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Google Analytics – Optimal AdWords Campaigns

Google Analytics – Optimal AdWords Campaigns

STEPHANIE HSU: So welcome to
the next session on optimal AdWords campaign tracking here
at Google Conversion University Day. My name is Stephanie, and I am
an AdWords specialist in one of our analytic spheres here
in the AdWords department. So during the next hour I’m
going to be covering a variety of topics, but mainly I want you
guys to walk away with a better idea of how to improve
and optimize the performance of your AdWords account using
the data that you have in Google Analytics. So hopefully you’ll get a little
bit more insight with actionable tips and takeaways,
so that you can help improve the ROI and overall
AdWords spending. So this what the agenda
looks like. I’ll begin by briefly
reintroducing AdWords, a product you guys are likely all
very familiar with, and then talk a little bit about
integrating the two products, how easy this process is, and
how this can benefit you. And then I’m going to dive into
walking through some of the more useful AdWords-related
reports, what these reports are, where you can
find them, and how you can use them in a way that’s
meaningful for you. And then lastly, I’ll talk about
some of the many ways you can optimize your AdWords
account using the data that you have in Analytics. And then at the end, if you guys
have any questions, you are more than welcome to ask
me or any of the other specialists that
are here today. So let’s go ahead
and get started. So I imagine you guys all know
what AdWords is, otherwise you guys likely wouldn’t
be here today. But I wanted to begin by just
briefly speaking to this product to reintroduce some of
the basics for those of you guys who are less familiar with
it or may not be the ones who are directly managing your
company’s AdWords accounts. So right now, your AdWords ads
appear on our search results pages, as well as on our vast
search and content network sites, in a variety of rich
media ad formats, including text ads, image ads, video
ads, mobile ads, local business ads, among
other ad formats. You’re probably familiar with at
least some, if not all, of these very abbreviated list of
tools that you can use help optimize and manage
your account. You know the ability
to target. You’re ad by location at the
country level, at the regional level, customized even, right? Let’s say you have a very local
audience and you just want to look at people within
a 25 mile radius of your particular office location. You can do that with customized
targeting. You can create a polygon. You know you can target
accordingly, the way that works for you. Budgeting and bids, you all
probably know that you can also choose to select how you
want your ad to be delivered throughout the day. Do I want to even display it
throughout the day, depending on the traffic that
I’m getting? Do I want to use up my budget
as quickly as possible? These are all things that
you might think about. Keyword matching options,
we all are probably familiar with this. Using brackets or using quotes,
negative keywords, to filter out the kinds of
irrelevant traffic that you don’t want coming
to your site. And the last thing I threw up,
ad scheduling and position preference, because I’m going to
be referencing these later on in my presentation. These are just some helpful
tools to help you guys determine when you want your ad
to show or prefer when you want your ad to show, and in
what ranges, what ad ranks, and that sort of thing. Then I’d like to speak to some
other newer favorites that you guys might be less
familiar with. So how many of you guys have
pay per action ads? OK. So at least some of you,
a good percentage. This is really cool. I personally really like this
ad format, because now you guys have the ability to pay
for actions that you guys really care about. This ties into a lot
about what we’re talking about today. Advertisers now with this new
pricing model, you can define the user action on your site
that you want to pay for. So that could be a lead. That could be a sign-up. That could be a purchase. It could be a page view. It could be so many
other things. Print and audio, I know Avinash
spoke to this briefly and how unexciting offline is. I personally think
it’s quite cool. Now AdWords is extending into
space, and we have the ability to target print ads, audio, and
other ad formats that are coming out maybe. But we can also use
Analytics to track online lift with offline. So we can talk a little bit
about this in more detail later, but basically if you want
to use vanity URLs and redirect some campaign tracking
variables, you can track to see how effective are
my offline campaigns working for me online. And then lastly, I just threw
up there the placement performance report. It doesn’t really necessarily
relate to those other features. But I think it’s kind of cool,
because we want a lot of feedback about the transparency
as to where your ads are appearing on the
content network. Where are they appearing? What sites are they appearing? How are they converting? And while this doesn’t provide
a holistic view of that necessarily, this does give you
guys a good snapshot as to what kinds of domains and URLs
your ads are appearing on, how are they converting, as well
as all that click cost impression data information,
et cetera. So I mention these tools because
at least a great majority of them you can use in
combination with Analytics to better understand the changes
that you make in your AdWords account. Now I understand a lot of you
guys work with account managers, so bearing that in
mind, let’s talk about integrating the two products
in what I call a very Googly marriage. AdWords is the girl, because
she makes all the money. [LAUGHTER] STEPHANIE HSU: I’m the only
female speaker today, so I wanted to throw that
out there. But anyway, so as you guys know,
Analytics measures the quality of your traffic across
a number of different marketing initiatives. And I’m here to talk
about AdWords. So what makes AdWords so cool? What makes it so easy? Well, the way we do it, the
way we offer it is, if you just link the two products, we
automatically import all your AdWords cost information
directly into your Analytics accounts. You guys probably know
this already. But I’m going to speak to this
briefly, to reinforce and drive this point home, because
it is a very, very nice– So we have linking here. We have cost data and we
have auto-tagging. So with linking, the process
is really simple. You guys probably know if you
have an Analytics account, you have an AdWords account, you
just go into your Analytics tab in your AdWords account. You follow the prompts, select
your account from the drop-down menu, and you link
the accounts accordingly. If you don’t have an account,
then that’s where you can create a new account. Before you actually do this, you
want to make sure you have the same email login
on both accounts. If that’s not the case, you
can always add the AdWords email login as an account
administrator. You guys probably know
how that works. So with auto-tagging, what
is auto-tagging? We spoke to this briefly
earlier, but essentially we have the ability to
automatically tag the destination URLs of
your AdWords ads. So the way that we get your
AdWords keyword information, your campaign information,
and how we tie that to a particular visit, so that we can
analyze the cost of that visit, the revenue, the return,
et cetera, on that visit, we do a lot of that
with auto-tagging. And all you have to do on your
end is, if you don’t really understand the back end of how
that works, just click on the box and enable auto-tagging. And so that’s one step that’s
involved in linking. So for example, right here we
have the URL mysite.com. And what auto-tagging does is it
appends this URL parameter at the end, the Google click
ID equals blah, blah blah, blah, blah. And that’s how we grab all that
information and import it into our Analytics account. Cost data, so cost data
similarly– it provides us with all that keyword
information, all that campaign information, but this also
enables Analytics to return all the ROI info that you want,
that whole end-to-end view of, so, I’m getting traffic
through my AdWords ads, well, so what? What’s the return on this? It gives you a better holistic
look at how your AdWords spending is working for you. So pretty cool. And all you guys do– yes. What’s up? AUDIENCE: How does that cost
data improve over what you had in Google AdWords with
the tagging? STEPHANIE HSU: I’m sorry. How does it– AUDIENCE: How does the cost data
or the ROI data within Analytics improve over what you
already had in AdWords? STEPHANIE HSU: Oh. Well, in AdWords you don’t
have the ROI information. So you’ll have, for example– I can speak to this
later, when I show you the actual reports. So in AdWords, you have your
click information, your CPC information, your impression
data, that sort of thing. But in Analytics, you’ll get
the actual return on each keyword, the revenue per click,
the margin, et cetera. But I can show you in more
details as well. Yes? AUDIENCE: If you have an MCC
account and you link to the MCC account, do you have to
do this for every separate account within it? STEPHANIE HSU: So we actually
recommend that you don’t link it to the MCC. Yes. It seems like somewhat
of a manual process– if someone wants to correct me
here– but my understanding is that we advise you guys to link
to each client account, just because at the
MCC level there’s actually no content there. That’s just a master account
that handles all of the client accounts. Cool. All right. Any other questions
about that? OK. Let’s dive into the meaty part
of this presentation, identifying some of
the more useful AdWords-related reports. So I want to preface this with
it depends really what your goals are when you want to
identify what are the more useful reports for
you, of course. As Avinash touched on, if you’re
not an ecommerce site, you’re probably focused on a
different segment of reports, looking at visitor recency,
visitor loyalty, et cetera. If you’re an ecommerce site, you
might be more interested in the funnel process. Are people converting? What kinds of products are they
purchasing, and so forth. But I’d like to introduce some
of the more AdWords-specific reports, and how you guys can
utilize them in a way that might be useful for you. So to start off with, the
search engines report. This report is interesting
because you get a good overview of how your paid
channels are working versus your non-paid. So you can see here, we’re
looking at the paid snapshot, and you can see all your
top-performing keywords. Specifically, let’s look at the
example nonprofit jobs. Nonprofit jobs, so the average
time on site for this keyword is about 10 minutes. The percentage of new visitors,
about 53%, and the bounce rate’s about 15%. Let’s compare that to the
natural search listings. So you can see that the percent
of new visitors is actually lower, and the
bounce rate is lower. So I’m not telling you that just
because maybe your return for this keyword and AdWords
spending isn’t worth keeping the keyword. What I’m saying is these are
things that you want to think about when you want to optimize
and you want to refine your keyword lists. If the bounce rate for a keyword
in the natural search listings is a little bit lower
or significantly lower, or the percentage of new visitors is
lower, that means people are actually coming back to your
site, looking at other pages, and they’re not even doing that
through, necessarily, your paid channels. So knowing that, what do you
want to do with your keywords? These are good questions
to ask yourself. Let’s look at the bounce report,
Avinash’s favorite, the sexiest metric ever. So you can segment, actually,
the bounce rate metric in the vast majority of reports. It’s not actually a specific
report, the bounce rate, for those of you guys who are very
familiar with this metric. I’m looking at the AdWords
Campaign Report. And I’ve just segmented the
data here at the top. So you can see the graph and
you can see an overall downward trend. At the bottom here, you can see
the bounce rate for all these campaigns. Red is bad. Green is good. You can see how the AdWords
campaigns in here are performing relative to the
site average bounce rate. Let’s look at the
keyword level. You get a really granular view
of how the keywords are performing as well, for
the bounce rate. Using this information, you
might ask yourself, so people searching on this keyword,
getting to my site, they’re leaving quickly. Why might that be? If they’re searching on
volunteer, are they not finding the right volunteer
opportunities? Are my links not big enough? Do they have to navigate three
steps into the site before they find what they want? How relevant is my site
to my keyword? Questions you want to ask
yourself, and knowing that, maybe I want to remove or
regroup my keywords in my ad groups and my campaigns. Now let’s look at the AdWords
Campaign Report. So this is the dashboard, as
you guys know already. If I use this report all the
time, it might be a good idea to include it right here
in this interface. This way I don’t have to dive
into the sidebar and figure out where exactly my report is,
how can I find it and all that stuff. I get confused. So it might be a good idea to
just put this report here if this is a metric or these are a
particular set of data that you look at frequently. Otherwise, you go over here
and you navigate to the Traffic Sources. And you go under AdWords
Campaigns, and then you can find it there. So a great majority of the
reports that I’m talking about today, you can find under
Traffic Sources. I don’t expect you guys to
remember the step-by-step instructions, but just to give
you guys a better idea of where I’m working. So let’s look at the AdWords
Campaign Report. Actually, let’s take
a step back. So on the Site tab, you get all
the basic information, the visits, the page views per
visit, the percent of new visits, the bounce
rate, et cetera. Speaking to what I mentioned
earlier, when you import cost data, and when you have
auto-tagging enabled, you get a much more comprehensive view
of how your AdWords ads are working for you. So in your AdWords account,
which I mentioned earlier, you get all this stuff. With cost data imported, with
auto-tagging enabled, and your accounts linked, you
get all of this. So you can see the revenue
and whatnot, the visits. You get a bigger picture of
how things are working. So as you can see, the
Google store, we’re not making any money. Now let’s talk about the Keyword
Positions Report. This is a really
unique report. It’s actually one of my
favorites, because I think it offers a lot of valuable
and unique information. So before I begin and explain
what this report is, who here thinks– well, let me ask. Let me put it this way. What do you guys think is the
most optimal AdWords ad rank position on the search
results page? AUDIENCE: It depends
on the site. STEPHANIE HSU: Smart man. It depends on the site. Some might think it’s the first
position, because that’s where your eye navigates. That’s where you’re more
likely to click maybe. It depends on the site. And it depends on what the
goals of your site are. So this is what the Keyword
Positions Report looks like. So let’s take a look. On the left-hand side,
you’ve got all your keywords in order by visit. So for the keyword “volunteer”
during this particular time frame, this site received
about 11,600 visits. On the right-hand side,
you can see how it’s segmented by ad rank. So out of that total, it
received the first position about 5,000 times,
3,000 times, 400 times, and so forth. It’s interesting to note here
that you would think that those three positions might
receive the most traffic, but actually the third position
above the natural search listings only received
423 visits. So you can segment all this
by different metrics. You can look at the average time
on site, different goals. You can segment it by your first
goal, your second goal, and so forth. And you can also segment
it by conversion rate. Let’s take a look at this. So this is really interesting. I imagine most of you guys
measure the effectiveness of your traffic by conversion
rates, right? So you might want to know, OK,
so when my ad ranks in this position, how does it convert? So typically, you might
assume it might be in the top positions. And you’re right, in that you
want it to be generally in the first page. If no one is even going to see
your ad, they’re probably not going to click on it,
let alone convert. So in this particular example,
you see that the top converting ad ranks for this
keyword, during this time range, in this auction is the
third position above the natural search listings, and
also on the right-hand side, the fifth position. So this doesn’t mean necessarily
that now you know, OK, it converts the best
in the fifth position. I want to use position
preference and specify that might add only appear
in this position. That’s not the case. The idea here is that, OK, so
now you know, maybe I don’t need to necessarily stay in
the top two positions. Maybe I can even lower
my CPC bid. Of course, you want to optimize
so that your ads are usually appearing on the first
page of search results, but maybe you don’t need to
necessarily target for the first or second position. It depends what your
goals are. If you’re CNN, or BBC, or any
other type of news site, the goal of your site isn’t
necessary to convert users in the conventional sense. Maybe you just want
to retain them. So in this case, the most
valuable metric for you is the average time on site. And you can see, in this
example, that actually the eighth has an average time on
site of about six minutes, which is significantly
longer than most of the other ad ranks. So knowing that, this was an
example in which you might lower your CPC bid, or you might
think about how you want to adjust your cost-per-click
bids to target maybe a range of ad positions rather than
a particular ad rank. Does that make sense? OK. Now let’s talk a little bit
about optimizing your AdWords account using the data that
you have in Analytics. So again, I just want to
reinforce the fact that the way you decide to
restructure– you and your account manager
or whoever it is that’s managing AdWords account, the
decisions that go into these sort of analyses largely involve
you evaluating what are your goals. And again, if you’re an
ecommerce site, these are some of the metrics you might take
into account, visits, transactions, funnel process,
and so forth. If you’re a lead generation
site, you’re going to have different objectives in mind. You want to look at user
registrations, maybe funnel conversions, drop-offs,
downloads, et cetera. If you’re a branding site,
you want to keep people on your site. You want them to view
your site, read your site, things like that. So you’ll look at visitor
loyalty, the depth of their visit, how frequently they
visit, et cetera. And so with that information you
can choose maybe let’s say your top 10 performing reports
for you, customize that, put it on your dashboard,
and visit those. And you can perform actionable
items from there. Let’s talk a little bit about
location targeting. So most of you guys I imagine
are probably curious as to where the traffic on your site
is coming from, what countries, what cities,
et cetera. This is a great report, a pretty
basic report, but it’s a great place to start
to analyze that sort of user behavior. So if you find that you’re
getting a lot of converting traffic from a particular city
or a particular country, even that you hadn’t expected to, you
could create a new AdWords campaign targeted to that
particular location. Create a theme of relevant
keywords, as well as ad text variations, and optimizing the
fact that you know that you’re getting converting traffic
from that city. If you find that you’re getting
low converting traffic from a particular location,
you could also remove that from your AdWords campaigns
as well. This is also a great tool for
offline, because you can see at a very local level– let’s take a look. You can see at a very local
level where your traffic is coming from. So on top of local business
ads, you might take into account, maybe I want to do
print and audio there, too, in these cities. How do I reach these audiences
in the most effective way? It allows you to ask yourself
a lot of creative questions about how to target
your audience at a very local level. So you can just go back to
your AdWords account, so either you or your account
manager can just go ahead onto your Edit Campaign Settings
page and make these adjustments back in your
AdWords accounts. Let’s look at ad scheduling
and budgeting. So this is really great, because
now with the latest release we have a lot of options
to segment your data by the hourly view, particularly
in a lot of the visitor reports, as well as the
goals and ecommerce data. So what I have here, in this
snapshot, is the ability to segment your page views
per visit by the hour. So this is interesting, because
you can see, so how does traffic change throughout
the day, by time, by time zone. You might even want to use this
with the geomap overlay to see how they correlate. In this example, you can see
how the traffic varies by weekdays and weekends. It’s expected. There’s an overlap, but there’s
a slight difference. Most people during the work week
are probably browsing the site a little bit earlier
on in the day versus the weekends. You can segment this by
goal conversions too. So this is great, because with
this information, you might want to think about ways to
create new campaigns, enable ad scheduling to optimize on
the particular hours of the day that you’re receiving
converting traffic. If you find that in the
afternoon, between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00, that’s when
most people are converting, you might want to budget
accordingly, knowing that. So you go back into
your AdWords campaign, Edit Settings. You enable ad scheduling. And then over here, you can
see how you can choose to segment your traffic during the
day and, even if you want, with advanced bidding options,
you can up your bid to optimize on highly converting
traffic during those particular hours, which is
really cool, I think. You can do by it weekend,
weekday, morning, afternoon, and so forth. Optimizing ad texts
and ad delivery. So the Ad Versions Report,
are you guys familiar with this report? Probably. A large portion of you. This report is particularly
useful if you have ads with different headlines. If you’re using the same
headline and you have different content, then there’s
a different way to track the effectiveness
of those ads. But for this one, if you have
different ads, you want to figure out what works for you. So does “I want to volunteer”
work the best, or “I want to volunteer– question mark,”
or, “Do you want to volunteer,” or whatever. What catchy phrases, or what
call to action phrases, work best for me? This is a great report to kind
of figure out the nuances of those things. What’s also great about this
report is you can segment it by goal, because different ads
with different headlines are going to be more effective
for different goals. In this example, you can
see that these ads– let’s see. For new user activation, you
can see that “I want to volunteer” is performing
pretty well. It’s the green bar, about 19%,
I think, 18% percent. So it’s performing pretty well
compared to the site average. But when you look at the index
search, you can see that it’s not doing so hot. So knowing that,
what do you do? So you might want to create a
new campaign, new ad group, put those ads with destination
URLs that target those particular goals. You might want to change your
landing pages, knowing this and being able to utilize that
information in that way. And then when you go back into
your AdWords account, you can just go ahead– and if you don’t have someone
else who is already making these kind of manual changes
for you, you can do it directly in your AdWords
account, with the Copy or Move AdWords tool, or through
AdWords Editor. Yes? AUDIENCE: In the Ad Texts
Report, can you segment by ad group? Because it seems like you’re
comparing lots of ads from [INTERPOSING VOICES] STEPHANIE HSU: You can actually
do it– so the Ad Versions one that I showed you
will compare all ads that you have. If you want to compare it
by ad group, you can go in the AdWords Campaign Report,
which I would show you, but these are screenshots. But yes, you can. I can definitely talk to
you about that later. So lastly– I feel like I’ve gone through
this very quickly. Does anyone have any other
questions about anything I’ve talked about? OK. So key takeaways and tips, so
you want to ask yourself what works for you. I’ve made suggestions, some of
them pretty generic, but really it depends on what the
goals and objectives of your business are. You can’t find the right report
unless you have a good understanding of what
those goals are. So again, you want to be
able to set goals. That’s the quantitative and
qualitative way to measure the effectiveness of your
advertising. If you don’t set goals, you
just have a lot of data in your reports. You don’t really know
what to do with it. So the first thing to remember, cross-segment your data. Look at it in context. Don’t just look at the bounce
rate, as Avinash mentioned. Don’t just look at the page
views or the depth of visit. Look at them all together
in one picture. This will give you a better
understanding of how your advertising is performing
for you. Also, use the date range
comparison tool. Compare two sets
of date ranges. You might see atypical behavior
over any given instance, because of a
holiday, because of a promotion, and so forth. If you’re looking at July,
August, September, look at the previous three months. Compare that to the
previous year. And then make analyses
from there. Also, I’m going to
push it again, utilize the hourly reporting. This is great. Take advantage of the fact
that you can see how your traffic changes throughout
the day. Use this in correlation with
your location targeting settings to figure out the best
way you want to optimize on the traffic that
you’re receiving. Remember to set goals. This is really important. And you can monitor how your
goals are performing by setting scheduled reports. It’s one thing if you’re just
setting scheduled reports and receiving them, not doing
anything with it. Do this, but see how
your goals are performing and make changes. So regardless of what your goals
and objectives are, you always want to hone
in on the traffic that’s working for you. So one great tip I have is, look
at the top 10 referral sites that are giving
you converting traffic to your site. Create site-targeted campaigns
to those sites. You can do this in AdWords, and
optimizing the fact that those sites are giving you
traffic that’s turning into real results. And then lastly, utilize
Analytics to help you make better decisions about not
only the tools that I’ve talked about, but all of the
changes that you make in AdWords accounts. This will give you a better
understanding of not only how you’re spending your AdWords
ads, but also how they’re performing for you.

20 thoughts on “Google Analytics – Optimal AdWords Campaigns

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