Tying PPC And Analytics Together

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with another great question set titled “Tying PPC And Analytics Together.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What custom paid search reports do you create in Google Analytics? Why?

  • Paid Metrics + Macro/Micro Conversions + User Engagement Metrics. Because it’s the right thing to do. – Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
  • For ecom, I’ve always got a report for PPC that shows revenue, transactions, & site interactions in all in one. It’s awesome. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • Always nice to verify for ecomm which products are actually being purchased rather than just measure AOV. – Gil Hong (@Gil__Hong)
  • Performance by market region for a particular client: different areas have different budgets, audiences & response level. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Paid info, CPA by conv. type (if multiple), ROAS for e-comm. I usually break out Shopping as a separate report. – Susan Wenograd (@SusanEDub)
  • I tend to create 3-4 views for different levels of an org. Exec, Director & Practioner level with their own metrics & data. As well as unique reports for sales/lead funnels w/drop off points and multi-channel touch attribution. – Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson)
  • What everyone else said about ecom, plus sales/goal funnels. – Mike Crimmins (@mikecrimmins)
  • Useful for breaking out performance by demographic information. – Patrick Cusumano (@heypatrick20)
  • Segment by internal user, e.g. HR which has it’s own set of success criteria different from general marketing or sales. – Peter Thistle (@PeterThistle)
  • A combo of campaigns/source/mediums with proper goal metrics if I’m running a lot of social campaigns for a client. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • I’m always interested in the new/returning users from PPC. Makes valuable implications for Remarketing & RLSA. – Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
    • Also, time lag is a good one for those same strategies! – Susan Wenograd
  • Reports by content: what content is performing best in each channel. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • For lead gen, reports regarding returning users. – Mark Chapman (@chapmark)
  • I also use custom reports to show how each landing page performs in terms of interaction (bounces, site time, page views, etc.) – Michelle Morgan
  • I’m frequently checking the attribution model comparison to see where campaigns fit in the buying cycle. – Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
  • It’s interesting to see if your top conv pos are also strong on interaction. Then test new elements for better results. – Michelle Morgan
  • Sidenote – do you knock off ?params for LPs? — call tracking requires it and always make aggregating data harder, but data loss? – Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
    • It depends on the business and scenario. Most often marketing dashboards for each level of the biz. – Christi Olson
  • I create customized channel groupings for paid media and use these in attribution reports such as Top Conversion Paths, etc. – Collen McCaskell (@SpitfirePPC)

Q2: What are actionable items you can pull from the Multi-Channel Funnels report? How so?

  • I have used it make the case to a clients to do RLSA when they were skeptical. – Kyle Crocker
  • How to segment your remarketing campaigns by recency. – Andrew Bethel
  • Use time lag to determine length of time consideration in attribution reports. Then look at where ur channels fall. – Susan Wenograd
    • Agree! Timelag is my fav. Also assisted conversions & channel. – Christi Olson
      • Totally. If most conversions happen in, say, 5 days, you being part of the path 28 days ago doesn’t mean much. – Susan Wenograd
  • It’s helpful for high-funnel attribution that might otherwise get no credit. – Amy Bishop (@Hoffman8)
  • To explain why remarketing is valuable! – Patrick Cusumano
  • Evaluate a PPC channel grouping in Assisted Conversions & Top Conversion Paths to determine appropriate attribution modelling. – Colleen McCaskell
  • MCF is a great report for showing the value of social paid search efforts. Especially when last click conversions/revenue from social paid search tends to be low. – Matt Umbro
    • Agreed. Big for social. I see lots of social assists on Brand search campaigns. Makes sense, but MCF provides the data. – Michelle Morgan
  • Also good to know if you are just ping-ponging people between paid media channels (via the conv paths report). – Amy Bishop
  • I love the source/medium path to look at social and seach PPC interaction and assists. – Joe Martinez
  • Helps greatly in long sales cycle and/or $$ B2B setups to use attribution so you know if ppc is playing a part along the way. – Susan Wenograd
  • The actionable-ness is contigent on amount of data, little traffic, little insight. – Jared Miley (@JaredMiley)
  • I use MCF to also see the overlap between channels and how one might influence another. – JD Prater (@jdprater)
    • It’s good to understand how many touch points a client has before purchase (in addition to time lag for big ticket items). – Christ Olson
  • Also remember data/reporting doesn’t answer a Q. Our values comes from including written INSIGHTS to answer WHY and WHAT in reports. – Christi Olson
    • And knowing what questions to ask in the first place. – Kyle Crocker

Q3: Especially when using custom landing pages, how important is bounce rate in lead generation campaigns? Why?

  • I use it as a secondary metric at best. Bounces don’t reveal intent. – Kirk Williams
  • Bounce rate can be very telling, but need to do testing to see if it’s your targeting or the LP itself that’s off. – Michelle Morgan
  • It’s not an end all be all. Conversion rate is more important. – Mike Crimmins (@mikecrimmins)
  • Depends on what their sales cycle is like. If it’s high bounce rate but Attribution shows mult. touchpoints, less concern. – Susan Wenograd
  • If bounce rate significantly diff than other channels to that exact page, then worth checking into more. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • Bounce rates aren’t always representative of the quality of traffic or user intent on an LP. – Jeremy Krantz (@JeremyKrantz)
  • I’m less concerned with bounce rate in lead gen campaigns as long as conversion rate is doing well. – Matt Umbro
  • Bounce rate doesn’t always mean much. If you have a LP with a phone number – they may have called and bounced. – Amy Bishop
  • For custom LPs, either they convert or they don’t. BR doesn’t matter. – Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
  • Conversion rate trumps all, no question. Bounce rate can tell you if your KWs are bunk, but so would conversion rate. – Doug Thomas
  • I only look at bounce rate in conjunction with other metrics like time on site. – Amy Bishop
  • If bounce rate is high in ecomm account, then you may have issues. – Matt Umbro
    • Agreed. BR is more a signal that something COULD be wrong, rather than an alarm that something IS wrong. – Michelle Morgan
  • I don’t stress about bounce rate, particularly with long conversion cycles where I get people via Retargeting or paid social. – Colleen McCaskell
  • Many CRO platforms suggest there should be a single conversion option on the page. If so, then everything else is a bounce. That seems very short sighted especially in lead gen. – Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
  • This is where phone calls can throw off BR accuracy if you don’t have call tracking. Grain of salt here. – Joe Martinez
  • Convs are what matter. Bounce rate can be useful for finding less relevant traffic sources. – Mark Parent (@parentmark)
  • Bounce rate can be a symptom of bad message match or UX. If not converting and have a high BR, use to start finding your problem. – Jesse Teske (@JesseTeske)
  • High bounce rate is indicative of not answering a question the user is searching for. – Mark Irvine
  • Working with only B2B, bounce rate is very important to the client, but ultimately conversion rates help the story. Bounce rates can help tell the story of the landing page relevance and how relevant users find the content and/or offer. – Michael Knight (@MichaelAKnight)
  • Bounce Rate is helpful. Proper event tracking can help get a more accurate bounce rate so you can see if there’s a problem. – Iliana Cherniss (@ICherniss)
  • Another tricky factor about bounce rate is that different channels act differently too, so can’t always just compare channels. – Kirk Williams
  • As experts, we can evaluate LP vs on-site and channel bounce rate performance based on client trends and back-end performance. – Michael Knight

Q4: How deeply do you review the AdWords reports/metrics available in Google Analytics?

  • If I run into a problem, I’ll dig into GA. Otherwise just a passing glance/review. – Mike Crimmins (@mikecrimmins)
  • I like to compare with organic just to make sure we’re close to the mark. – Steve Cameron
  • I am all about the Multi-Channel Funnels but perhaps not looking at Behaviour metrics as regularly as I should. – Colleen McCaskell
  • I’m often in GA first to see overall site performance before diving into AdWords/BingAds/etc. for the PPC specifics. – Kyle Crocker
  • I don’t use the analytics reports as much as I used to in B2C. Now for B2B – look at success in Marketing Automation & CRMs. – Michael Knight
  • AdWords is usually easier to use for analyzing most paid data, but its always good to compare to what Analytics reports. – Patrick Cusumano
  • I like to stick to my custom reports. The default columns in the AdWords section usually aren’t everything I like seeing. – Joe Martinez
  • Not often. Pull data from Adwords & layer in data from CRM, Analytics, & Cost Data to get a better view of how we’re performing. – Jesse Teske
  • Not super often. I use dashboards to get an overview & then dig in as necessary to answer specific Qs, otherwise who has time? – Christi Olson
  • I’m always curious to see exactly what products people are buying (and the quantity) in GA – can tell a different story from goals. – Matt Umbro
    • True! In eComm/Retail that’s important. Often I get info direct from other (sales) systems instead of GA. – Christi Olson
  • Honestly, not a ton. I find most of that in the AdWords interface b/c it’s actionable there. But I should check it out more. – Michelle Morgan
  • I love viewing the visual of behavior flow from PPC traffic in analytics – easy to see big picture trends quickly. – Mark Chapman
  • E-commerce tracking in GA can always provide product-specific insights that I can’t get in AdWords… so fairly often. – Jeremy Krantz
  • Product specific information is huge. I review that often in Ecom clients. – Kirk Williams
  • Attribution and extent of assisted conversions to know where it figures in the overall scheme of things. – Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook)
  • Pretty deeply for ecomm. You’ll find a lot of “leader” products for ROAS…small ones that bring traffic, but get larger AOV. – Susan Wenograd

Q5: What is your take on importing Google Analytics goals into AdWords? Why?

  • Why not? There’s lots goals that can’t be created in Adwords. – Mike Crimmins
  • I love it! But I wish there weren’t delays or the risk of sampling. – Matthew Poldberg (@NotSpamIpromise)
  • I have one client that has calls on site recorded in GA, then imports to AdWords. I love them in this instance. Otherwise, I try to use ADW conv tracking so as not to confuse or double up on conv numbers. But importing has it’s moments.- Michelle Morgan
  • Works best if you’re tight with Analytics team – otherwise new goals can be added you don’t realize you need to import! – Amy Hebdon
  • With B2B I love associating goal values in GA for leads based on avg % of closed sales. Use GA goals to import those numbers. – Joe Martinez
  • I like it, it reduces discrepancies between the platforms. A conversion fires in Adwords, you can see it in GA. Less headaches. – Colleen McCaskell
  • Absolutely, Great way to track micro conversions! – Orlando Valencia (@ValenciaSEM)
  • Importing goals from GA allows you to easiily monitor the customer journey and account for micro conversions. – Jesse Teske
  • AdWords only is, well, AdWords only – not apples to apples with other channels and you can track all kinds of other events like a video view or a click on an email link. Can’t do that with AW conversion. – Steve Cameron
  • Also, some call tracking companies allow for call goal tracking setup in GA. Huge convenience to link to AdWords. – Matt Umbro

Q6: In general, how in depth do you prefer your Analytics program to be? For example, do you care if event tracking is setup?

  • The biggest thing I’ve had to unlearn trainees, clients, and c-levels on is that analytics is some kind of master arbiter of truth. – Doug Thomas
  • I love event tracking – lots of uses. Forms w/o thank you pages, etc. And micro conversions. – Mike Crimmins
  • Event tracking is a must. Pageviews are only the start. But it has to be setup to answer questions. – Kyle Crocker
  • Set up nothing more than you actually will use. – Doug Thomas
  • Tag Manager is your best friend for event tracking. Track click interactions, capture form fields, so much value I’m drooling! – Joe Martinez
  • Event tracking is definitely important for both PPC and SEO efforts within Analytics. – Michael Knight

PPCChat Sponsored by

CallRail LogoCallRail is a call tracking platform that brings enterprise-level call analytics to businesses and agencies. CallRail makes it easy to track which marketing sources and keywords make your phone ring. We provide call tracking, recording, and analytics for PPC, SEO, web, and offline marketing campaigns. With CallRail, you can create tracking phone numbers instantly, get reports in real time, and increase your advertising ROI by learning which campaigns and keywords deliver valuable phone leads.

Call Rail


More PPC Chats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPC Chat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Amy Bishop (@Hoffman8)
• Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
• Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
• Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson)
• Collen McCaskell (@SpitfirePPC)
• Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
• Gil Hong (@Gil__Hong)
• Iliana Cherniss (@ICherniss)
• Jared Miley (@JaredMiley)
• JD Prater (@jdprater)
• Jeremy Krantz (@JeremyKrantz)
• Jesse Teske (@JesseTeske)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
• Mark Chapman (@chapmark)
• Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
• Mark Parent (@parentmark)
• Matthew Poldberg (@NotSpamIpromise)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michael Knight (@MichaelAKnight)
• Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
• Mike Crimmins (@mikecrimmins)
• Orlando Valencia (@ValenciaSEM)
• Patrick Cusumano (@heypatrick20)
• Peter Thistle (@PeterThistle)
• Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook)
• Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
• Susan Wenograd (@SusanEDub)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

Tying PPCChat and Streamcaps Together

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sponsored By

Recent Tweets

I am speaking at SMX East
PPCChat.co was rated one of the Best PPC Blogs by Boost CTR