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Website Analytics Integration

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Integrate with paid search campaigns

When we come to looking at page search performance, and here we’re really looking on an hour-by-hour basis if this is a key seasonal campaign. And we put some of the main metrics we’ll want to look at there in key considerations, like the ad groups and keywords, and the conversions that you are getting.

Linking with Google Ads

First and foremost, though, you want to make sure that you have linked your website or your app with Google Ads so that we can understand what happens after someone clicks on an ad. Normally for Google Ads, we’ll take the conversion code and place it on a specific page that a consumer, by proxy, must land on if they’ve completed a conversion. So, this could be a thank you page after a checkout, which they would only see after having done that. The conversion is then attributed back to that keyword in Google Ads which drove the sale, and we can report on that. So, that must be set up as early as possible.

If you link Google Analytics with Google Ads as we all should, you can pull in the data for revenue in orders as well, which makes things a lot richer. The number of Google Ads-tracked conversions and the number of orders in Analytics may not necessarily match due to attribution. There are different attribution models at play. The important thing is to stick to one. When you’re reporting across a large number of channels, it makes more sense to use Google Analytics. It gives us a consistent view across all of those. The Google Ads-specific data will assist with that because what it does provide is richer data on a paid search level. It’s once we want to start looking at, SEO and display and everything else that happens within the website that we’ll want to look at Google Analytics instead.

Integrate with display campaigns

We, of course, need to look at how our display ads are performing and this requires a slightly different integration. There are some similarities in that display needs to be integrated within our analytics platforms to incorporate view through conversions. This can be quite a contentious issue within the industry. What it does require is an agreed and uniform view. It’s the nature of display that it’s very hard to define exactly how much value it had. We know it had some, but how much did it really affect someone? Some people will see an ad via display, and genuinely engage with it and go on to search for the brand and make a purchase. Some will click straight through. Some simply won’t see them.

There’s a lot of wastage within the CPMs that we purchase, which is well-known. What we want to do is set the conversion window so the length of time that we believe is the maximum it would take someone to convert after seeing or clicking on, which is an important distinction as well. And then place the code on the relevant pages on your website or app. So, that will allow you to view your display performance in whichever way it has been agreed within your business.

Integrate with video campaigns

The first thing to think about when we’re looking at video advertising campaigns and especially in this execution stage as we’re getting into the detail and trying to make sure that we’re monitoring performance is that your video ads won’t necessarily be shown on Google Ads or via YouTube. If you promote a video via Facebook or Twitter, Instagram, or any other online property, you need to make sure that you’ve got the campaign tracked correctly through your analytics platform. Typically, your analytics platform will have custom URL parameters, which allow you to add information, such as, for example, a campaign name. This helps the platform to organize the data so when you filter for performance, reviews for just video campaigns, you’ll only see the results for those relevant ads.

So, initially, you will have to add this tracking code to your website or app pages, or buttons, whatever it is you’re really wanting to track the performance of via a video campaign. Once you’ve done that, anytime someone lands on your property after having seen one of those adverts, if they go on to complete the conversion that you have decided to track, a subscription, a play, a purchase, whatever it happens to be, the cookie that has been following the user will fire and record a conversion within your analytics platform.

So, it’s a little bit more complicated than with other channels. The key is to be consistent here. To set those tracking parameters to make sure that it’s coming in and it’s filtered correctly within your analytics platform. Otherwise, it can get a little bit murky. And the main reason is that your video ads can be served in so many different places.

Integrate with social media campaigns

The core consideration when it comes to social media integration is that additional tracking code needs to be implemented to track social plug-ins. This is because, of course, content is shared from all over the web onto these different platforms. So, if you have that code setup correctly, you will be able to see that.

A key question here is the attribution side of things. Data isn’t necessarily shared across all these different platforms, Facebook and Google being the two main contenders in this arena. It can be quite difficult to get a single customer view across that, and it’s something that a lot of people in the industry are working on quite hard. As long as you’re getting rich sources of data through from social media, however, you can use this to affect other strategies.

So, a simple example would be an SEO strategy. If there’s copy that’s really resonating on social media, why not try that within the meta descriptions or title tags? Within SEO we don’t have many chances to capture attention. The only real way we can do that often is that title and description. If it worked on social media, it could work for you in SEO. You’d also learn a lot about your audience, about which creative performs well. It could be difficult with just the ad copy you have via PPC to really understand what it was that resonated with them. But if you have strong creative with a really strong message on social media that certain customers have interacted with, you’ve got some very deep insight there that you can use to shape, for example, your content marketing strategy, but also PPC and display.

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Clark Boyd

Clark Boyd is CEO and founder of marketing simulations company Novela. He is also a digital strategy consultant, author, and trainer. Over the last 12 years, he has devised and implemented international marketing strategies for brands including American Express, Adidas, and General Motors.

Today, Clark works with business schools at the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and Columbia University to design and deliver their executive-education courses on data analytics and digital marketing. 

Clark is a certified Google trainer and runs Google workshops across Europe and the Middle East. This year, he has delivered keynote speeches at leadership events in Latin America, Europe, and the US. You can find him on Twitter (X)LinkedIn, and Slideshare. He writes regularly on Medium and you can subscribe to his email newsletter, hi,tech.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

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