Google Analytics – Track AdWords Campaigns Effectively

August 24th, 2010 Leave a comment
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To get the most out of your search marketing efforts, you can link Google AdWords to Google Analytics for effective campaign tracking. The level of detail you can see within your search campaigns through Analytics tracking is much deeper, providing you with a unique vantage point to get the most out of your marketing investment. This guide provides an overview of best practices for improving your marketing campaigns based upon insights from Analytics tracking.

At a high level, Analytics provides a window into detailed performance of your campaigns down to the keyword level. The ultimate aim and potential of this linkage is to improve the ROI (return on investment) for your search marketing spend. In order to accomplish this, you can utilize the native conversion funnels within AdWords so you can easily track conversions within your campaigns. Within the campaign, ad-group, and keyword levels you can find tabs which allow you to view the different groups of conversions within your analytics profile. If you have an e-commerce site, you can setup custom commercial reporting for your site, including a wide variety of shopping carts which you must enable through Google Analytics:

Google Analytics Profile Settings

Most commonly, sales tracking is done through an integrated shopping cart model or server coding that allows you to securely track e-commerce by source. To get a deeper dive into the metrics of your search campaign, new options within AdWords allow for rich tracking of sources and options. In order to improve your return on investment, follow this basic equation that determines your Return On Advertising Spending (ROAS):

ROAS = SEM Revenue / SEM Costs
Clicks * Conversion Rate * Avg. Order Size / Clicks * CPC

SEM = Search Engine Marketing
CPC = Cost Per Click

Therefore, in order to improve your ROAS, you should aim to increase the Conversion Rate and Order Size or lower your Cost Per Click (CPC). Google Analytics provides a variety of insights into helping you identify areas of opportunity and challenges within your campaigns. You can pivot AdWords Analytics reports across a variety of dimensions, including the ad format, campaign, keyword, match type, placement, and destination URL. In the latter case you can segment ROAS for each of your landing pages to determine which performs better. Further integration with Website Optimizer can help you find opportunities for improvement across your site.

Within the AdWords reports you can see conversion rate by hour of the day, helping you better identify opportunities to improve performance by properly segmenting your campaigns with day-parting. You may notice, for example, that your conversion rate is lower from 10 p.m. until 5 am., allowing you to exclude these hours in favor of prime opportunities. At the same time, you can drill down into keyword or placement level reports in order to analyze the individual performance of certain campaign elements. You can identify opportunities for expansion as well as inefficiencies within your campaign which can be addressed in the optimization process.

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