Mastering Your GTM Pt 2: Techniques on How to Improve your GTM
In part 1 of this series, Master your GTM Pt 1: Auditing Your Google Tag Manager in 3 Steps, I showed you how…
Hello fellow advertisers! Today I will be reviewing two of my favorite monthly reports: geographic and mobile analysis. They’re easy to find, and the information you can derive from them can have a massive impact on an account. I’ll review how to find these reports within Analytics, and I’ll also talk about some of the pros and cons of using AdWords vs. Analytics to analyze them. Enjoy!
Hey, hello everybody. Welcome to another episode of my video blog series. I’m your host, Nick Rennard. Today, we are going to be talking about Geographic and Mobile Analysis.
I put together a table of contents for you here. First off, we’re going to be in Google Analytics looking at some reports. There’s a lot of reports you can look at in Analytics. I mean the amount of use you can do in Analytics is practically infinite. I always tell people that if you ask the question, “Can I do X in Google Analytics?” The answer is probably is yes. The reason that I’m covering the geographic and the mobile reports is because I think that they are two of the highest impact reports that you can review. I think that the changes that you can make based on these reports are one, very simple, and two, as I said before, very impactful on the account. It’s an easy change that you can make on your account, and we’ll go over that once we dive deeper into Analytics here.
We’re also going to talk a little bit about the differences between Google Analytics and AdWords. These reports could be done on either platform, but I do think that Analytics is better, and so I’m going to review why. The last thing I want to talk about here is reviewing goal creation within Google Analytics and importing those over to AdWords and some of the pros and cons of that. Yeah, let’s go and get started here.
All right, so here we have Google Analytics. This is our account here. For the geographic report, this is the home page you’re going to open up on. I’ve talked a bit about segments in the past. When you log in to Google Analytics, it’s going to default the All Users segment. What this means is that this is literally all of the traffic that’s going to your website. If you want to be analyzing … I’m going to be talking about AdWords in here. If you do want to be analyzing only the AdWords performance, you have to make sure that you set a new segment to be targeting only users that came from source equals Google and medium equals CPC, so that way it filters out anyone who’s just come into the website directly or through a referral link or maybe through Bing or organically, etc. Anyways, that’s just a little bit about segments. We’re just going to use All Users one for now, but just know that obviously we can change the segment if we wanted to look at a different group of users.
The geographic report. This is very, very, very easy. You start here under Audience. There is a drop-down box right here called Geo. You click that. It will drop down to Languages and Locations. Go ahead and click Locations, and it’ll open up a map here. These ones are the United States, because all of our sessions have been mostly coming from the United States, but if you do advertise in other countries, it will show you where your traffic is coming from. 20 sessions from Australia, 11 from Russia, 32 from Canada, but you can see that the majority of them are coming from the United States here. These are the visitors that are coming to your website and where they’re coming from.
If we scroll down, it breaks it up per countries, so you can see United States is obviously number one, and then it breaks down United Kingdom, India, Canada. The amount of sessions here, these are just kind of like rogue website visits, so it’s not very important. For the majority of the people that are going to be watching this video, I’d imagine that you only advertise in the United States, but you can also if you wanted to see similar data to what where we doing here in another country, you’d obviously just click another country. We’ll go ahead and click on the United States here.
The cool thing about this is that you can really go as granular as you want. You can see a similar graph here, a graph, image, whatever you want to call it. That shows all of those 11 or 1200 sessions, whatever that number was, broken up per state here. We can still see where those users are coming from. Most of them are from California, makes sense, because we’re based out of California. Then if we scroll down, we can see it broken up per state.
Now, why is it useful to see this kind of information broken up per state? Well, the good thing about this is we can see our goals within here, and more importantly, we can see the goal conversion rates. One of the things we could do is, we can look at this data over a much longer period of time. Let’s say we wanted to look at, let’s say I wanted to say, what has been the state with the highest conversion rate for the past year, or maybe like year-over-year, if you wanted to look at 2015 versus 2014, previous years. You can look at where the majority of your conversions are coming from, and more importantly, we can actually make changes based on that data.
Let’s go ahead and use what we have in front of us and pretend that this data is statistically significant, and that this is over a long period of time, so like let’s say that this is 6 months worth of data. The main column that I like to use here is goal conversion rates. Now, you obviously want to make sure that you have the correct goal selected. You can select All Goals, or you can drill down on one of your, let’s say, Webinar Registration Form is the one that you’re most concerned with and the rest of them are just not that important, you can obviously select what you want. We’ll just use All Goals for now.
A side note here, it’s kind of a tangent. If you do have a bunch of different goals, you can set goal values on this goal. If a webinar registration is worth like 10 times as much as an eBook form download, then you can set goal values, and instead of using goal conversion rate, you could use the goal value as well in this analysis, but anyways that’s kind of a tangent.
Goal conversion rate is probably the most important one to be looking at here, and what we can do is we can look at per state which ones have the highest goal conversion rates. We can actually just click on this column and it’ll organize it. These top ones are, obviously they’ve only had one sessions, so it’s not statistically significant. The other way around, we can also do the ones at the lowest conversion rates. We can see which ones have never converted at all.
Now, if we organize by sessions again here, we can see that California has … The average account goal conversion rate here per state is 12.33%. Usually what I do is I set kind of a plus or minus to the average. Anything that is over that average, I’ll make bid increases on, and anything that is below that average, I’ll make bid decreases on. I think I said that right. The goal conversion rate is 12%. We could make, let’s say the plus or minus was 3%, so anything above 15% we want to increase on, anything below 9% we want to decrease on, and anything in between that 9 and 15, we would just kind of consider average. We don’t really want to touch it.
Here in California, we can see the conversion rate is 16.89%, which is really high for the rest of the account. You can see it’s higher than any of the other numbers on the screen. In this California one or maybe in, it looks like Illinois and Florida, the conversion rates are really high, so what we can do is within AdWords we can add bid modifiers to bid more aggressively for people coming from IPs that are in those states, so Illinois, Florida, California.
That way if someone from one of those states, since we know the conversion rates in those states are higher, if someone from those states triggers one of your keywords in a search campaign on AdWords, we can be bidding more aggressively for that traffic because we know it converts better. Now, the inverse is true as well. These ones that are lower like Oregon, Virginia, Texas, we could add bid modifiers to our campaigns to bid less aggressively in those states, because we know that the conversion rate is lower. If Oregon has a 6.15 conversion rate, I mean that’s half of the account average, there’s no reason that we should be bidding the same on those clicks as the clicks that are coming from California, because California conversion rates are more than twice as much as Oregon. That’s kind of how we use that report.
Another thing that’s cool is that obviously not everybody is advertising within the United States. Again, I mentioned that you could look at another country. You could look at provinces in Canada, or whatever you wanted to look at. You can also drill down to even further. Let’s say we want to drill down on California here, or let’s say you’re a smaller business that only advertises in certain cities within the state. This report would obviously be useless, because you’re not advertising to people that are in other states besides the state that you’re in. We can drill down on that state, and here you can see the same type of report, but it’s broken up per city. Now, we can see the average conversion rate is 16.89%, and we can see which of these states is kind of above or below that mark.
Assuming that this data is statistically significant, meaning that we have enough sessions here, then we can go ahead and make bid modifier increases and decreases on our account to be allocating the traffic away from states and cities and geographic locations that are underperforming and put it towards the campaigns that are performing really, I’m sorry, the geographic locations that are working well. Anyways, that’s kind of an overview of all that.
We’ll go into mobile here. Mobile is similar. We click the Geo drop-down box for the mobile report. You’re going to be clicking the Mobile drop-down box. Again, all of this is under the Audience tab on the left-hand side here. You’ll click the Mobile drop-down box and then just click Overview. This report is so simple. I love this report, because what you can do is … I check on this every month for our clients, but you can look over a longer period of time, and I often do if I want to see like, okay, what has been the performance over a whole entire year. Some clients are focused on quarterly reports, so we do quarterly reports on this kind of stuff.
Yeah, basically if we scroll down here, it’s going to break everything up into three categories: desktop, mobile and tablet. Now, we can’t make adjustments on tablet in AdWords, so this one is kind of irrelevant, but we can make adjustments on our mobile devices. We can add bid modifiers within the campaign to bid more aggressively or less aggressively based on whether or not those users are coming from a mobile device or a non-mobile device.
Here we can see. We’re going to be looking at the same stats here, goal conversion rates, so again set your date range, set the conversions that you want to be looking at here. You can see that the account average goal conversion rate is 10.38%, desktop is actually outperforming the average, whereas mobile is severely underperforming at only 2.3%. Now if I were to see data like this, we would apply the same strategy that we did in the Geographic Report Analysis, is that we would bid more aggressively for the devices that are performing well, so in this case desktop, and we will bid less aggressively for things that are underperforming, in this case mobile.
What we could do is add a bid modifier to our campaign. Let’s say if someone is coming from a mobile device, we want to be bidding, let’s say, half as much. Normally we’d be bidding $3, as an example. If they come from mobile, it will only bid a dollar fifty. It’s pretty straightforward. Again, same concepts, reallocating those funds from our underperforming devices, mobile here, and towards the devices that are doing well, desktop.
Anyways, I’ll move forward here. I wanted to talk about why we use Analytics over AdWords. The reason that I prefer to use Analytics, a lot of it is because of the segments that we can set. I’m not always looking at, I’m sorry, paid traffic. Sometimes we’re also looking at and analyzing organic traffic, referral traffic, whatever. I don’t always just want to be only looking at CPC.
The reason that Google Analytics is great is because it’s capable of doing everything. A lot of people get intimidated by Analytics because they’re used to using AdWords and so they don’t really want to change because they feel good with that. The thing is everything that you can see in AdWords, you can also do in Analytics. You just need to get used to the interface. Now, it takes a while to adjust like any adjustment to any kind of interface in anything, but once you get used to this and you get used to using segments, I mean they even have a section within Analytics under Acquisition called AdWords, and you can view all of the same things that you can see within AdWords under here.
Like we’re looking at conversion rates on devices and geographic locations, we can also look at conversion rates on our campaigns here. These are kind of the same things that we’re looking in AdWords. We’re just looking at the campaigns. You can still see clicks. You can still see costs. You can still see cost per click. Obviously, you’re going to have to make adjustments to things like bids and whatnot within AdWords, but analyzing this traffic in Analytics is significantly more efficient just because we’re capable of doing so much more on this platform.
We can do the device, I’m sorry. We can do the geographic in the device reports within AdWords, however, they are less accurate. The data gets pulled into Analytics and then it gets imported into AdWords. That’s just kind of how it works. Sometimes what we’ve found in the past is that we’ll see lower numbers getting reported on AdWords, because some of that data for whatever reason gets lost. Not really sure why, but it’s a pattern we’ve seen. Again, Analytics is just kind of the, it’s what you should be using if you’re wanting to be using the optimal platform for data analysis.
Anyways, the last thing I want to talk about here is a little bit of a goal creation. If we go to Admin in the top here. Over here under View, there is a section that says Goals. Now, I always want to create goals in Analytics, because, well, it’s kind of the same reason that we use Analytics as a platform because it’s more accurate. Now, the cool thing about Analytics is, what kind of makes it better than AdWords is: If we want to track something in AdWords, let’s say like a remarketing conversion of some sort or someone filling out a form or something within AdWords, we have to insert code on every single page of our site every single time we want to create a conversion for that. Analytics is much better, because there’s only one analytics code that we put on every page to have this operate just so we can track the clicks and sessions. I’m sorry, yeah, like the sessions and whatnot within Analytics.
As long as that Analytics code is on our page, we can make whatever goal we want and we don’t have to mess with the code at all. While Analytics might look more complicated just because you’re used to AdWords and you don’t really want to change, in the long run Analytics is going to be less complicated because we don’t have to be messing with the code. I’m not a coding person. Usually I just kind of forward that kind of stuff to web developers and “Okay, put this on the page,” and then I just kind of hope that they do it. Not having to go through that process makes it so much better.
The other cool thing is, when we do create a goal in Analytics, we can also just directly import any goal we want from Analytics to AdWords, because they’re already linked. If we create like, you can see in this case I could download eBook form or download webinar form. Whenever someone fills out one of our forms, that goal will also show up in AdWords and we don’t have to set up any kind of conversion tracking in AdWords because we already did it in Analytics and it just directly imports over to AdWords.
Another cool thing is that we can pull assisted conversions from Analytics, one of the problems with AdWords that we’ve had in the past, and AdWords has gotten better about their multichannel tracking. Honestly, I think that eventually AdWords is going to be kind of on the same level as Analytics, but right now Analytics is in most cases strictly better. We can look at the conversions where people, like let’s say somebody came to your website and they looked around, but then they left. Then they came back 2, 3 weeks later and they decided to look at the website again. They’re like: “You know what, I want to try these guys out. I’m going to go ahead and try out this like 14-day trial, or download the eBook form or the webinar form or whatever.”
If they go through that process, Analytics still tracks as its conversion, so we can still see the people that are coming back to the site. Whereas in AdWords, it defaults to only track people who immediately convert. It only tracks conversions for people that come to the site and then immediately convert. Now the problem with that, is that sure those conversions are worth more because it’s simple and it just gets done quickly. They come to the site, they convert. That’s it. The problem is that, for a lot of our clients the majority of their conversions, especially in something like a remarketing campaign where we’re trying to entice people to come back to the site, not tracking assisted conversions in a campaign like that is dump, because that support of the campaign is to get people to come back to the site and convert. Again, I’m changing string a little bit here, but there’s just so many reasons that we prefer using the Analytics platform for analysis on these kinds of reports, conversions, the geographic analysis, the mobile analysis, etc.
Anyways, that’s overview of why we prefer Analytics over AdWords and a couple other reports that I think are extremely important to be looking at, at least once a month for your campaign. I hope you guys enjoyed this video, and I will see you guys next week in my next video blog.
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