Dynamic duo: digital marketing analytics and web analytics.


By: Andres Castillo Ormaechea

Integrated digital marketing requires a holistic analysis across all channels and sources of data, from the relationship between search and display to the complimentary of social and mobile.

Marketing professionals often make decisions based on data from individual channels such as their website metrics.

Why marketing analytics matter?

There are three main features of marketing analytics that distinguish it from web analytics and they are: integration across different marketing channels, people centric data and closed loop data.

Integration across different marketing channels

As an example, consider a display ad that has a bid for a particular segment of its target market such as previous customers. Marketing analytics or the tools used would allow the organization to determine the impact of that particular ad compared to other marketing efforts such as email send or a blog post. This goes beyond simple metrics such as clicks or site visits.

People centric data

Lead Nurturing: is the process of developing relationships with the buyers at every of the sales funnel, and through every step of the buyers journey. It focuses marketing and communication efforts on listening to the needs of prospects and providing the information and answers they need. Basically what cambridge analytica did that was personalized marketing based on data.

Closed loop data

Taking information from a marketing channel and apply it to another channel. For example display ads are effective in generating conversions from social media leads. Social media leads -> Target display ads -> website conversion.

Making marketing analytics actionable

We can spend hours analyzing yet if we do nothing with insights gained then what is the point? Applied hollistically, marketing analytics data can point out areas of a marketing campaign that need optimization on both individual channel and multichannel basis to optimize ROI.

Measuring performance with Google Analytics

Metrics measured by the tool include site visits, bounce rate, page views, time on a site and more. It also helps webmasters understand user behaviour by explaining the route a user takes from one part of the site to another, which device they used and what content they spent the most time on.

Google Ads PPC formula is (next highest bidder / Quality Score) + 0,01. That means the higher the CTR and quality score the lower the CPC. Google Ads quality score is calculated based on the following:

  • Your click-through rate (CTR).
  • The relevance of each keyword to its ad group.
  • Landing page quality and relevance.
  • The relevance of your ad text.
  • Your historical Google Ads account performance.

A high CTR: 1% or higher means that an ad is relevant and appealing to users whereas a low CTR (less than 1%) means something is not working. The higher the CTR and quality score the lower the CPC.

Facebook Ads

If their algrithm beleives that the number of actions taken on your ad will be high you will get a priority in the bidding war. The display algorithm works with relevance score and estimated action rate.

  • PPC
  • Display Advertising

Facebook Ads comprises several attractive features some of which include vast audience size, user attention, extensive targeting options and organic reach decline.

Organic reach on Facebook has declined over time, which means that paid ads are receiving more exposure as Facebook ensures to show relevant content for users.

  • Boosting a post.
  • Promoting a page.
  • Sending people to a website.
  • Receiving installations of an app.
  • Increasing engagement in an app.
  • Reaching people near a business.
  • Raising attendance at an event.
  • Getting viewers to claim an offer.
  • Gaining video views.
  • Collecting leads for a business.

Facebook ads lets you select your type of audience when you set your budget with the following demographics: connections, location, interests, age, behaviour, gender, language.

Facebook Ads Manager Stats:

  • Is the ad running or not.
  • How many actions has this campaign received (performance).
  • How many people saw my campaign (reach).
  • How much did I pay on average for each action (cost).
  • How well is the audience responding tot he ad? (relevance rating).

Facebook Pixel: for tracking ads.

The importance of linking Google Analytics and Adwords.

Optimizing Adwords with Analytics goals (Audiences).

  • Import goals as Adwords conversions.
  • Create custom remarketing audiences in Google Analytics.
  • Use smart lists for automatically generated audiences.

A conversion in adwords means either a lead captured or a purchased completed.

A goal in Google Analytics can be many things:

  • Imported Adwords conversions.
  • Remarketing customised for organic or paid.
  • GA built smart lists.

Use Google Analytics metrics in Adwords reporting.

  • Understand which Adwords campaigns, ads, keywords drive on-site engagement.
  • Monitor % new sessions to learn which keywords attract new customers.

Analyze Adwords performance in Google Analytics.

  • Auto-tag your ads.
  • Segment user behaviour.
  • Use Google Analytics secondary dimensions on Adwords reports.
  • Use Adwords secondary dimensions in Google Analytics reports.

Best digital marketing metrics

  • Web traffic sources.
  • Brand awareness.
  • Cost per lead.
  • Website traffic leads.
  • Returning visitors.
  • Online conversion rates.
  • Lead conversion rates.
  • Click through rate.
  • Customer lifetime value.

How to choose digital marketing analytics tools.

Case study:

This is a fictional case study, and all analytics data, hyperlinks, URLs, and company information have no relationship to any existing organisation.

You are the current lead on a digital marketing project for a company called Love Donuts, which provides door-to-door delivery of donuts. The donuts are boutique, with each delivery personalized to the receiver and containing a handwritten note. In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, the business has hired your team to improve its online marketing efforts. It is hoping to capitalize on the romantic day to boost sales of its new range of pink, heart-shaped donuts.

Currently, its website has a promotional web page that contains a short article about the Valentine’s Day special. Customers can place orders through a link found at the bottom of the page. The link to the web page is www.lovedonuts.com/heart-shaped-box. Love Donuts has also purchased display and search ads through Google as well as a targeted Facebook ad. The budget for this campaign, which is to be run over two weeks, is US$4,000.

To begin, you ask your marketing analyst to compile an analytics report on the Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads data for the current campaign. The analytics report is presented below: Love Donuts Valentine’s Day special analytics report:

Google Analytics

Traffic from Facebook is the highest, with 42.86% of users being referred to the site from there. Most referrals appear to be coming from the Facebook page where a link to the blog page (i.e., www.lovedonuts.com/heart-shaped-box) was posted.

Traffic from the Facebook ad is also high, comprising around 10% of the overall Facebook referral traffic. The bounce rate on the webpage is high, at around 68%. Currently, the unique page views per session are around 1.74. The keywords focused on in the blog are “Valentine’s Day,” “donut,” “gift,” and “romantic.”

Google Ads

The click-through rate (CTR) for the display ad is 0.14%, while the search ad shows a CTR of 1.91%. The current cost per action (CPA) is about US$8 (as calculated by number of clicks, cost-per-click, and number of conversions). The price of a custom donut gift box is US$35, and the cost to produce one box is US$25. The display ad has shown about 300 impressions in the last month, mostly on websites related to beauty and fashion.

Facebook Ads

The Facebook ad has been set up to target females aged 21–25 situated in the same city as Love Donuts (i.e., Boston, MA). The Facebook ad has received double the impressions of the Google Ad and has a high CTR of 3%.

The owner of Love Donuts has explained that they would like to understand their current campaign better, with a view to adjusting their strategy. Sales have not been as high as expected, and the owner has a sense that the business might be targeting the wrong audience.

Considering the business goal(s) of the campaign, which metrics can be used as measurable outcomes to gauge accomplishment of the goal(s)? What do the metrics reveal about the accomplishment of the goal(s)?

What could be the reasons for some of the results seen in this case study example, such as the high bounce rate or low CTR on the display ad? In terms of integration, what observations can you make about how the website’s performance is related to its ad performance, and vice versa? List three observations and explain them.

Would you choose any other analytics tools or specific metrics to use for data gathering and analysis? If so, which tools or metrics would you use and why?

Case proposal:

Facebook traffic is 42.86% from which 10% is coming from Facebook Ads that are targeted to females from ages 21-25 in the local area of the shop. Facebook Ad impressions are high 600/month with a CTR of 3% which is high as well. Seems that a lot of traffic is coming from Facebook but there seems to be something wrong with the article that promotes the donut sales since the bounce rate is 68% and unique page views per session are 1.74 where the average is between 1.8 - 4.7.

The other assumption can be that Facebook Ads are bringing customers that convert to a sale since they are targeted with demographics and traffic coming from the Facebook Page post is high but not targeted for this type of campaign.

Google Traffic to the page can be somewhere in 57% or less. Google Display Ads CTR is low with 0.14% considering the average of 0.35% but it has a considerable amount of impressions which are 300/month. Could it be due to the fact that the target customers are just in categories of beauty and fashion?

For Google Search Ads CTR is high with 1.91% where the average is 1%. So it seems that keywords are performing well and CPA is 8$ that results in a profit of 2$ in CPA per donut box, so if a customer buys two donut boxes it would result in a profit of 12$ since the cost of a donut box is 35$ and the cost to produce one is 25$. I would implement a buy one get one half off promotion to boost profit with CPA’s.

I would remove efforts completely in Display Ads since CTR is low and poorly targeted and also lower efforts in Search Ads to then augment efforts in Facebook Ads that have a high CTR for a targeted niche locally that seems to be the source of the 10% that is performing well in sales.

Another assumption could be that there is something wrong with the article page. Maybe the link of the CTA is too low on the page and the content is not engaging to users so they scroll down to the bottom.

We can conclude that page performance is poor. It can be related to the content, technical performance or bad CTA strategy. On the other hand, Ad performance is doing well with targeted traffic coming from Facebook Ads and Google Search Ads.

Regarding the goals of the campaigns, we can conclude that brand awareness and visibility are being achieved and sales boost could be happening with Google Ads and Facebook Ads but we are missing conversion rate from Google Analytics in order to determine numbers in sales from this two traffic sources. Given that conversion rates from sources are unknown I would suggest to try and determine which traffic from Facebook is performant so either coming from the Facebook page or Facebook Ads. This could be done by turning off Facebook Ads for a couple of days and analyze page bounce rate after that. We could also do the same with Google Search and Display Ads.

Thresholds to keep in mind for :

  • Google Ads average CTR: 1%.
  • Google Display average CTR: 0,35%.
  • Facebook Ads average CTR: 0,90%
  • Page views average: between 1,8 and 4,7
  • Bounce rate average: between 41 and 55%.