As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it has become increasingly important for PPC marketers to have access to accurate and comprehensive data in order to make informed decisions and maximize their campaigns' performance.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the latest version of Google's powerful analytics platform, offers advanced tracking and reporting capabilities for businesses of all sizes. With the shift towards a more privacy-focused approach, GA4 provides a more holistic view of user behavior across multiple touchpoints, making it an invaluable tool for PPC marketers.
However - no doubt there have been hiccups and issues a long the way. It's a brand new view and several professionals have cited how painstaking it still is to use:
In this article, we will explore the top five essential GA4 reports that every PPC marketer should be utilizing to track and optimize their campaigns. Whether you are new to GA4 or a seasoned expert, these reports will provide valuable insights and help you stay ahead of the competition in this ever-changing digital landscape.
So, let's dive in and discover how GA4 can help take your PPC campaigns to the next level.
1. Interests Segment Report
This report shows the types of interest segments (for Google Ads) of users who have purchased on your website.
2. Site Search Report
Beyond PPC, there are numerous other reasons why this report is helpful.
You may learn how users are using this Google Analytics 4 report to find the information they need on the website.
To find the Site Search report, navigate to Reports > Engagement > Events. Look for the event “view_search_results” and click on it.
Once clicked, navigate to the page's "search_term" custom parameter card.
A few key observations on search term data:
You need to establish a new custom dimension (event-scoped) before utilizing this report so that the search term results will appear in it.
Only when the data reaches a minimal aggregate level will Google Analytics display it.
Basic information on the quantity of events and total users for each search phrase is provided, even though it isn't as comprehensive as the old Site Search report in Universal Analytics.
3. Referrals Report
This report is highly underrated. The Referrals report shows the top websites that have sent traffic to your website and if any of those users converted. To find this report, navigate to -
Reports > Acquisition > Traffic Acquisition.
To view the websites from the Referral channel, click the “+ in the default channel group and choose “Session source/medium.”
The key features of this report can:
Help identify how users are finding the website.
Analyze high-quality vs. low-quality referral traffic to the website.
Allow you to create a list of top referral websites.
To take your PPC campaigns one step further, try creating a new “Placements” audience and test it in a new Google Ads Display campaign. This is a cost-efficient way to test expanding new PPC efforts responsibly because the referral websites chosen are known to provide high-quality traffic to your website.
4. Top Conversion Paths Report
As marketers, we’re often asked how “Top of Funnel” (TOF) or brand awareness campaigns are performing. ThisGoogleAnalyticsreporthelpsanalyzeandinterpretTOFbehavior.
If you’re running any type of campaign beyond search, this report is absolutely necessary. To find this report, navigate to Advertising > Attribution > Conversion Paths.
When drilling down to specific campaign performance, I recommend:
Add a filter that contains “Sessionsource/medium” to the specific paid channel in question (“google/cpc” for example)
Include an “AND” statement to the filter for“ sessioncampaign” specific to the TOF campaigns in question.
We discovered that more of the early and mid-touchpoints in the aforementioned sample should have given credit to our paid social advertising!
Finding the information required to back up the request for more marketing funding in TOF channels can be accomplished using this report. Everyone engaged benefits from it.
5. Geo-Location Report
The Locations report will show top users by city, but also revenue and conversion rate. This is a crucial step in optimizing and maintaining performance in PPC campaigns.
To find this report, navigate to Reports > User > User Attributes > Demographic Details. In the same example of the Interests report, change the default sort from “Country” to “Region.” Or add a secondary dimension to the report.
From there, sort the report by revenue or conversion rate to identify top-performing or low-performing regions. Make sure to add a filter for specific paid media channels or campaigns if you want to segment further.
In the example above, I see that Pennsylvania has the highest amount of revenue and sessions.
This indicates I should, at a minimum, test increasing bids in that region because of historical high performance.Simple optimizations, such as location bid adjustments, can make significant impacts over time on PPC performance.
The key features of this report can:
Cross-reference where PPC campaigns are showing to users and the amount of traffic sent to the website.
Identify any performance gaps based on region.
Provide optimization recommendations for top-performing regions.
In conclusion, GA4 offers a wealth of data and insights that are essential for any PPC marketer. By utilizing the five reports discussed in this post, you can gain a deeper understanding of your PPC campaigns and make more informed decisions to drive better results. From tracking conversion rates to understanding user behavior, GA4 is a powerful tool that should not be overlooked in your PPC strategy. So don't wait any longer, start implementing these reports and take your PPC campaigns to the next level.
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