For those companies that use both Google Analytics (the analytics software that tracks website traffic) and AdWords, Google’s most recent announcement concerning the joining of those two platforms could have big implications for their use.
The search giant’s own release notes from April 11 show what changes users can expect to see within Analytics within the next few weeks. Among a host of other updates, readers focused on AdWords will notice links between the two entities regarding the use of deeplinking, flexible auto-tagging, landing page URLs, and reports that include information about individual sitelinks.
First up, Google says it wants to make it easier for users to make changes in AdWords campaigns based on evidence found in Analytics reports. This sort of operation used to require users to manually search for AdWords campaigns that contained artifacts they noticed in Analytics. The manual process would consume a lot of time and could result in errors. This latest update changes the game by having Analytics display an AdWords logo next to the Analytics data shown on screen. One click on that logo sends users to their corresponding AdWords campaigns.
The auto-tagging update takes advantage of the Urchin Traffic Monitor (UTM) values users find in their Analytics dashboards. UTM values identify unique visitors, return visitors, click paths, and frequency of visits that apply to businesses’ websites. This helps Analytics users keep an eye on visitor behavior so future changes to a website will act on the behavior of the public. Users will now have the option to tell AdWords to automatically import campaign data into Analytics while preserving UTM values they have customized. This will allow data from AdWords (impressions, clicks, and cost data) to mix with visitor information as they relate to the campaigns, content, and keywords visitors engaged with when they clicked or tapped an advertisement.
Landing Page URLs
For some time, AdWords users have relied on the “Destination URL” field – the web address users click to get to a landing page – to track user visits. Google will now fully deprecate that field and replace it with the “Final URL” field, which will be the only landing page option. Final URL will always represent the web address of the landing page, and it will match the display URL in some form. An acceptable Final URL for the displayed URL of www.google.com could be, for instance, www.adwords.google.com, but it could not land at www.adwords.com.
Finally of note, Google will add sitelinks reporting to Analytics. AdWords campaigns use sitelinks to generate individual page links to separate sections of their webpages, such as to an “About” or “Services” section. Previously, consumers’ clicks on those links could not be tracked as separate entities within Analytics. Now, the new “Sitelinks” report in Analytics will have the power to track all clicks on individual sitelinks that lead to website visits.
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