While a majority of online marketers and PPC managers use Google Analytics as their web analytics platform, still many under-utilize this great tool for all the features and data it provides. Speaking specifically about PPC, most marketers leverage the data inside their ad platforms (like Google Adwords) but rarely if ever look at the data provided inside Google Analytics.
The truth is your ad platform can only give you so much data. And that data can only tell you so much about your campaigns. The fact is you should be looking deeper not only into “why” a campaign may be performing poorly, but also into “why” a campaign may be successful as well. And there’s no better place to find this additional “why” data than Google Analytics. In this blog post, I’m going to break down 5 specific metrics that I think (at a bare minimum) you should be looking at frequently to help you make better bid/management decisions.
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1. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is simply calculated by taking the total number of visits to your site that left without visiting any additional pages within your site, and dividing that number by the total number of unique visits. A pretty simple metric really. The cool thing about Google Analytics is you can look at this rate on specific levels such as bounce rate by mobile traffic, or bounce rate by a specific campaign and so forth.
2. Pages per Visit
This data will give you additional understanding into the value and integrity of your site as a whole and specifically to your landing pages. The higher the number isn’t always better, because it really depends on your business model and your goals for when visitors hit your site. But generally speaking, 3 pages per visit is always better than 2.
3. Average Visit Duration
This data in a way continues what metric #2 gives you but possibly with a bit more detail. With this metric you can get a better understanding of the value of your landing page and how intriguing it actually is to the visitor. Or not of course.
4. Mobile Percentage
What percentage of your PPC traffic is mobile? More specifically, what percentage of your PPC traffic uses iPads? iPhones? Android? You get the point! This data is extremely valuable because this segment of the market continues to grow leaps and bounds month after month.
5. Browser Breakdown
And finally the browser breakdown, the breakdown of what specific web browsers your PPC traffic is using to access your site. This is especially important to follow if you are constantly adding to new features to your website and/or landing page because things tend to break in this crazy world we live in of browser compatibility.
We easily could throw another 10 metrics on top of this list, but the idea of this exercise is to show you the top 5 so you can generate some success from looking at this data. If you like how this helps you, you can begin to dig deeper because by that time you’ll see the benefit in doing so. Pulling this data really only takes a couple of minutes once logged in and inside the Google Analytics interface. So lack of time shouldn’t be an issue for you.
And one last final tip: use the “advanced segments” functionality in Google Analytics to quickly segment all the reports by Paid Search traffic only. This will allow you to cut all the other data out and focus solely on the PPC data which is most important to you.
This is a really great and informative article on Google Analytics. Looking at the current trend and given that Google is the most widely used search engine, I think tapping into software provided by Google will help webmasters get a better understanding on how to rank their sites better.