Make better decisions in AdWords with your Google Analytics data

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 | 8:54 AM

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A version of the following post originally appeared on the Inside AdWords Blog.

Google Analytics users already know how useful it is to analyze advertising and web data together. Now we’re making it possible to use your Google Analytics data right in AdWords. After setting up AdWords to import your Google Analytics data, you’ll have access to key metrics like Bounce Rate, Pages Per Visit, and Average Visit Duration directly in the AdWords interface. With more performance data available right where you’re managing your campaigns, you can make better informed decisions and improve your AdWords ROI.

Using your Google Analytics data
With Google Analytics you can find insights that matter, including how visitors arrive at your website, how they use it, and how you can keep them coming back. Here are some ways you can take advantage of the new Google Analytics data available in AdWords to improve your results.
  • Attract more engaged users. If highly engaged users are an important goal, sort your ad groups to find the ones that deliver visitors who stay on your site the longest (“Average Visit Duration” or “Pages Per Visit”), and bid more for these.
  • Discover opportunities to convert more engaged visitors. You might find certain keywords or ads that have relatively low conversion rates, but great engagement metrics. You could lower your bids by a little and move on. Or you could see this as a great opportunity to convert clearly engaged visitors into buyers. By adjusting your offer, adding an incentive (like a coupon or discount code), or making your call to action more obvious and accessible, you might be able to improve your ROI and your conversion volume. To look for these types of opportunities, create a filter based on conversion rate and sort by Average Visit Duration, Pages per visit, or Bounce Rate.
  • Identify ads with badly matched landing pages or inaccurate targeting. Pages with both low conversion rates and low engagement metrics (low Average Visit Duration or High Bounce Rate) could indicate a poor landing page for a particular ad or keyword. It might also suggest inaccurate targeting. To identify and troubleshoot these problems, set up a filter for low conversion rate and low engagement rate and regularly monitor it. Since you’re using Google Analytics, you can easily set up A/B testing on the landing page using a Content Experiment.
Success in action
Casamundo, the biggest vacation rental listing service in Europe, has been an early tester of this new feature. They've used Google Analytics since 2008 and over the past 5 years they've grown and refined their AdWords campaigns to over 50 million active keywords across 10 languages. Their analysis shows that converting visitors research vacation rentals over an average of 7.4 visits, so understanding whether their ads and keywords can create strong engagement is vital to their business and how they optimize their AdWords campaigns. Seeing high bounce rates and low average time on site for a keyword means that the offer or destination page might not be a good match for that keyword.

Having easier access to Google Analytics data right in AdWords has helped Torge Kahl, Online Marketing Manager, at Casamundo make better decisions and make optimizations more quickly. According to Torge: 
“The combination of using both Google AdWords and Google Analytics has proved to be the perfect set of tools for us to achieve our goals, and we're very happy to see this combination get more integrated and powerful. Using Analytics data right within AdWords has let me better optimize our account and significantly improve the return on our AdWords investment."
More details
Please visit the AdWords Help Center for step-by-step directions on how to connect your Google Analytics profile data to your AdWords account and for more details. 

To exchange tips and ask questions of others, please visit the AdWords community. You can always contact AdWords support for help if you need it.

Posted by Dan Friedman, AdWords Product Manager