Google Analytics, Taking SEM Management To The Next Level

Rachel Zinanti

July 24, 2014

Google Analytics, Taking SEM Management To The Next Level

At Two Octobers, our goal is to deliver more than just clicks to a web site.  We want to provide quality traffic that is relevant to each client’s business goals. While there are a variety of reports in AdWords & Bing that help with this they don’t tell us what happens after someone clicks on an ad.  That’s where Google Analytics comes in.

Having access to Google Analytics allows us to have a better understanding of how users interact with a site. The available wealth of data further informs our management of accounts. Below are just a few ways we use the information in Google Analytics to optimize paid search accounts.

1)   Tracking Goals
Knowing you’re getting traffic is one thing. Knowing that traffic is doing what you want it to do is another.  Google Analytics goals track almost anything you can think of so you can identify what traffic sources are providing high quality visitors.  Everything from purchases, to completion of web forms, views of a certain page, clicks on a specific button, or particular amount of time spent on the site can be made into a goal.

Having goals set up in Google Analytics allows for better ROI tracking and enables us to quantify the value paid search ads are bringing to your business. It also gives us an idea of what areas of the SEM account may need adjustments if the traffic is underperforming.

2)   Budget Management
If you want more leads, purchases, or engaged visitors it makes sense to put more of your budget toward keywords that have proven to meet these goals, right?

When we have access to Google Analytics, and goals are set up, we’re able to analyze the best performing keywords by whatever metric is most important to you.  We then shift budget to those top performing keywords, de-emphasizing lower performing ones, in an effort to improve the traffic we send to your site, ultimately providing more value for your budget.

3)   Location Targeting
We display ads in all geographic regions that are important to our clients, but we also want to make sure ads are getting priority in locations that are performing the best.

AdWords allows us to set bid adjustments for specific locations.  By analyzing user performance by location in Google Analytics we can identify what places to increase or decrease bids so more budget goes towards ads in states or cities where searchers are completing the most goals.

4)   User Experience
When someone clicks on an ad our goal is to take them to the most relevant page that matches their search.  With Google Analytics, we’re able to tell if the landing page we’re taking searchers to is actually relevant based on metrics such as bounce rate and average time on page.  We’re also able to look at visitor flow through the site and see the most common page paths users take.

If we see that the metrics aren’t as strong for SEM campaigns as other traffic sources or that the bulk of people are following a certain page path we can adjust the landing page we take searchers to. This allows us to get visitors to the information they’re looking for more quickly or make sure they have a better chance of completing the goals you have set up.

5)   Remarketing
Remarketing has been available in AdWords for a while.  In AdWords we’re able to create lists based on people who viewed specific pages, sections, or products on a site and show them ads based on this information later.

Now when Google Analytics is linked to an AdWords account we’re able to take these lists one-step further and show ads to people based on site metrics, making your remarketing more robust.  We can target people that spend a certain amount of time on a site, place items in a shopping cart, view a specific number of pages, complete particular goals, etc.