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 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