basically a set of rules that shows how the credit for conversions is assigned to steps on conversion paths.

Now, since all the relevant things and terms have been explained, let us move forward to the insights of how can you improve the profitability of your AdWords account by linking it with Google Analytics.

1. Think Twice Before Deleting Non-Converting Keywords

Let us just say that you have a group of keywords in your AdWords account that has zero conversions.

Now, instead of deleting them, pausing them or lowering their bids intensely, remember that you see the last click conversion in AdWords.

So, the last keyword that got the click gets the credit for that particular conversion.

Quite often the under performing or the non-converting keywords indirectly help other keywords in the account to convert.

Therefore, pausing such keywords that initiate conversion in another area of your account will surely damage the overall profitability of your AdWords account.

However, it is possible that there are certain non-converting keywords that do not even assist impressions, clicks, and conversions.

Given below are two options to check for this kind of keywords.

(i) Check if these keywords have high engagement:

If the non-converting keywords have high “Avg. visit duration” or “pages/visits”, means that there is no problem with the keywords. Instead, the problem is on your website where the users are unable to find what you had promised in your ad.

The solution to this kind of problem is trying and experimenting with more relevant landing pages.

(ii) Check the “% new visits” columns for these keywords:

You need to check this column to see your if your keywords are driving in new users to the conversion funnel or not.

If the keywords drive a lot of new visitors, then you can either use the Search Funnel Report in AdWords or the Assisted Conversion Report in Google Analytics to check whether these new visitors convert or not.

And if they convert, what all different keywords do they use and through which channel do they convert.

2. Locate The Irrelevant Landing Pages Quickly

Another factor that is responsible for the poor performance of the AdWords campaign is having irrelevant Landing Pages.

Do not forget that a landing page holds a lot of importance in the conversion funnel. Click To Tweet

If the landing page is not correlated with the ads or if conversion Call-to-Action is hard to find on the landing page, the user is more likely to bounce back.

There are a lot of times when the advertiser creates the most relevant landing pages but still, the performance remains unsatisfactory.

There arises a need to find the bad landing pages quickly that are degrading the performance of the AdWords campaigns.

For this, you need to use the “Bounce Rate” and “Avg. time on site” column along with the “Conversion Rate” column to locate the non-converting and non-engaging ads.

After finding out the non-performing ads, separate them and apply the best possible solutions to them like creating a more relevant landing page with a single conversion objective, targeting more relevant keywords or creating a compelling Call-to-Action.

Furthermore, if your website has a high bounce rate, check and separate the elements that hinder your trustworthiness from your users.

However, AdWords is sufficient enough in finding a poor or irrelevant landing page but it lacks behind in aggregating the data.

This is where the Landing Page Report of Google Analytics comes at hand.

In Google Analytics the Landing Page Report can be found by visiting:

Behavior>Site Content>Landing Pages

In the screenshot given above, the metrics taken into consideration are Bounce Rate, Avg. session Duration and Transactions.

In order to become efficient when it comes to relevant landing pages, you should look at the data for the landing page within your whole account.

If you have a lot of ad groups that have the same landing page URL, then Google Analytics summates the statistics for you to easily locate the bad landing page.

3. Focus On Micro Conversions When There Are No Macro One

Google AdWords has this common problem that it is difficult to track the different types of conversions.

This problem basically arises when you do not want to treat all the types of conversions as the same.

Let me give you an example for this, suppose that you have 2 campaigns.

The goal of the first campaign is to sell products while that of the other is to build an email list.

If you track both the conversions, it will become hard for you to segment the conversions for each of the campaigns.

In AdWords, you have few possible outcomes for this problem like you can choose to count just converted clicks if you do not want to double count leads.

However, in Google AdWords, it is not easy to see the data that has been broken out by individual conversions.

On the other hand, in Google Analytics you can easily customize an AdWords campaign report to show several types of goals simultaneously.

This makes it much easier for you to understand what your users are doing after they click your ads.

This data can also be used at times when you are unable to drive the expected conversion.

By having a look at the different types of conversion types, you can check the keywords are resulting into a micro conversion or not.

A micro conversion is that type of conversion that predicts a sale in the conversion funnel. Click To Tweet

Some examples of Micro Conversions are Time On Site, Scroll Depth, Form Field Completion and Button Click.

4. Create Intelligence Alerts

With Google Analytics, you can take your monitoring process to the next level. Click To Tweet

After linking your AdWords account with Google Analytics, you can create alerts for specific benchmarks that can alert you when that particular benchmark gets hit.

Google Analytics, with the help of the intelligence alerts, can help you to identify the positive and negative changes in your campaigns.

Therefore, it is also recommended to review these alerts regularly to monitor significant changes.

You can set an alert to the most important landing page when the bounce rate is more than 60% and find ways to reduce the bounce rate.

You don’t even monitor your landing page all the time, just create alerts and you are sorted.

5. Track Complex Conversions with Google Analytics

Google Analytics not only tracks the simple conversion easily but it also has the potential of tracking more complex and complicated conversions as well.

Although, the AdWords conversion tracking code is capable of tracking the simple conversions but when it comes to more complex and complicated conversions, AdWords somehow lack that kind of capability.

Since there are a lot of advertisers who want to track more metrics than just the basics.

Perhaps, there arises a need for Google Analytics that comprehends the need for tracking the complex conversions and tracks the complicated metrics easily.

Google Analytics have the potential of tracking complex and complicated conversions. Click To Tweet

Suppose, your ad has a call extension and you are supposed to keep a track of the calls, the call duration, and other specifications of the call.

With AdWords, it might seem a little tricky task as call tracking is one the complex conversions so, you can use the virtual page of Google Analytics to view the specifications of the call tracking.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps, there are several benefits of linking your AdWords account with Google Analytics account.

Like, you can use “pages/visit” to check if users are finding it difficult to locate the things that your ads promises.

You can also check “% new visits” and “first click conversions” to see if the ads are bringing in new visitors and which initial keywords are responsible for conversions.

You can easily find the landing page that is degrading the performance of your whole campaign and can track complex conversions such as phone calls and video plays.

Google Analytics and AdWords are immensely valuable tools for marketers to gain profitable insights for the optimization of their online marketing efforts.

Linking AdWords account with Google Analytics ensures the availability and access of all the data related to the campaign.

Therefore, by having an access to all the data available, as an advertiser, you can easily make informed decisions on the optimization of the AdWords campaigns.

Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh Thakur is the co-founder of Ads Triangle which is a Google Partner and Bing Ads Accredited agency. He has over 7 years of experience in Pay per Click marketing. Dinesh has helped hundreds of businesses to grow their revenues through PPC. He has expertise skills in Google Adwords and is passionate about Pay Per Click.
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