Last Friday I attended the first session of WproUniversity, a series of educational seminars given by Wpro staff to keep our team abreast of all the latest in SEM. The topic was Google Analytics (GA) (not exactly new but highly relevant nonetheless) and it was hosted by our knowledgeable President and CEO, Mike Mothner.
While I’m not sure I understood all the points discussed, I did manage to come away with a few nuggets of practical advice and a topical understanding of how GA can be used to gain insight into the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns, content, and website design.
Let’s take a look at 4 things you can do with GA to improve your bottom line.
1 – Determine the value of different sources of website traffic
Using GA you can identify exactly how users are getting to your website. The GA interface divides traffic into 3 main categories: “direct” (type-in URL, bookmark, non-web link, etc.), “search engines”, and “referrer” (from another website, etc.), but the reporting is not limited to these categories alone. Within these 3 categories you can identify sources of traffic as generated by an email campaign or newsletter mailing, for example. The way this is done is a bit more technical than I intend to get in this post but the upshot is GA lets you determine the value of your marketing in terms of web traffic (and corresponding actions taken by visitors) by tagging links and creating unique URLs to be used in your advertisements.
2 – Discover the value of your website content in dollars earned per page view
Savvy marketers know the value of good content. While almost anything I say about the value of copy writing could be construed as biased, the words on the page are ultimately what cause a user to take action…and if the words aren’t doing their job, your bottom line will likely suffer.
The good news is GA can help you identify what pages of your website are converting and which are suffering. You can even drill down into GA’s ”Top Content” report to identify the value per page view. It should be noted that calculating any sort of value using GA requires a bit of financial data regarding the value of certain actions taken on your site, but once you input the figures, GA does the rest. Amazing!
3 – Optimize your AdWords campaign by identifying positive and negative keywords
If you are advertising using Google AdWords, you can link your account to GA to include your PPC spend, keyword list, and related data in your GA reports and calculations. However, GA takes things a step further by allowing you to see what raw queries are being matched to your keywords and whether or not these matches translated into dollars. With this data, you can look for negative keywords to remove from your PPC campaign and find lucrative positive keywords to isolate into individual ad groups.
4 – Figure out how to maximize your ROI
Although we’ve only scratched the surface of what GA can do in this post, the underlying purpose of all GA features is clear: to help you make decisions that can maximize your ROI. Whether you want to evaluate the success of a direct mail campaign, determine the value of your company’s blog, or figure out what types of web traffic translate into sales, tapping into GA will help you find out what you are doing right, and where you could be doing better.
Check out Google’s blog for more info on how to make Google Analytics work for you.