Google Conversion Room Asia-Pacific Blog Tips on tracking and improving conversions online

Doubling online leads with Google Analytics

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 | 10:27 AM

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Google Analytics Certified Partners play an important role in Asia Pacific’s web analytics ecosystem. They are the Google Analytics implementation and reporting experts, and they partner closely with businesses of all sizes to help them improve and grow their online presence. This is one in a series of articles from Google Analytics Certified Partners across the region.

Adrian Tan is one of the founders of clickTRUE Pte Ltd, Southeast Asia’s first Google Analytics Certified Partner. - Ed.

I would like to share an example with you on how our team at clickTRUE use insights from Google Analytics to benefit our clients’ online marketing effectiveness. Recently, a world leading electronic security and alarm monitoring service provider approached us to optimise their reporting and analysis framework. We helped them adopt Google Analytics as a way of measuring the number of leads generated by their website. With Google Analytics we were able to react to changing conditions within days rather than months.

Problem: Non real-time analysis
The client ran several Google AdWords campaigns to drive sign-ups via their enquiry forms. These sign-ups represented the number of leads for their business and provided a forecast of their revenue for the months ahead. The client was used to consolidating the enquiry form sign-ups from their website on a monthly basis and sending it to us for analysis.

We would analyse the numbers and determine how many conversions (i.e. enquiry form sign-ups) were attributed to their AdWords campaigns. We would then suggest and implement changes for their following month’s AdWords campaign so that they could generate a higher volume of sign-ups at a lower cost. Waiting for monthly reports was less than ideal. Since we deal with the Internet, we wanted to measure the performance of our enhancements in real-time! We wanted to cut down this lag to make more timely changes and more quickly achieve the client’s target number of leads per month.

Solution: Integrating Google AdWords and Google Analytics
Being a Google Analytics Certified Partner, we knew that one of the best ways to get near real-time insights about the performance of a website is to use Google Analytics. We worked with the client to implement Google Analytics on their website, and then integrate their AdWords account, so that we could attribute conversions to AdWords clicks.

Here is how we approached the creation of the reporting and analysis framework for the client:

Step 1: Link the Google AdWords account to the Google Analytics account
We first linked the client’s Google AdWords and Google Analytics accounts.

Step 2: Define goals within Google Analytics
We defined a goal in their Google Analytics account as visitors who arrived at a “Thank You” page after submitting their contact details.

Setting up the goal was easy: we took the URL for the “Thank You” page as the goal URL.

With Goals set, we were now able to more accurately assess how each keyword in the client’s AdWords campaign was converting visitors into sign-ups (leads). Better yet, we were able to assess these on a daily basis, and didn’t have to wait for the monthly reports.

Step 3: Setting up the reporting framework
We created a set of custom reports to to address the key performance indicators that were most relevant for the client. Below is one of our custom reports that lists keywords and the associated metrics for clicks, visits, cost-per-click, impressions, clickthrough rate, bounce rate, time on site, and goal conversion rate. If we were to rely on Google Analytics’ standard reports, we would need to combine three reports to get this information. You can get a copy of this custom report here.

Step 4: Taking action by optimising keywords
With the above in place, we are better able to drill down and do optimisation on the keywords instead of just depending on traditional statistics such as clicks, cost per click and clickthrough rates.

For example, when we first ran the campaign, the keyword “CCTV” generated the most number of clicks. We needed to find out if this keyword was effective in producing qualified leads.

On closer inspection, we saw that the keyword “CCTV” was performing poorly in terms of bounce rate and conversion rate.

The bounce rate for “CCTV” was 7.32% worse than the site average. Visitors coming from this keyword left the site without signing up or even visiting any other pages. It indicated a poor visit quality – visitors did not find the content on the landing page relevant.

To help optimise the performance of this keyword, we analysed the actual search query used by visitors that contributed to goal conversions. For example, visitors who searched for “CCTV Singapore” and clicked on the client’s ads were more likely to sign-up and convert.

Such search queries were immediately added as phrase match keywords in the client’s campaign and set with a higher bid to have their ads appear more frequently . This fine-tuning allowed us to only show the ads to an audience that is looking for security solutions rather than to non-relevant searches for “China Central Television” that was also know as CCTV. We also included such non-relevant searches as negative keywords to filter out irrelevant impressions and improve clickthrough and conversion rates.

Through the use of better defined keywords, such as with approproriate keyword matching for the “CCTV” root keyword, we obtained much better conversion rates – increasing the rates from 1.55% to a range of 1.96% to 25% and a corresponding increase in ROI of at least 66%.

Actionable insights on early data results in 114% lift
The time previously spent waiting for monthly reports was now put to good use optimising based on almost real-time data. The lift in leads demonstrates the benefits of this strategy – a 114% increase after the first three weeks of the campaign. The client is now ahead of schedule in achieving their target number of leads and meeting their revenue forecast.

We strive to replicate the above process in all our engagements:
  • Setting goals allows us to measure site performance and understand whether we are being successful or where we need to improve.
  • Linking AdWords and Google Analytics accounts allows us to assess paid traffic performance in terms of bounce rates and conversion rates.
  • Last, but not least, we cannot emphasise enough how important it is to analyse your Google Analytics data on a regular basis and take immediate actions to experience real-time gains.


Anonymous said...

Would it also have been possible to achieve your goal by dropping the adwords conversion pixel on the thankyou page instead of connecting adwords and analytics.

The search query performance report in this case could have given you your required keywords.

Adrian Tan said...

Hi, you have made valid observations. It is possible to get conversion metrics through adding the AdWords conversion pixel on the "thank you" page. However, in this case, we made a decision to link up the AdWords and Analytics platform in order to get a richer set of data (like bounce rates and time on site) that would not have been available on just the AdWords platform.

The advantage of using AdWords conversion is that you can make changes directly in your AdWords account based on the data. But I think this advantage is slightly diminished with the feature of importing GA goals into AdWords.

You have made a very good point on the search query performance report! It is a tremendously useful tool. It can be run from Google Analytics once you link it up to your AdWords account. It gives insights into the actual search terms entered by users. However, we try not to use it in isolation. This is why we normally use the search query tool in conjunction with the Google Analytics metrics for fine-tuning our SEM campaigns.