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Optimize Your Return on Ad Spend with Google Analytics

David Halmai, B.Comm.
  •  July 3, 2023


If you’re spending money on online advertising, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. But how do you know if your ads are working? How do you measure the impact of your campaigns on your sales and conversions? How do you test different versions of your ads and landing pages to find the best ones?

Learn more about pay-per-click ads at the following links about How to Write Text Pay-Per-Click Ads that Get Clicks and Why Use Pay-Per-Click Advertising for Your Business.

That’s where Google Analytics comes in. Google Analytics is a powerful tool that lets you track and analyze your website traffic, including the visitors who come from your ads. You can use Google Analytics to:

  • Track sales and revenue from your ads
  • Track phone calls and other offline conversions from your ads
  • Split test your ads and landing pages to find the best performers
  • Optimize your ad spend based on your goals and budget

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to use Google Analytics to optimize your return on ad spend (ROAS). I’ll also share some tips and best practices to help you get the most out of your data. Let’s get started!

How to Track Sales and Revenue from Your Ads with Google Analytics

One of the most important metrics to track when it comes to online advertising is sales and revenue. You want to know how much money you’re making from your ads, and how much it costs you to acquire each customer.

To track sales and revenue from your ads with Google Analytics, you need to set up two things: ecommerce tracking and conversion goals.

Ecommerce Tracking with Google Analytics

Ecommerce tracking is a feature of Google Analytics that lets you track transactions and revenue on your website. You can see how much money each visitor spends, what products they buy, how many items they add to their cart, and more.

To enable ecommerce tracking, you need to add some code to your website that sends transaction data to Google Analytics. You can find the instructions on how to do this here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009612

Once you have ecommerce tracking set up, you can see reports on your sales and revenue in Google Analytics. You can also segment your reports by different dimensions, such as source, medium, campaign, keyword, etc. This way, you can see how much revenue each of your ads generates, and what is your ROAS for each campaign.

Conversion Goals with Google Analytics

Conversion goals are another way to track sales and revenue from your ads with Google Analytics. Conversion goals are actions that you want your visitors to take on your website, such as filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a file, etc.

To set up conversion goals, you need to go to the admin section of your Google Analytics account, and click on “Goals” under the “View” column. Then, you can create a new goal by choosing a template or a custom option.

You can set up different types of goals, such as destination goals (when a visitor reaches a specific page), duration goals (when a visitor spends a certain amount of time on your website), pages per session goals (when a visitor views a certain number of pages), or event goals (when a visitor performs a specific action).

You can also assign a value to each goal, which is an estimate of how much each conversion is worth to you. For example, if you know that each lead from your website has an average value of $50, you can assign that value to your lead generation goal.

Once you have conversion goals set up, you can see reports on your conversions and goal values in Google Analytics. You can also segment your reports by different dimensions, such as source, medium, campaign, keyword, etc. This way, you can see how many conversions each of your ads generates, and what is your ROAS for each campaign.

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How to Track Phone Calls and Other Offline Conversions from Your Ads with Google Analytics

Sometimes, your visitors may not complete their purchase or conversion online. They may prefer to call you or visit your store instead. But how do you track these offline conversions from your ads with Google Analytics?

There are two main ways to do this: using call tracking software or using offline conversion import.

Call Tracking Software

Call tracking software is a service that lets you track phone calls from your website and ads. It works by assigning a unique phone number to each of your campaigns or landing pages. When someone calls that number, the software records the call details and sends them to Google Analytics.

To use call tracking software, you need to sign up for a service that offers this feature. Some examples are CallRail, CallTrackingMetrics, Invoca, etc. You can find more options here: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/marketplace/#category=call-tracking

Once you have call tracking software set up, you can see reports on your phone calls in Google Analytics. You can also segment your reports by different dimensions, such as source, medium, campaign, keyword, etc. This way, you can see how many phone calls each of your ads generates, and what is your ROAS for each campaign.

Offline Conversion Import

Offline conversion import is a feature of Google Ads that lets you upload offline conversion data to your Google Ads account. You can use this feature to track conversions that happen outside of your website, such as store visits, appointments, sales, etc.

To use offline conversion import, you need to collect some data from your customers or leads, such as their name, email, phone number, etc. You also need to assign a unique ID to each of your ads or landing pages. Then, you need to create a spreadsheet with the following columns:

  • Google Click ID (GCLID): This is a parameter that Google Ads adds to the URL of your ads or landing pages. You can capture this parameter using a hidden field on your website or a custom script.
  • Conversion Name: This is the name of the conversion action that you want to track, such as “Store Visit”, “Appointment”, “Sale”, etc.
  • Conversion Time: This is the date and time when the conversion happened, in the format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS.
  • Conversion Value: This is the value of the conversion, in your currency.

You can find more details on how to create and upload your spreadsheet here: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/2998031

Once you have offline conversion import set up, you can see reports on your offline conversions in Google Ads. You can also segment your reports by different dimensions, such as source, medium, campaign, keyword, etc. This way, you can see how many offline conversions each of your ads generates, and what is your ROAS for each campaign.

How to Split Test Your Ads and Landing Pages with Google Analytics

Split testing (also known as A/B testing or multivariate testing) is a method of comparing different versions of your ads or landing pages to see which one performs better. You can use split testing to optimize your ad copy, headlines, images, colors, buttons, offers, etc.

To split test your ads and landing pages with Google Analytics, you need to use two tools: Google Optimize and Google Ads Experiments.

Using Google Optimize for Split Tests

Google Optimize is a tool that lets you create and run split tests on your website. You can use Google Optimize to test different variations of your landing pages and see how they affect your conversions and revenue.

To use Google Optimize, you need to sign up for a free account here: https://optimize.google.com/

Then, you need to install the Google Optimize code on your website. You can find the instructions on how to do this here: https://support.google.com/optimize/answer/6314801

Once you have Google Optimize set up, you can create a new experiment by choosing a goal (such as a conversion goal or an ecommerce goal), a target page (such as your landing page), and a hypothesis (such as “Changing the headline will increase conversions”).

Then, you can create different variations of your target page by using the visual editor or the code editor. You can change any element on your page, such as text, images, colors, buttons, etc.

You can also set up targeting rules to determine who will see each variation of your page. For example, you can target visitors based on their location, device type, browser type, behavior, etc.

Finally, you can start your experiment and let Google Optimize randomly assign visitors to each variation of your page. You can monitor the results of your experiment in Google Optimize or in Google Analytics. You can see how each variation affects your goal metrics and revenue metrics. You can also use statistical significance tests to determine which variation is the winner.

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Google Ads Experiments with Google Analytics

Google Ads Experiments is a feature of Google Ads that lets you create and run split tests on your ads. You can use Google Ads Experiments to test different variations of your ad copy, headlines, descriptions, extensions, keywords, and bids.

To use Google Ads Experiments, you need to go to the “Drafts & experiments” section of your Google Ads account. Then, you need to create a new experiment by choosing an existing campaign that you want to test.

Then, you need to create different variations of your ads by editing any aspect of your campaign settings. You can change any element of your ads or keywords,
such as text, images, bids, etc.

You can also set up targeting rules to determine who will see each variation of
your ads. For example, you can target visitors based on their location, device type browser type, behavior,

Finally, you need to start your experiment and let Google Ads randomly assign visitors to each variation of your ads. You can monitor the results of your experiment in Google Ads. You can see how each variation affects your performance metrics.

David Halmai, Ads Specialist

David Halmai, B.Comm.

David is a Senior Paid Search Specialist at Clicks Freak, with over 23 years of experience in the Digital Marketing space working with B2B and B2C companies, in a variety of verticals. He is a Google Ads Certified and loves to help others out where possible. His goal is to deliver both consumers and clients the best experiences possible.


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