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Measure the performance of your paid campaigns with Google Analytics

When you run a Google PPC campaign, it’s easy to monitor your spending and ROI, as it’s all a part of Google AdWords. You can automatically see the number of clicks you’ve had on particular ads, approximately how much each click has cost you, and ultimately your return on investment.

Whilst AdWords and Analytics are extremely helpful tools, there’s no way to automatically measure ROI within non-Google campaigns. However, the Cost Data Upload tools within Google Analytics allow us to do just that.

You can now upload information on costs of your non-Google paid campaigns to Analytics, and perform ROI analysis in order to compare campaign performance for all of your online advertising and marketing investments. This technique is especially helpful within E-commerce websites, as you can directly compare online marketing / ad costs with product revenue.

Here’s how to do just that:

1 – Tag your campaign URL’s within Analytics.
When you add links to your online non-Google adverts, edit the URL so that it includes a tracking parameter. The main dimensions you can track are the Campaign Name, Source, Medium and Keyword. For example, if you were setting up an online advert for a Women’s Clothing Company, you could link back to your website using the following link:

www.myclothingwebsite.com/?utm_campaign=Accessories%2BSale&utm_source=Clothing%2BVoucher%2BWebsite&utm_medium=Voucher%2BLink&utm_term=Necklaces

See the table below for the tracking parameters required to set up these dimensions, and the associated values within Google Analytics:

Whenever anyone clicks on the link you have added parameters to, their visit will be stored within Google Analytics, with the above associated values.

2 – Collect your Cost Data within a CSV File.
Now you need to retrieve and format your cost data. When adding this data to a CSV file, make sure that your column headers reflect those which are recognised by Google Analytics. Ensure that there are no missing values and that the values listed in the file match those being used as campaign tracking parameters, wherever possible.

Here is an example of what your CSV file should look like:

 

3 – Create a Custom Data Source.
Now you need to retrieve and format your cost data. Do so following these steps:

a)      Navigate to the admin settings within the Google Analytics web interface.
b)      Select a web property for which you’d like to create a custom data source.
c)       Select the Custom Definitions tab.
d)      Click the New Custom Data Source button.
e)      Name the data source and provide a description.
f)       Link one or more views (profiles) to enable cost data in reports.
g)      Click Create.

4 – Upload your Custom Data.
You now need to upload your custom data via the Google Analytics API. For more information on data Uploads within Analytics, please click here. You will also need to use the Google Cloud in order to do this. Find the Google cloud here.

5 – Reporting
Once you have uploaded your data, it can take up to 12 hours to be available within Analytics reports. When in Google Analytics, click on the Traffic Source section and then Cost Analysis Report to view information on your non-Google Ad costing and ROI.

For more information on tracking and monitoring ROI for non-Google online adverts or marketing, contact the professionals at Varn.