When you think of Google Analytics, what do you think of?
You might think of website metrics, like visits and users. You might think of website usability – bounce rates and time on site. You might even think of goal tracking – transactions and revenue.
Google Analytics does all of that, and more. Which is why it is such a great tool for marketers at companies large and small.
However, most marketers don’t think of Google Analytics as a tool to help you optimize your advertising spend. But it can do that too.
How to Optimize Your Ad Spend with Google Analytics
First, did you know that you can import cost data into your Google Analytics account? You can link your Google Ads account so that all of that data gets pulled in automatically, and then use this article to learn how to add all your other ad spend.
Once you have cost data included in Google Analytics, you can use various ‘Acquisition’ reports to dig into the performance of all your advertising channels. From paid social campaigns like Facebook and Instagram ads, to search ads on Google and Bing, to email marketing and display – you can learn more about how visitors behave on your site when they come through one of these paid channels.
You can see the number of sessions, and calculate the cost for every new visitor to your site. You can see where they go on your site, and how long they stick around. And you can see transactions, including conversion rate, revenue, and cost per transaction. In that way, you can even calculate your return on ad spend (ROAS) for each campaign – that is, how much money is this campaign delivering in revenue for every dollar you spend in advertising.
At this point, you will have a better idea which channels are working and which are not. And you can optimize your budget to spend more in those that are working, and press pause on the campaigns that are not.
But that’s not all.
Take things one step further and learn how to improve performance within each individual campaign with audiences and segments. You can identify specific behaviors in each of these visitor groups (based on the traffic source or campaign) that will help you create better onsite experiences.
Looking at landing pages, bounce rates, conversion funnels, and ecommerce data, you can collect vast amounts of data points to help you better understand how people are interacting with your site. Find the gaps, and work on improving the overall conversion process – whether its for that single campaign or all of the above.
This conversion rate optimization work – that springs from observing traffic patterns and user behavior in Google Analytics – will help you optimize your advertising efforts even further, by improving the ROAS across the board. If you get more conversions for each dollar spent, your ROAS goes up. That means greater marketing contributions and a happy boss.