How to Understand Which Is the Best Advertising Channel for Your Business?

by Daniel Rogachev

A lot of small and medium businesses are using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Ads and other platforms in order to promote their products. That’s the easiest part – as long as you pay enough to those platforms, they will bring you some traffic. But what happens next? Do people convert? If not, why?

These are only part of the questions, that we are going to answer in this post, so let’s start, shall we?

Google Analytics

Yup, you guessed it right – that strange Google software, that has a ton of tabs, filters, options and what not. You can love it or hate it, but this is the key for understanding what really happens with people after they land on your website – if you set it up correctly, you could export a ton of valuable insights from the free platform. 

In order to start investigating on your ads’ performance, you should first have Google Analytics set up on your website – it is important to note that the code doesn’t work in retrospective way. You could see data from the time after you have installed the code. More on how to install the Google Analytics code, you could find here.

Now that you have your GA code installed, you can get start digging into the tons of data that Google Analytics provide. But where should you start?

Understanding customers’ online behaviour

In order to understand why people are not converting, you should first understand what the data in Google Analytics means. Let’s say you have Facebook and Google ads running. In order to get a general overview of the ads performance, you should go to Acquisition, All traffic and Source/Medium. From there, you could have a general glimpse of the quality of your ads. The main metrics you should watch here are the users, sessions, bounce rate and pages/session. If you have set up your events properly, you could also look at the conversion rate and revenue generated. Those would indicate you how good are your ads and targeting. Generally speaking, you would want the number of users, sessions and pages per session to be high, while the bounce rate should be low. The big thing here is that everything depends on the product/service that you are promoting and the ad strategy that you are currently running. One important note here, higher bounce rate doesn’t always indicate that your ads or targeting are bad, it could also indicate that your landing page is built perfectly and people do not need to go to other sections of your website. Find everything about the bounce rate here.

Finding which is your go to advertising channel

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Now that you have had a general overview of the quality of the traffic that your ads are bringing, we can go even deeper and see which ads are contributing the most for conversions. In order to check that, you should go to Conversions, Multi-channel Funnels, Assisted Conversions (check out the screenshot). The default primary dimension is MCF Channel Grouping, but you could easily change that by clicking on source/medium. From here, you could see how many conversions did a particular channel assisted (this channel “helped” the conversion to happen, but it wasn’t the one that ultimately led to the conversion) and for how many it was the channel, which led to the conversion. Before you start pouring all your money in one channel, take in mind that each platform has different context (for example searching in Google is one thing, while clicking on IG ad while casually browsing through your feed is a whole different thing).

Sweet, now you know how important each of the channels that you use is, but what is the typical conversion path, what do people usually do in order to convert? 

For that, you will need to go to Conversions, Multi-Channel Funnels, Top Conversion Paths (right below the section, which we were looking at in the last paragraph). Once again, you should switch to Source/Medium path in order to have a clearer view of the picture. From here, you could see what were the exact steps that people took in order to convert. 

Now that you have all that information, you could finally make the last decision and allocate money to the most effective and efficient channel. After you implement the changes, you should make sure that you do that auditing process every once in a while, so that you can judge your decision.

Advanced data analysis

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All of the above mentioned tactics are great if you are just starting and you want to know how are your ads performing. But if you want to understand EVERYTHING about your customers’ journey on your website, you should do a lot more than that. To start with, you should always use custom URLs, so that you know everything there is to know about a given click – source, medium, campaign, specific ad, etc. What is more, you should have set up correctly all of your goals and micro goals in GA, so you can accurately judge your ads performance. Given the fact that not all the data in Google Analytics is filtered, you should “normalize” some of the metrics. 

All of this takes a ton of time, research and effort, but it all pays out, as you can optimize the website in a way that makes customers convert easily. If you want help doing that, don’t hesitate to contact us at office@digitink.eu.

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