Google Analytics & AdWords: Turn it Up to 11

Analytics, Paid Media Advertising
spinal tap dial adwords to 11

Google Analytics is our favorite website analytics program.  Not just because it’s free, although that certainly sweetens the deal, but because you can plug your Google AdWords data directly into it (straight from the horses mouth, as it were). This allows us to leverage the data we get from both sources to make informed decisions on how to optimize our PPC account. Once you’ve linked your AdWords Account to your Google Analytics account, you are ready to rock!  In the first article of this AdWords/Analytics series, we will discuss how a simple customization of your columns can turn your account up to 11.

Now, lets talk about the reports available in Google AdWords. By customizing your columns, you can see Google Analytics info on a campaign, ad group or keyword level (or all 3). If you want to get into the deepest of the nitty gritty in these reports, I suggest viewing these at a keyword level. These are are the stats you can see, and how to make them work for your account:

Spinal Tap Loves AdWords
  • Bounce Rate: A bounce essentially happens when someone clicks on your ad, and immediately hits the back button. A keyword can have an awesome CTR but when you look at the bounce rate on a keyword level, you may notice that a 90% or more bounce rate. This is definitely not a desired outcome. Though it appears people find the ad itself relevant, they are not finding the landing page itself relevant. So even though you thought the CTR was killing it, the landing page just isn’t cutting it; giving us a whole different insight into the adgroup. Change the landing page to something more relevant to the keywords, you’ll see a decrease in the bounce rate in no time.
  • Pages/Visit: This gives a good snapshot of how users are engaging with your website. If you see a keyword that is causing folks to visit 2-4 pages of the site, then these keywords are working pretty well. When users are visiting 5+ pages of the site, they are really engaging (aka AWESOME). With these insights we can expand on these keywords, and get more of this high quality traffic to your site.
  • Avg. Visit Duration: These metrics are very similar to the pages per visit, and the two can really balance each other out. If you see a page visits on a keyword with 1-3 pages a visit, but notice the duration of the visit was 5 minutes or more, then we can surmise that the users invested some time on these pages. 5 minutes or more on a website, is 5 hours in internet time (not really, but you know what I mean). It is statistically proven that the more time people spend on your site, the more they read, the more they start to trust you and are more likely to convert.
  • % of New Visits: Ideally, new visitors are where you want to be spending your PPC money. Hopefully, returning visitors have your website bookmarked! But, we all know that this is usually not the case. You will have a good amount of people comparison shopping and clicking your link a few times (yep, you have to pay for all those times). But if they convert by you making the case that your product/service is the right choice, then they are worth the money. Now how to leverage this data: it works in perfect tandem with the other 3 reports. If you see that you have a low bounce rate, high visit duration and pages per visit, but only 20% new visits – this isn’t really ground breaking and if this is not from a branded campaign, you should reconsider the strategy (if the CPA is high). However, if you have a low bounce rate, high visit duration and pages per visit, but only 20% new visits – then you just stumbled onto a very successful, and hopefully profitable, campaign structure.

So, now you have some tips on how to strategize with these reports in the Google AdWords interface. This is just part one in this series, “Turn it Up to 11” – come back soon for more Google Analytics/AdWords report pointers! If you don’t get the “Turn it Up to 11” – watch the video below… And watch This is Spinal Tap because it is awesome! 🙂

About the Author

Nick Footer

Nick Footer is an entrepreneur and founder of Intuitive Digital, a national award-winning digital marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. With over 15 years of experience, he has helped hundreds of businesses improve their online presence through search engine optimization, paid advertising, and website design.

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