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Understand marketing ROI using Google Analytics


The cover of our Loop how-to guide on understanding marketing ROI using Google AnalyticsThere are many paid-for systems out there to keep track of marketing activity and your return on investment (ROI). But one of the most powerful is also free – Google Analytics.


Far from being a way of just monitoring traffic to your website, Google Analytics offers a rich selection of tools for accurately assessing ROI for pay per click campaigns and conversions, social media and website goals.

In addition to being free it’s easy to set up. All it requires is a Google Analytics account and a snippet of code to be placed in your website to start tracking your success.


Monitor pay per click

For anyone who pays to advertise a product it’s important to know how much of an effect those ads are having on your sales. It is possible to see, without detailed analytics, whether advertising is working or not (i.e. simply linking ad spend to sales over a given period). But to really understand ROI, only Google Analytics will deliver the necessary stats, quickly.


Google Analytics can be easily linked with your Google AdWords pay per click account to deliver accurate information on how users are responding to your adverts, and which keywords are the most profitable. By using the Google Analytics functionality called ‘conversion tracking’ you can see what happens after customers click your advert, allowing you to invest more wisely and boost your ROI.


Track advertising

In addition to linking your Analytics account with AdWords, you can also monitor the performance of third-party advertising by tagging the URLs your adverts point to. You’ll then be able to see where your visitors have come from – whether that’s a banner ad, text ad or newsletter, and whether or not that advertising has resulted in a successful conversion.


Monitor social media traffic

Google Analytics can also be used to keep tabs on social media traffic to see what’s working, what isn’t and where your resources can be better invested. There is a great feature called ‘advanced segments’ that reveal social ROI.


Advanced segments allow you to isolate specific types of traffic within your Google Analytics reporting, such as the social media sites that send the most visitors to your website. You are able to discover more about the visitors who come to your site from Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social sites.


Set up goals for visitor flow

Specific goals can be set up in Google Analytics – to help determine which visitors are going where you want. It could be that you want to know how many people reached a page that tells them an order is complete, or when someone has completed a purchase for an item in a specific price range.


The path a visitor takes to a goal is known as visitor flow. Defining goals can help you think through how you want visitors to flow through your site – and are a great way of keeping track of conversions and making sure your offsite activities are driving the right kinds of visitors and having the right effect.


For small to medium sized businesses, using Google Analytics is essential for improving advertising spend and your allocation of resources. Ultimately, it’ll help make your business more profitable. Plus it’s free. So no excuses really.


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Even more info, just for you


Linking Google Adwords and Analytics - How to via Search Engine Land 


Using Google Analytics to measure social media traffic - Setting up an advanced segment and using goals via Social Media Examiner 


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