Analytics is an important tool to utilise when running an SEM campaign. Without Google Analytics, it would be difficult to understand how the traffic from your SEM campaigns behaves when it reaches your site and therefore limit your ability to direct profitable strategies.

Google Analytics provides many different reports and tools that advertisers can take advantage of. Below the Search Factory team have highlighted one of our favourite reports that will allow you to identify a number of strategies to improve SEM campaign performance.

Landing Page Reports

The landing page report shows the most popular pages on your site that users first visit when they come to your website.  This report is great for SEM, as you can identify which of your destination URL’s are the most effective at driving conversions and user experience.

First, navigate to the Landing Page report in Analytics (Behaviour> Site Content> Landing Pages) and create a segment looking at your paid search traffic only. Sort your data by highest to lowest bounce rate. A tip here is to exclude pages that have only 1 visit – Try to include a reasonable amount of traffic per page for better averages, as this will allow you to make more informed decisions regarding strategies.

Next, you are going to need to identify common themes for each of the pages with high bounce rates. This may include, but is not limited to:

–          Is the page heavy with content or does it lack content?

–          Is the page vague in its offering or is it very specific?

–          Is there too many products shown, too many actions to choose from?

–          Is the lead capture form located above the fold, below the fold, on the right hand side or left hand side of the page?

–          Are call to actions consisted and clearly visible?

–          Does the page contain many images or rich media or is it lacking in this area?

–          Does the page rely on promotions and incentives?

Now, conduct the same analysis again, but this time sort your data by lowest to highest bounce rate. Look for the common themes and then compare these against your high bounce rate landing pages. By comparing these findings, you should start to gather an idea of areas within your campaigns that may require improvement. Some common actions that we generally come across are:

–          Ad Copy – If you are seeing high bounce rates across pages that present multiple products and offerings, then consider creating more specific ad copy. For example, highlight product attributes, pricing and shipping information so that you are setting the user expectation before the user click through.

–          Dest. URL’s – Sometimes it’s better to simply remove landing pages that are decreasing your ROI and re-direct your ads to those pages that are performing. Just remember – make sure the page is still relevant to your keyword!

–          A/B Split Testing – Create landing pages that are more relevant to your ads for split testing.

Another useful analysis to do with landing pages is to look at your return visitors to direct strategy for your remarketing campaigns. To do this, you will need to conduct the same analysis as above – However, you will need to alter your segment to include return visitors through paid search only.

Again, compare common themes between your pages that have high versus low bounce rates to identify actions for improvement. Some common actions include:

–          Negative Audiences – If you are seeing many users clicking through to pages associated with policies, shipping, refunds and so forth it may be worth adding a negative audience to your branded search AdGroups to avoid wasted spend and clicks – Let them access this information directly or through your organic links.

–          If you notice that many users engage with product specific pages, create specific remarketing lists for each of these products. Alternatively, you can still target broad product categories, but make your ad copy product specific with a product specific destination URL.

So there you have it – two quick reports that can help you to identify areas of improvement for your SEM campaigns just by looking at page attributes on your website.