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Display Placement Exclusions For All Campaigns

According to Google, the Display Network reaches over 90% of global internet users expanding across 2 million web sites. However, it’s also said that near 50% of all ad impressions on the GDN are never seen. A marketer can reduce the amount of wasteful spend by monitoring the site placements of the display ads. Excluding placements within the Google Display Network is an on-going necessity for any AdWords marketer. Essentially, placement exclusion is telling Google where you do NOT want ads to show.

Typically, Google AdWords placement exclusion can be done at the campaign level. As you monitor performance from campaigns, you’ll see placements that look, at best “suspicious”.

Display Placement Menu

Display Placement Menu

The exclusions can be easily missed if you are not careful. Underneath, placement performance is “Campaign placement exclusions” and “Site category options”. Marketers can manually add sites to exclude per campaign.

Campaign Placement Exclusions

Campaign Placement Exclusions

That’s the standard way to add placement exclusions. However, once you begin adding exclusions to campaigns, you’ll notice the same sites seem to appear again in other campaigns. This is where the Shared Library becomes very effective.

Shared Library Campaign placement exclusions

Within Shared Library, open Campaign placement exclusions

From there, it’s a few simple steps in creating an account-wide placement exclusion list.

  1. Click +List – To create a new list
  2. List Name – Give the list a name
  3. Placements – Enter multiple domains that you would like to exclude from display placement
  4. Click Save – You now have a list of placement to exclude. However, that list is currently not applied to any campaigns.
  5. Select list and Apply to Campaigns
Apply Exclusions to Campaigns

Apply Exclusions to Campaigns

“Apply to campaigns” will allow you to select the display campaigns that you would like to apply to the list. Keep in mind, when new campaigns are created you’ll probably want to apply this same list again. Making changes within Shared Library is still much easier to manage than at the campaign-level.

Need a good starting list of placements to exclude?

Recently, the teams at Seer, Hanapin Marketing, Distilled, and Wistia built a list of over 400 placements to exclude on the Google Display Network. These 3 companies combined their historical data of poorly performing sites. You can download the list and learn more about their formula for exclusion.

Keep in mind, this is just a starting point for you. As more impressions are delivered and more data arrives, you will find your own list. The list of placement exclusions is never done. It’s a constant work in progress, but using Shared Library should make the process a lot easier.

Reduce the Creepy with Remarketing Membership Duration

Google’s Remarketing has been a game changer to paid media since it’s launch in 2010. Features are constantly added every year. It’s because of these new features that customization and best practices are needed to keep from becoming that “creepy” ad that visitors fear.

Setting up a remarketing campaign is heavily dependent on business goals and industry behavior. Targeting is the difference between Remarketing and traditional display, but that targeting it also what concerns consumers. Like many tactics within Google AdWords, it’s all about the tweaking and the execution. One of those key tactics is Remarketing Membership Duration.

The key element to any remarketing campaign is the list, AKA the audience. A remarketing list is a essentially a collection of cookies from previous site visitors. The membership duration is the length of time you want to target this audience.

At the end of the duration period, the cookie is removed from the list. That visitor would no longer see ads that are using that audience list. If the user revisits the site the timing is reset.

Remarketing Membership Duration

Remarketing Membership Duration

The mistake many marketers make is extending the duration to the maximum amount of time. The maximum duration allowed for the Google Display Network is 540 days. That would likely mean that an ad could follow visitors around for a year. There is no value in annoying potential customers.

Determining Membership Duration
Unfortunately, like many things with paid media, there is no easy answer for everyone. Remarketing membership duration can vary by industry. A general rule of thumb is, the higher the purchase value the larger the membership duration.

Days to Transaction
A recommended way to determine membership duration length is knowing the average time it takes a visitor to convert. Google Analytics can help with that. The Days to Transaction and Sessions to Transaction fields in Google Analytics indicates the average number of days and sessions from the first website interaction to purchase. This helps a marketer understand how long it takes someone to convert. The Days to Transaction report can also be segmented. That allows the separation by products, categories, pages, or whatever makes sense per industry.

Google Analytics Days To Transaction

Google Analytics Days To Transaction

3 Ad Extensions Every Adwords Campaign Should Have

What is your advantage? How does your ad stand out in the crowd? That’s where ad extensions become essential. They provide a great way to increase click-through-rate. There are multiple types of extensions including review, locations, apps, and more. However, there are 3 that I find mandatory for every campaign that I create. Let’s dive deeper.

Sitelinks Extensions

Sitelinks ad extensions are additional links that can be added beneath the text of ads. Sitelinks can be at the ad group or campaign level. They allow advertisers the the ability to deliver additional options to the searcher.

Sitelinks are probably the most commonly used and known extension, but for good reason: They are awesome! Sitelinks provide enhanced visibility in search results. They also allow the advertisers to present a shortcut to other pages on the site,

I have found there is always an opportunity to use site links.

Call Extensions

In short, call extensions provide the ability to add phone numbers to ads … and who wouldn’t want that?

With AdWords Call extensions, Google forwarding numbers can be used to track performance of received calls. Call extensions can be tweaked to match office hours, weekdays only, or whatever schedule works best.

Now with Call-only campaigns, campaigns have the ability to increase click-to-call directly from ads. Call-only campaigns allow the same cost-per-click bidding that traditional ads utilize

Call Only Campaigns

Call Only Campaigns

Callout Extensions

Callout extensions are another must have extension. They provide additional text options for ads that are not connected to links. Callout extensions provide more business details to the main ad. They can be added to multiple levels of the account structure, allowing the ability for customization and tweaking.

PPC Blog Hop – The Best and Latest in PPC News – March 2015

Here is a list of some of my favorite PPC blog posts over the past few weeks.

  • Need Fast Growth? How To Ramp Up Your PPC Program Quickly – Jeff Baum blogs about the pros and cons of sudden increase in funding to a client’s PPC campaigns. Jeff discuss the common nervousness of spending someone else’s money.

    I was very worried that our sudden spend ramp up would fall flat on its face in terms of performance. The thought of driving spend without increasing business nearly made me break out in a cold sweat. Explaining to the client’s leadership team how a large spend increase failed to grow business terrified me.

    As a PPC expert, it is a responsibility I do not take lightly.

  • 5 Ways to Take Advantage of Location Targeting in AdWords – Katie Grossenbacher lays out the the options for using locations in Google AdWords. She provides a nice straight-forward approach to share with clients or novices. There are many articles on this topic, but I found Katie’s post one of the best on the topics.
  • 3 AdWords Ad Extensions Every Account Needs (And 4 Business-Specific Extensions Too!) – Michael Bartholow with LunaMetrics writes about the must have ad extensions in your campaigns. What to use? When do they show? How will you know?

    Michael sums it up as follows: Ad Extensions help your ads perform better & can raise your Quality Score, so use them! Because Ad Extensions are served algorithmically, you should use more than one and let Google choose which ones will show. You shouldn’t worry about overlap as they each serve a unique purpose, which we’ll discuss below.

  • 8 Retargeting List Uses For Campaign Success – Michelle Morgan lists some great ideas for remarketing lists. It’s a good post to bookmark and refer back to as your audience begins to grow.

    Extra tip: Remarket visitors that read posts about remarketing. Stay tuned to see future banner ads. You’re welcome. 🙂

Four Ways to Use AdWords Editor for Better PPC Management

When you first start managing AdWords campaigns, you probably worked strictly in the web interface. While quite robust, you soon realized how unwieldy the web interface can be for building large scale campaigns and making bulk edits. AdWords Editor is Google’s offline solution for speeding up bulk work, serving as an indispensable tool in the PPC manager’s chest.

Even though Google has made great strides in improving access to bulk changes in the web interface, Editor still offers capabilities not matched in the browser. Let’s take a look at some handy uses for AdWords Editor.

Location Targeting
Location targeting can quickly become complex, especially for some businesses that require precision targeting to a market area. When a campaign’s target locations include a lengthy list of regions, searching for and selecting these manually in the web interface can take significant time. You can quickly insert a list of zip codes, cities, states, or whatever else your preferred method of targeting is for a campaign, as well as quickly copying locations from one campaign to the next.

Besides targeting locations where they want ads to reach, many AdWords managers find it important to exclude negative locations, preventing ads from showing up in areas not applicable to the business. With AdWords Editor, you can quickly add negative locations in bulk.

To find locations where ads have shown up, you can review the User Location report under the Dimensions tab, you can see where your ads have shown up. Exporting this report to a CSV file will allow you to then grab a list of locations where you did not want ads to show up, copy this list, and paste it in to add as negative locations.

Here’s an example showing Negative Locations in the AdWords Editor interface, where we’ve excluded countries and states not relevant to the campaign. You can use the “Make multiple changes” button to access a window that lets you paste in multiple locations to add.

Sitelink Setup
While ad group level sitelinks have increased the opportunity for relevance, they have also increased the level of complexity in setting up sitelinks. Managing sitelinks can consume a great deal of time and effort, especially by adding them one by one in the web interface. Editor lets you add sitelinks, even providing access to the Shared Library to add ones you’ve already set up. You can easily select sitelinks and apply them to multiple ad groups.

At the bottom of the left navigation bar within AdWords Editor, you’ll find “Shared sitelinks” under the “Shared library” section. Within this section, you can view all sitelinks you’ve created for the account, add new ones, and edit existing ones.

Clicked the “Associations” button while your desired sitelinks are selected will allow you to assign those sitelinks as many campaigns or ad groups as you’d like.

Powerful Copy/Paste Options
The web interface has added more advanced support for copying and pasting elements over time, but AdWords Editor offers much more robust options for selecting items to copy and pasting them into one or more other places. If you manage campaigns for multiple businesses in similar industries, you may find yourself reusing components between campaigns. While you should, of course, tailor ads to each specific business, you may want to copy campaign structure and some keywords from one account to another.

For example, if you manage campaigns for car dealerships and work with two different Ford dealers, campaigns across both accounts will likely have ad groups for vehicle models like Ford Fusion, Ford Focus, etc.

Also, if a business has locations in multiple regions, they may want to run similar campaigns in different regions, requiring a fair amount of duplication. You can select a set of keywords you’d like to use and select multiple ad groups across multiple campaigns where you’d then like to paste these.

Replace Text
The ability to replace or append text can save much time in building larger accounts. For our car dealership example, you may have some local keywords carry over when you copy a campaign from one region to another region. You can use the “Replace text” button below the search bar to change the mention of one city to another.

For example, let’s say you have the following keywords scattered throughout a campaign:

+ford +focus +atlanta
+ford +fusion +atlanta
+ford +explorer +atlanta

You copy this campaign, but you are now targeting Charlotte. You can run the “Replace text” function to then replace any mention of atlanta with charlotte. In addition, you can choose whether to change any fields, or specific fields such as keywords or ad description lines. This can be handy for reusing similar ad copy where you just want to change one word, such as the mention of a town.

Conclusion
As you can see, AdWords Editor offers a number of powerful features allowing you to save time, especially in working on larger accounts. If you haven’t yet delved far into using Editor, take some time to look around at features while working on your own campaigns and find ways that you can improve your process for AdWords management.

AdWords Video Remarketing

Video’s role in marketing is dramatically increasing every day. Recently, Twitter added promoted videos as an option. Last year, Facebook enhanced video metrics.

Video remarketing is another great option within Google Remarketing by opening up your audience to a much larger list. Expanding the audience provides great value when you have a list of people that have expressed interest in your services by watching a video. In fact, it’s not just video viewing. YouTube remarketing provides multiple actions that can be targets.

Available Remarking Actions

  1. Video view or interaction (likes, comments, shares)
  2. YouTube channel visit and subscription
  3. In-stream ad views

Linking AdWords and YouTube
The first step before starting any video remarketing is to make sure YouTube is connected to AdWords.

  • Choose Video Manager -> Channel Settings -> Advanced
  • Open your Google AdWords account in a new tab, sign in, and copy your Customer ID
  • Assign a name to the AdWords account. It’s often best to use the same name you are currently using for you for your existing AdWords account. This will prevent confusion when alerts our sent to all users that a name has been changed.
  • Set permissions for the account. I tend to allow all permissions. It provides more options down the road when looking for more targeting areas.

Creating a Video Remarketing Campaign
Once all the connectivity is working then the real fun begins. Now, you can setup AdWords campaigns that utilize your YouTube audience. This process becomes as easy as another remarketing campaign that you have setup in the past. Video viewers just becomes another audience option.

Video Remarketing Is More Than Video Ads
If you Google video remarketing all articles are quick to point out creating video ads for remarketing. It’s important to distinguish that video remarketing does not have to mean video ads. That’s certainly an aspect that can be used, but not a limitation. After the video marketing audience is built and grown to a significant number, the options are much wider than video ads. You can still create banner ads like you would any other remarketing campaign.

Dive into video remarketing. There is a wealth of data that can expand any audience.

How To Tackle PPC Account Reorganization

Photo courtesy of Ever Fair Enterprises

Have you just taken over a large AdWords or Bing Ads account that was previously in use? Can you already see from the get go that it’s going to need major organizational restructuring? I recently ran into another scenario such as this with an account and although I knew my stance on what my plan was going to be with the way I approached it for this particular client, I spent some time researching and discussing other approaches with peers because strategies do vary. There is no right or wrong way of going about it as every account and every client is unique. Some account managers may prefer a fresh start while others believe they can work with what they already have.

Before diving in, you essentially have two options; build upon the existing foundation and fix it in phases or start from scratch. Not sure which to road to go down? Here are some things to think about and prepare for before you make a decision.

Keep It:

Go through the account and assess if the campaigns and ad groups have a solid foundation. While going through it, ask yourself this, will it take more time to fix the account by working with what is already there or would it take more time to demolish it and start fresh?

If the foundation is solid enough, that’s great! You’ll have an abundance of useful data from previous campaigns to go off of along with an already existing account history and quality score. The only way from here is up. So what now? Where does one begin? First, talk to you client about the possible risks associated with an undertaking of this caliber. Educate your client that these changes may cause significant, however, temporary fluctuations such as possible drops in traffic, conversions, and even revenue. If they are aware and ok with these possibilities, roll your sleeves up and prepare to dive in. As overwhelming as projects like this can be, set those feelings aside, take a deep breath, and take it one step at a time.

Take it one campaign and ad group at a time. Run some reports to see how each has performed over the last 30-90 days, depending on the last time someone was in the account. Before beginning to make any changes, check if proper tracking is installed. Set a benchmark and track any and all changes as you make them so you can later share insights with your client and not have to make any guesses. Next, see if anything has an excessive CPA much above the client’s goals. I like to comb through and immediately pause anything that has an extremely high CPA or hasn’t converted in the date range selected. As I get more granular, I also pause non-converting keywords, non-converting ads, no longer applicable ad copy, and broken landing pages.

Once those are taken care of and are no longer wasting your budget, then work on bid optimization and ad copy optimization. Remember; just break this big project into smaller projects. Rebuilding is a process that is best done in phases.

Scratch It:

If after evaluating the foundation of the existing account, you’ve concluded that it’s too broken and would take much longer to rebuild than start anew, a better solution may be to start from scratch.

Sure, taking over an account with plenty of historical data is useful and exciting and you have a foundation to build upon and remodel, but if it’s just too great of a mess and a total loss, starting fresh may be the better alternative. As with anything, manage your client’s expectations with a project this big. Inform your client that starting over can in fact net higher CPC’s than before since the history will not transfer over to a new account. Speaking of which, is your client willing to forgo their existing account history? Are they ok with higher costs until you’re able to accumulate new historical data and produce positive results? Once you get approval and get started, may you enjoy a clean slate of building out a brand new organized account. It will take some time, however, it can be a really great decision for long term success.

Whether you choose to keep it or scratch it when it comes to a massive advertising account reorganization, be sure to inform your client of all possible outcomes so there won’t be any unwelcome surprise conversations down the road. As you prepare to get started, have a plan in place to prevent any further organizational issues going forward. And lastly, don’t forget to install proper tracking so that you have proof of any changes you’ve made and keep your client informed. Good luck and happy rebuilding!

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads – Best Practices

If you have attended any of my presentations of have read any of my blog posts over the past 3 years, you’ll know that I am big fan of Remarketing. One recent new addition to Google is Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA). This allows you to create unique search ads for previous site visitors.

Of course, I say “new”, RLSA was first introduced in 2013, allowing you to create unique messaging to previous site visitors. Being able to dive deeper into the search traffic, will allow you to create unique messaging and bidding strategies to previous site visitors. This opens the doors to multiple strategies:

You can bid on keywords that you don’t normally bid on just for people who have recently visited your site, or have converted on your site in the past. This can help you increase your sales. For example, you could bid on more generic keywords only for people who have previously purchased from your site.

You can optimize bids for your existing keywords for visitors on your remarketing lists. For example, you can increase your bid by 25% for those who previously viewed your website in the last 30 days. Or, you could show a different ad to site visitors who have placed items in a shopping cart but have not purchased them. – Source: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2701222?hl=en

If you are using Remarketing, then you are practically already there. If not, then you should be. Stop here and implement Google Remarketing on your site. Below are several great posts on getting started with Remarketing

More on RLSA

Diving deeper into those AdWords Remarketing audiences, you will see a column called “List Size (Google search)”. It’s been there for a while and now may be the time to stop ignoring that column.

To use Remarketing with a search campaign, the audience needs to be associated with the campaign or AdGroup. Although, like most things with PPC, separation is key. I recommend creating a separate RLSA campaign. Measurement and comparative data is much easier measurable with separation and segmentation.

Best Practices for RLSA

Knowing how to implement RLSA is only the starting point, the real value is in the practical uses. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Use Unique Ads – Remember, these searchers have already been to your site. For whatever, reason they probably did not convert. Now, they are searching again. Give them something different. Show them a new message, new deal, new value, etc.
  2. Product Interest / Higher Bidding – If it’s clear that the audience has visited a product or service page, then you are more than half way there. Knowing there is interest helps tremendously. From there, it makes sense to increase bidding for product-specific ads.
  3. No Frequency Capping – One of my favorite features of Remarketing display ads is Frequency Capping. That allows you to reduce and maybe eliminate the “creepy” factor. If done well, users don’t feel like ads are following them around. Although, may not needed in search ad much, it’s still not available. To prevent searcher fatigue, use multiple messages.
  4. Go Broad – Normally within search campaigns, having too many broad keywords would result in higher spend and often lower conversions. It’s not the best spend of the dollar. However, going broad with RLSA is recommended. The audience is already narrowed down because of Remarketing. Opening up that search audience larger should result in even higher conversion rate.

Twitter Advertising Opportunities For Success

Looking to connect with your audience in a fresh, meaningful, and profitable way? As a marketer, of course you are! Whether you’re a novice (worry not, you’ll get up to speed in no time) when it comes to advertising on Twitter or it has been quite some time since you’ve last had your hands in the dashboard, there are a number of opportunities worth exploring that you may find quite helpful in reaching more people and accomplishing your goals. Keep reading for a breakdown of some ways you can utilize Twitter Ads to succeed.

Campaign Type Variations

Twitter Ads launched back in April of 2010 and campaign types back then, as you can imagine, were quite limited. Previously, there were only three options to get in front of users; promoted tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends. Today, we have a wider variety of options to choose from depending on your goals. Here are the most current campaigns types you can set up:

  • Followers – If you’re looking to grow your community on Twitter, this is a great option to tell users why they should follow you. Run ads that share something relevant, useful, or interesting to entice Twitter users to follow your account. With this type of “promoted account” your ads will be displayed in user timelines as well as in suggestions for “who to follow”. With this type of campaign, I typically encourage clients to use the smallest portion of their budget, as others have a stronger call to action, obtain user data, or drive users directly to your website and would have a higher ROI. The others below would benefit from having a larger portion of your budget to work with. While this type is helpful in growing your fan base,  it doesn’t usually drive immediate users directly to your site.
  • Website Clicks or Conversions – If your goal is to drive traffic to your website and increase conversions such as purchases or sign ups, this campaign type is most excellent. Here, users will see your ads in their timelines and in Twitter search results. In addition to doing this, set up retargeting campaigns so that you can continue marketing to those who may not complete an action on your site that you were hoping they would from your ad.
  • Tweet Engagements – Perhaps you’re looking to reach more people and drive engagement rates through retweets, replies, and favorites. This option is fantastic for increasing conversations happening around your tweets. With this, your audience will see tweets in their timelines and in Twitter search results as images or Twitter Cards.
  • App Installs or Engagements – Many users view Twitter on their mobile devices. If you want to drive conversations and downloads, use this option to get people to open or better yet, install your mobile app. As you would expect, this ad type is seen only in mobile timelines. As an extra bit of advice from personal positive ROI experience, test a strong call to action such as “DOWNLOAD” or “INSTALL NOW” in the copy of your promoted tweet.
  • Leads on Twitter – Lastly, if your mission is to collect emails from users who express interest in your business, this is an effective way to acquire leads. To launch this type of campaign, a lead generation card must be first set up, which doesn’t take long and the UI to do so makes the process quick and painless.

Bonus Targeting Criteria

In addition to targeting by location and gender, you may also target users by keywords, usernames, if they are on a brand new device or carrier, TV markets (country, shows, networks, genres), or even by interests, and behaviors. Talk about an exciting collection of targeting options!

Newer to this collection are interests and behaviors. Interest options vary from beauty, education, careers, family, events, life stages, pets, technology, and more. With behaviors, you can target around automotive, finance, lifestyle, retail brands, seasonal, and other behaviors which break down further, as seen here:

I find it particularly interesting that you can target by new devices or carriers. By doing this, you can reach users who use Twitter for the very first time on their new mobile device or carrier. Within this option, you can also include and exclude people who qualify for this within a certain time span, such as in the last month. If you are marketing a mobile app, this would be a perfect opportunity to get in front of a user who just purchased a new device and would more likely be interested in downloading some new apps.

Retargeting Multiple Ways

Lastly, if your users don’t initially convert, it’s not a lost cause. With Twitter Ads, there’s not one, but two ways to do retargeting; directly from Twitter through tailored audiences or through a third party provider such as AdRoll. For instance, say you are a mobile app company, people have been clicking and opening your app through other campaigns, but haven’t yet installed your app. To set up retargeting directly through Twitter Ads to acquire more app downloads, add tailored audiences through the “Tools > Audience Manager” drop down in the navigation, and then in your new campaign set up,  click on “Add Tailored Audiences” to select your web or mobile app list, but be sure to exclude people who already downloaded your app so they don’t continue seeing your ads. If your list size is small, you can also expand to reach similar users under audiences in your campaign to add more volume.

If you are working with a third party provider, you will have to place retargeting tags on your website to begin collecting users. Your third-party account manager will usually take care of synching audiences to Twitter from their end. All you then have to do is go into your Twitter Ads UI and create a new campaign and add the audience “from the web” that will show up under tailored audiences. If you plan to set up both types of retargeting campaigns via Twitter, set up separate campaigns to better track performance and budget, as they may vary.

There is plenty of room to get creative, reach the right people, and get them to convert. While sales may not always happen on the first click, social ads are still an important part of the funnel. Your audience is most likely there, give it a go and get in front of them by using Twitter to test out a campaign or two.

Informing AdWords Campaigns with Google Analytics

The AdWords interface offers an incredible amount of data about campaign performance. However, through AdWords’ default data alone, you only see what happens up to the point of the click (apart from conversion tracking, once you’ve set that up). You need to understand the full paths and experiences users encounter, from the point they search, to when they click an ad; from the point they land on your site, to when they leave, with or without converting into leads. Google Analytics adds another level of data about performance beyond the click.

Linking AdWords and Analytics

First of all, make sure you link your AdWords account with Google Analytics to ensure data is transferring properly. See Google’s documentation for detailed instructions.

Once you’ve connected the two accounts, you can now view AdWords data directly in Analytics under Acquisition > AdWords. In addition, you can view select metrics from Google Analytics right in the AdWords interface once you’ve linked your accounts. See these instructions for more details on adding columns to AdWords showing Analytics data.

Once you’ve linked your Analytics and AdWords accounts, the next question involves uncovering what value you can get from the connection. What are some insights you can gain from connecting AdWords with Google Analytics?

Understanding Engagement from Ads

First of all, you can connect engagement statistics such as bounce rate and average session duration directly with AdWords data, down to the level of specific keywords and ads. This information proves valuable in determining whether or not users are finding your landing pages relevant to the ad copy directing them to your site.

Campaign Analytics

For example, say you are assessing low conversion rates. You note that clickthrough rates look decent, but people are not converting after landing on the site. Analyzing behavior from AdWords visitors once they land on your site will prove valuable in better explaining user performance.

If an ad shows a high bounce rate, that stat may indicate users are not encountering what they expected to see. Either you should revise the landing page or point to a different page.

When you run ads on the display network, you can evaluate the performance of various site placements in Google Analytics. You may be receiving a high clickthrough rate from a particular news site but then find that most of the visitors from that site are immediately bouncing off your site and not converting. In that case, you would likely want to exclude that placement.

Adwords Placements

Tracking Value Across Channels

Besides looking at engagement statistics, you can gain insight into how AdWords works together with other channels to drive conversions. Even if you are just managing AdWords out of a client’s many marketing efforts, PPC never functions in a bubble. While some customers may encounter a site for the first time via an ad in Google search results and immediately convert, others may arrive first via an ad, and then come back again via a social media link or organic search before converting.

Google Analytics shows this data under Multi-Channel Funnels. You can see what combinations of channels (organic search, paid search, display, etc.) were most likely to lead to conversions, as well as in what order the contact with the site occurred. This data is helpful in showing “assisted conversions” where you may not have given AdWords credit for a conversion, but it contributed at a point of the user’s contact with the site before conversion.

Top Conversion Paths

In this example, we show a report of the top paths users take to convert (Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Top Conversion Paths). Based on this data, you can see at what stage of the marketing funnel most of your prospects are arriving. Note that paid search combined with organic search for several conversions, sometimes with paid first, and sometimes with organic first.

By evaluating the data in Multi-Channel Funnels, you may strategize ways to better reach people that have initially arrived via one source and may be likely to come back via another. For example, you could set up a remarketing campaign with a goal of seeing more people come back via a second time to convert.

Act on the Data

As you can see, connecting Google Analytics with AdWords provides a wealth of data to help improve your refinement of campaigns as well as reporting value to clients. First, ensure that you have accurately linked accounts to see the proper data. Next, evaluate the data and act on it to revise poor performing landing pages, exclude poor-performing display placements, and brainstorm additional campaigns to keep potential customers in the marketing funnel.


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