Google Analytics provide a tremendous resource for all marketers but there are three specific Google Analytics reports that can provide a boom for those doing paid search on Google Adwords. Not only will these reports provide fantastic insight into your adwords account but they can also be used to provide actionable data that you can use to improve your PPC performance.
1. Location Report
Where to find this report: Audiences > Geo > Location
The locations report in Google Analytics provides valuable information about where site visitors are converting geographically and this can be used to optimize an AdWords account. Say for example you see most of your conversions coming from your home state while out of state visits are more prone to bounce or not convert. With this report you will be able to optimize your PPC campaigns from a geographic standpoint perhaps geo-targting one location over another or even excluding a poor performing location.
In this report you will see the visitors by country first in a map, which is nice for those of us who like graphical and visual representation, then in chart form below. Clicking on the countries will drill down to further information like state and city.
To make this report work for you determine the highest converting locations, based on your goals (e.g., highest conversion rate or top revenue). Then add them to the AdWords campaign and increase the bid adjustment (e.g., +15% on top locations). As mentioned you can also do the reverse and find a location that is sending irrelevant or poor performing traffic and exclude it from your search campaigns.
2. Devices Report
Where to find this report: Audiences > Mobile > Overview
This report is worth its weight in digital gold as it will show you the devices people use when they visit your website. You will see the traffic from desktops, tablet, and mobile devices.
The overall report will show potential for improvements in AdWords. To see actual paid search traffic, click “choose a segment”, then select paid traffic. Use this data to make bid adjustments for devices and optimize mobile ad copy. You make notice that traffic from the mobile channel performs poorer than traffic from tablets or desktop. This indicates a poor mobile experience that you should address. This report has been very eye opening for many businesses and it will be for yours as well.
3. Landing Pages Report
Where to find this report: Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages
The landing pages report will show the top trafficked pages on the site. This can present opportunities for expansion in AdWords if you see converting traffic focusing on a specific page, such as a brand page, which you can add to your Adwords account as a new campaign or adgroup. It can also be used to show which pages are better suited for being landing pages. All webpages are not created equal in the paid search world and you want those that are not only relevant to the ad and keyword but also one that provides a great overall experience. This report will show you just that.
Pages with very high bounce rates (e.g., above 80 percent) shouldn’t be used as landing pages for AdWords since they are showing low engagement with the site. Check the Adwords account to ensure they are not being used. On the other hand, pages with low bounce rates could be great candidates to expand into new content or product areas.
You can find a wealth of actionable data and information in Google Analytics. Start with these three reports, there are many others, then let us know what other reports you find most useful in the comments.