Conversion rate optimization is an important part of PPC management.  No doi.  It’s a huge factor in the ways that we chose to organize our accounts and allocate our spend.  But it’s possible to see more than just conversion rate when looking at the performance of your landing page.  Whether you’re trying to promote brand awareness or create a lasting repeat customer list, your site has more end goals than mere conversions.  Here’s how you can use Analytics to really see what people are doing on your PPC landing pages.  We know about the conversions.  Give us the interaction.

The mysteries of the landing page review have been covered by PPC Hero before, but here are the basics (prepare for Excel glory):

1. Download ad performance report (making sure that you include conversions)

2. Use text to columns to remove backend tracking (if present) from your destination URL field. You should be able to use the delimited option with the ? symbol, but it all depends on the formatting of your URLs.

3. Sort all of your data by URL

4. Use Subtotals to find out your total number of clicks/cost/conversions.  Copy visible cells only and paste them into a new tab/workbook for your final calculations.  Next remove the ” total” from the different landing pages so you are left with only the URL.  With the data you subtotaled for each landing page you’ll be able to calculate cost per click, cost per conversion and conversion rate.

Follow those steps and you’ll have a nice little landing page report.  But with apologies to Senior Marketing Coordinator Bethany Harvey (who just barely breaks the 5’ mark), sometimes nice and little isn’t enough.  There’s data out there that is capable of making our landing page reports angry and big.  And don’t fret, it’s angry and big in a productive, often revelatory way.

The place that we’ll turn to in our mission of angry-ing up our landing page report is Google Analytics.  Under the Advertising menu on the left side of the screen you can select destination URLs.

That will show you things like pages/visit, average visit duration, % new visits, bounce rate, goal completions and revenue.  All of these things are great ways to gauge user interaction with your site.  They’re the kind of things that you’ll want to see included on your big, angry landing page report.

Metrics to View on Google Analytics

We are going to export this data to Excel.  Make sure that your date range matches up with the landing page report that you have standing by.  Analytics and AdWords don’t sync up as it is, so try and make sure that you control whatever variables you can in your reporting so they’re as close as Google-ly possible.

Also, Analytics isn’t as user-friendly as AdWords when it comes to downloading reports, so make sure that you’re viewing all of your available rows of destination URLs.  You may have to go up to 500 rows or even more.  If you need more than 500, you can manually change the number of rows displayed in the URL of the Analytics page you’re on.  Just manually type in the number of rows you need at the very end of it (…table.rowCount%3D500/ is what it will look like, so just change that 500 to what you need {thanks to a PPC Hero reader for that tip}).

Here is what the report will look like when downloaded from Analytics.

Analytics Data in Excel

Just like in AdWords, the landing pages appear more than once because of the backend tracking on the URLs.  Because of that, we’ll eventually need to use text to columns on this report as well.  But first we have some columns to add to this one.  Viewing new visit % and bounce rate is great and all, but it’s hard to total up that kind of information.  We are going to multiply all of the major metrics by Visits so that we have information that can be summed together for review in total.  Once we add in our new columns, this is what your report should look like:

New Columns in Excel for Google Analytics Data

It’s weird (at least for me) to multiply and divide time, but, since Excel is almost as sophisticated at HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, you can do it.  Do not worry.  We’ll now follow the exact same steps that we followed with our ad report from AdWords.

Text to columns>sort by URL>Subtotal Your Data

In this case, we’re going to sum up Revenue, Total Pages Visited, Total Duration, Total New Visits and Total Bounces.  Some people are lucky enough to track revenue in Analytics while others aren’t.  If you are running PPC for a lead gen company, it’s possible to look as revenue by dest. URL if your lead system tracks that field.  That just gives you more opportunities to use various Excel functions, which would be a very happy day.  If you don’t track dest. URL in your sales system, bother your IT people to get it included.  Not only is it valuable to look at this info, it’s also just fun.  Who doesn’t love studying actual money produced?

Once you have your subtotals on the Analytics report, you will collapse the report so you can only see the total for each landing page.

Excel Subtotals of Analytics Data

After copying visible cells only and then pasting them into their own tab/spreadsheet, you’ll have the aggregate of activity on these pages.  By removing the “ total” from the end of each landing page (remember to get rid of the space that leads the “total” for purposes of our upcoming VLOOKUP), these numbers will ready for insertion into your nice little landing page report from all that time ago.

Using VLOOKUP (which might be one of the most awesome formulas in Excel; no small feat), you can pull all of these new stats to your report from AdWords.  From there, you can divide:

  • Bounces by clicks to get bounce rate
  • New visits by clicks to get new visit percentage
  • Total duration by clicks to get average time on page
  • Total pages visited by clicks to get average pages visited
  • Total revenue by clicks to get average revenue.

That’s a lot of stuff, right?  So much stuff that it almost, maybe, possibly makes your report big and angry.  And the good news is that it also gives you a chance to quantify interaction with your site, particularly your paid search traffic.  This information is all there for the taking, it just needs a bit of massaging to get it into a manageable form.  If you haven’t already, start taking some extra steps to really quantify just how much interaction your landing pages have.  You’re paying for those clicks, after all.