5 Powerful Ways To Use Google Analytics To Improve AdWords Performance
Following on from my previous article on using attribution models to improve your AdWords performance, I thought I'd share some other ways in which you can use AdWords to inform and improve your AdWords campaigns. In this article, I’ll be sharing with you the top 5 ways in which you can use the power of Google Analytics to gain greater insight into your AdWords performance and make smarter business and bidding decisions so that you can get the most from your existing budget.
Benchmarking is one of those Google Analytics features that gets little attention and even less love yet it’s one of the most exciting and useful reports in Google Analytics.
With benchmarking, you can see how your website compares on high level metrics to other websites in your industry vertical. You can then use that data to make some decisions, especially around whether you should spend more on AdWords or spend that money fixing up the user experience on your site.
Pro Tip: In my experience, benchmarking data is correlated VERY closely with landing page quality score. In the example above, this landing page quality score would be average or poor. Make it go green and you’ll likely see “above average”. There’s no data confirming this, but anecdotally, trust me.
Benchmarking data is available for each value of the following dimensions:
- Default Channel Grouping (i.e. Social, Direct, Referral, Organic Search, Paid Search, Display, and Email channels)
- Location (Country/Territory)
- Device (i.e. desktop, mobile, and tablet)
You can compare your data against benchmarks for the following metrics:
- Sessions (i.e. number of sessions)
- % New Sessions
- New Sessions (i.e. number of sessions from new users)
- Pages / Session
- Session Duration
- Bounce Rate
You can find more about Benchmarking and the required steps you need to take to enable it here.
Treemaps allow you to explore, in an incredibly visual way, trends in acquisition in your AdWords account. You can use these as a high level view to zoom in on problem campaigns that might not look like they’re performing too poorly in the AdWords UI.
In the above example of a new account we inherited, you can see that one campaign in particular (the big red block to the left) is performing rather poorly. The size of this block indicates that it’s the campaign that we need to look at first. You can find more about Treemaps here.
3) Segmented Remarketing Lists.
Google Analytics allows you to create remarketing lists based on custom segments that you define and then import them into AdWords for use in your remarketing and RSLA campaigns. This is a massive improvement in the power of traditional, tag based, remarketing lists.
You can create remarketing lists based on your own business logic, business needs and you can even import some incredibly creative and useful remarketing list “packs” from the gallery. You can even built them based on the insight you get from the cohort analysis report in Google Analytics for that extra bit of whoomph.
4) Deeper Multi-Channel insight.
Following on from my previous article, Google Analytics lets you look back up to 90 days when determining the value of a touchpoint in your attribution models.
This can help you get a much better picture of the value of a keyword (or set of keywords) than you would normally get by looking at the columns in the AdWords UI. This is particularly useful when your business has a sales cycle that’s longer than 30 days (think high ticket items and luxury goods).
5) Custom Intelligence Alerts by SMS and Email
Google Analytics has an amazing custom alert feature buried deep inside the intelligence report menu. Custom alerts allows you to receive an email and/or an SMS (US only for now I’m afraid) when any unusual activity, as determined by you) is detected.
The reporting options are impressively powerful and allow you to get an alert when any action defined by you, good or bad, happens. Crucial for when you accidentally enter that extra zero when setting those keyword bids!
So there you have it, my top 5 favourite and in my opinion, most powerful, features in Google Analytics that can help you stay on top of your AdWords account performance. The Google Analytics world is filled with a plethora of amazing tools, reports and insight and integration with AdWords is only getting better with each passing month.
If you're not using Google Analytics as part of your AdWords campaign management strategy, you will be soon, as all your competitors already are.
Skydiving and travel obsessed. Director of digital marketing agency Redfly, based in Dublin, Ireland. An marketing agency that specializes in AdWords management, Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.