With Google Analytics, you can evaluate ROI for all channels in a single dashboard.
- Press Releases
- Affiliate content (whitepapers)
- Affiliate advertising (banner ads)
- Paid search (Adwords)
Your website analytics plan should include Macro conversions (a lead, an online purchase) and Micro conversions (a document download, time on site values).
If you install the Google Analytics tracking script on your pages, search and referrals from social or affiliate sites will be automatically scored. Adwords can be added by simply “connecting” Analytics to correct Adwords account. The remaining channels require explicit tags or URLs to collect data. The Google URL builder is a simple way to add virtual campaigns. For a complex website, the Google Tag Manager can simplify tag management.
In order to evaluate ROI you need measures, i.e. goals. Analytics allows up to 20 explicit goals to be created. You can assign specific URL visits, “events” created by tags or time on site parameters, such as number pages views. Goals can also have dollar values. If you establish a cost per action (CPA) for each of the assigned goals, then Google ROI dashboard will provide insight for multiple channel and multiple conversion effects.
Consider this scenario: A visitor comes to your site from Google search. They view a couple of pages. A few days later they are reading EE Times and see you banner ad. Later on a Google search for a specific design issue takes the visitor to an article on your solution on one of your partner sites. The visitor returns to your site and registers for a demo. Each of these actions have value and the combination leads to the macro conversion the VP of Sales cares about. Marketing’s challenge is to optimize the channel investment to produce that end result.