Google Analytics provides answers to many questions that can increase PPC performance. But are you asking it the right questions? Here are 4 questions you should be asking Analytics, and what the answers tell you.

1. Am I making money or losing money with PPC?

Tracking revenue and expenses is easy to do with Analytics.  If your web site does ecommerce, analytics ecommerce tracking gives you precise data on both AdWords spend and revenue.

If you do lead generation, you can use “Goals” in analytics to determine revenue by affixing an average revenue amount per lead. Of course some leads are more valuable than others. But if you know that it takes you ten lead leads to get a sale, and a sale is worth $1,000, then a lead, on average, is worth $100 (1,000/10). You then set up a goal in analytics that says a lead conversion is worth $100 to you.

Once you have either of these methods set up, you can set up a widget in your analytics dashboard that sums your revenue for any date period, and another that sums what you spent in Google. Compare the two numbers and make sure you’re generating an acceptable return on ad spend.

2. Does anyone use my “Search Box”? What for?

The search terms your users are using will tell you if you are missing important content on your pages. It will also tell you if you are sending irrelevant traffic to your site. Knowing this allows you to trim your keyword list, and/or add new content to your site that people are searching for. Scroll down to the second half of this post to learn how to start tracking these internal searches.

3. Does the “top of funnel” traffic I send through display network campaigns eventually turn into sales at an acceptable ROI?

Multi-Channel funnels will tell you your top conversion paths. This will show if you have a campaign that might not directly generate a lot of conversions, but leads to a second search, either organic or paid, that does convert. You’ll likely find that many of your Display campaigns help drive conversion beyond the first time a user clicks your ad. Check out this PPC Hero post on Multi-Channel Funnels for more information.

4. Should I worry about all this Location Targeting hubbub?

Google announced changes to their Location Targeting feature in the AdWords interface. This update came along with a claim that CPC has been reduced by as much as 36% when campaigns utilize geo-targeting. Does this mean Location Targeting is something you should be doing?

The answer to this question depends on your goals, and if you have any locations that drive you exceptionally qualified traffic or atypically underperforming traffic. To determine if you have any locations that you should specifically target or exclude, access location information on your visitors in Analytics. Simply log into your Analytics and go to “Visitors => Demographics => Location”. You can then select the specific country you want to analyze. A list of “Regions” will show next (which will be States in the U.S.)

At this point I start comparing states to see if any pull in a disproportionate amount of sales/traffic, based upon my goals. If some states perform much better than my goals, I like to create campaigns in AdWords that specifically target them. And if any locations bring in large amounts of traffic but have a poor CPL/CPA I might consider excluding them. Or creating a new campaign targeting that location only and adjusting bids in an attempt to bring my metrics into alignment with my goals.

What is the top question you use Google Analytics to answer?