BA 850
Sustainability Driven Innovation

Microtesting Analytics


Microtesting Analytics

Understanding Results of Your Microtesting

After you have deployed the microtest, you will want to not only understand how each proposition PPC ad performs, but also how long the landing page is able to hold visitors, how many signups/purchases you gain from each (referred to as "conversions") and other interesting data which may pop up.

The most efficient way to do this (and again, the method which will provide you with seemingly endless tutorials/resources/help) is to link your Google AdWords with Google Analytics. This is a one-minute task, is handled semi-automatically within something like Unbounce or Squarespace, and allows you to understand the entire picture of how your propositions are performing relative to each other and overall.

Here is a brief video on the most common metrics for AdWords. Please watch the following 3:09 video.

Video: Understanding AdWords reports and statistics (3:09)

Credit: Google Ads. "Understanding AdWords reports and statistics." YouTube. February 10, 2014.
Click here for a transcript of the Understanding AdWords reports and statistics video.

Ted owns Ted's Travel a small travel agency. He advertises with AdWords for two main reasons to get his brand message about his tour packages out there and to increase web visits to keep pages on a site. When Ted first started using AdWords he saw lots of statistics and reports, but didn't know where to begin. That all changed when Ted decided to spend 15 to 30 minutes a week reviewing his account. Now that he knows his way around AdWords those statistics and reports help them make informed decisions about his ads, know specifically where he needs to make changes to his account, and see what's worked and what hasn't over time. Let's watch just what Ted does during one of his weekly check-ins.

Ted's AdWords account is structured with one campaign and to ad groups. he starts on the campaign screen scanning the big picture statistics he finds there. Then he checks his ad groups have to see how he's doing with promoting his brand he checks his impressions. To see how visible his ads are and whether people are click-through to his website, he looks at average position and click through rate. Next he clicks into each ad group to see how individual ads are performing. Since Ted checks these stats routinely he's customized this screen to make it easier to see exactly what he's interested in. Ted is pleased with how his ads are performing so he doesn't make any big adjustments, but he's always on the lookout for new ideas.

So, next he looks at three reports that give him new perspectives on his account. First Ted scans the search terms report to see specific searches that led to someone clicking on one of his ads. He sees that searches for Grand Canyon rafting trips generated clicks. Since he sells this package he knows that he should create a new ad for rafting trips. Next, Ted monitors the auction insights report to see how he compares with other advertisers in the same options. When he sees that other advertiser's ads show up higher on the search results page than his ads he decides to make a few of his keywords more competitive by increasing their bids.

Finally, the top movers report is Ted's personal favorite because it shows him which of his ad groups or campaigns are on the move both up and down. When he sees that his cruise packages ad group is attracting more attention, he decides to build out his keyword list there. Ted finishes his weekly check-in feeling good about his campaigns performance and even better understanding exactly why his campaign is performing so well. For more information about understanding reports and statistics visit the AdWords Help Center.

The video below is specifically about the linking of AdWords and Google Analytics, and its value in allowing us to understand more about the path and actions visitors take after clicking an ad. Please watch the following 4:31 video.

Video: Benefits of Linking your Google Analytics and Adwords Accounts (4:31)

Credit: Google Analytics. "Benefits of Linking your Google Analytics and Adwords Accounts." YouTube. June 24, 2013.
Click here for a transcript of the Benefits of Linking your Google Analytics and Adwords Accounts video.

If you have both Adwords and Google Analytics accounts, but haven't yet linked them, you're missing out on valuable insight into your advertising, website, and business as a whole. Adwords and Google Analytics each provide important information, but independently, they don't provide the full picture. Adwords helps your customers find you and provides detailed reporting on ad spend and performance. In your Adwords account, you can see which keywords and ads users click or view, and which directly generate conversions. But Adwords alone only gives you part of the picture. It doesn't show you what customers do on your site after they click or view your ads, but before they convert. Google Analytics fills in this missing information. It helps you see the different paths that visitors take through your site, how visitors are engaging, or not engaging, with your content along the way, and what site factors influence conversion rates, and ultimately, your bottom line. However, without linking accounts, you can't tie this rich information about user behavior back to the specific Adwords keywords or ads that generated the visits. By linking your Analytics and Adwords accounts, you can see the full picture of customer behavior, from the ad click or impression, all the way through your site to conversion.

When you link accounts, you can see additional data that help you optimize your Adwords campaigns and make more informed business decisions. For example, in the Adwords reports inside of Google Analytics, you can view on-site engagement metrics such as Bounce Rate, Pages per Visit, and Average Visit Duration, for each of your Adwords campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and ad texts. These types of metrics help you understand if your Adwords account is driving the right kind of traffic to your site. And they also help you identify areas of your site that you might need to improve. In these reports, you can also see your Adwords cost data and performance metrics, like Average Cost Per Click, Clicks, and Clickthrough Rate. Together, the Adwords and Analytics data in these reports help you better understand what you're spending in your Adwords account and what your return on investment is.

In addition to seeing Adwords information inside your Analytics account, you can easily import your Analytics goals and Ecommerce transactions into Adwords Conversion Tracking, allowing you to make more informed refinements to your campaigns without ever leaving your Adwords account. If you are using Adwords Conversion Optimizer to manage your bids, it will automatically start using Analytics goals and eCommerce transactions once you've imported them into Adwords. This additional performance data better enables Conversion Optimizer to show your ads when you are more likely to get conversions. You can also important Analytics metrics into your Adwords account. You can see Bounce Rate, Average Visit Duration, Pages per Visit, and Percent New Visits on your Adwords Campaigns and Ad groups tabs.

Linking accounts also gives you richer data in the Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels reports. You can see which specific Adwords keywords, ad groups, and campaigns are initiating or assisting conversions, in addition to driving them directly. If you're using Google Display Network remarketing, linking your Adwords and Analytics accounts allows you to extend your remarketing capabilities and build unique lists based on Analytics dimensions and metrics. You can reach people who have already visited your website and deliver ad content specifically tailored to the interests they expressed during those previous visits.

So, link your Adwords and Google Analytics accounts today to see the full picture. And discover how to optimize your Adwords campaigns and improve the performance of your business. Log in to your Google Analytics or Adwords account to link your accounts today. For more information, visit or

A Note on Your Early Adopters

Aside from what you will learn from the quantitative side of analytics, you can not underestimate pairing those learnings with the qualitative insights you can gain from talking to early adopters. Whether it is something formalized such as an online survey to those visitors who took an action, or simply a phone call a week later to understand their thoughts and expectations, this small step can be invaluable to understand the story behind the analytics.

It is important for us to remember there are people represented by all of those analytics and metrics, and if they have purchased or signed up for more information, their identity is known. What you may find is that you can fall into a certain "stock ticker" mentality as you sift through all of the analytics, where you believe that all answers can be found in the numbers. Sometimes you may find that an ad did extremely well in bringing people in to the landing page, but the landing page did not "convert" well... or that the landing page did an excellent job of keeping visitors, but few purchased or took action. These are the cases when you would want to take those in the minority and contact them to see if there were obstacles they saw, but were able to overcome.

For example, in the case where visitors are spending an average of 10 minutes on the landing page but not taking action, you can take the small handful of those who did order and talk to them. They may say things like, "I had a really hard time finding the order box, but when I did, I was OK," or "the site was really, really slow," or "the video crashed twice, but worked the third time, and that's why I bought." Any one of those insights will help you clear the analytic fog to understand what may have been the obstacles causing the majority of others to leave.

Five word summary - Analytics to match microtesting tactics