Google Analytics is a powerful tool that allows businesses to assign credit to the marketing initiatives that drive traffic and conversions. You can now go beyond goal and conversion tracking in Google Analytics and measure the effectiveness of your marketing based on revenue.
Google Analytics is a must-have tool for digital marketers.
Its powerful features make it easy to understand where your leads are coming from and how your new and returning users engage with your content.
You can monitor the effectiveness of your performance and uncover vital insights to help make informed decisions about where to spend your marketing budget.
That said, once you start prioritising and allocating budget into the marketing channels you believe have the potential to drive more revenue, you’ll need to start thinking about how you’re going to evidence the ROI of your budgetary decisions.
If you run an eCommerce website, then Google Analytics does a great job of correlating sales data with website activity. With the use of code embedded within your shopping cart, you can understand which of your marketing initiatives are driving the most sales.
But what if you don’t sell products?
What if you offer a service and use your website to generate leads via form fill, phone call or live chat?
In this scenario, your only option would be to rely on “Goals” within Google Analytics to determine whether or not your marketing campaigns and channels were generating leads.
The issue with this form of measurement is that leads, by their nature, are NOT sales.
At least not yet.
Your leads could close into a sale tomorrow, next year or not even close at all.
In addition to this, different traffic sources, keywords and ads produce a different revenue per lead and lifetime values.
So, just because Google Analytics says that your Facebook paid campaign is generating the most leads, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s contributing the most revenue.
On that note, we’re going to show you how you can effectively track marketing revenue in Google Analytics so that you can start measuring your performance based on monetary values, and not just goals set within Google Analytics.
For this article, we’re going to cover the following topics:
- Importance of revenue tracking in Google Analytics
- Limitations of reporting in Google Analytics
- How to track revenue in Google Analytics with Ruler
The Importance of Revenue Tracking in Google Analytics
Before we jump into the limitations of reporting in Google Analytics, I’m going to share results from an experiment we recently performed so that I can highlight the significance of revenue tracking.
Below is a sample of 20 phone calls generated from a previous PPC campaign.
Of the 20 calls, 12 were poor quality.
That said, 8 of the calls went through to the demo stage.
3 of the leads that sat a demo weren’t a suitable fit and didn’t progress to the next stage of our pipeline.
However, the remaining five calls closed and were worth £500+ in MRR.
Now, if I relied solely on the number of goals in Google Analytics, it would have led me to believe that my PPC campaign had driven more sales than it did.
Having revenue tracking in place, we were able to focus on the campaigns and keywords that were most consistent at driving sales so that we could optimise for even more revenue.
Product Note: To perform this experiment, we used our marketing attribution software to track our website visitors on an individual level and utilised dynamic number insertion so that we can pinpoint each unique journey leading up to a phone call. Our leads are automatically sent to our CRM along with the relevant data such as keyword, landing page and first/last click source. This allowed us to track the performance of our PPC leads throughout the entire sales cycle and attribute revenue accordingly. To learn more about this, you can download our eBook on marketing attribution, or feel free to book a call with one of our attribution experts.
Limitations of Revenue Reporting in Google Analytics
Despite being packed full of features that allow you to assign credit to the marketing initiatives that drive conversions and traffic, Google Analytics does come with its limitations that stand in the way of systematic sales and marketing alignment.
But, what exactly makes revenue tracking so difficult in Google Analytics?
Let’s take a look!
Can’t track individual behaviour
Google Analytics does a great job telling you about your users, but it can’t track individual customer journeys. It is possible to view unique user IDs, although Google Analytics can’t share personal information such as contact details or IP addresses.
This is fine for businesses that focus on high volumes and lower margins, but if your leads are worth a considerable amount of money, then you will want to know more about the visit and not just that it “happened”.
Why does this matter? It’s impossible to link revenue data to the channels that influenced a customer journey if you can’t analyse how specific users behaved on your website before making a conversion.
Google Analytics lookback window limited to 90-days
Attribution in Google Analytics allows you to assign credit to the marketing initiatives that drive traffic and conversions on your website. As of June 29th 2020, Google Analytics is reducing its lookback window from 180-days to 90-days. So, moving forward, Google Analytics will only take into consideration visits made by your users 90-days before the conversion touchpoint.
Why does this matter? The sales landscape looks vastly different from that of just a few years ago. The path to conversion is not as simple as it once was. If your customers advance through a complex sales journey, then a 90-day window isn’t going to be a long enough.
Lack of Offline Tracking Capabilities
Offline conversions are often overlooked or deliberately ignored because marketers find it too hard to attribute credit to the channels and campaigns that generated them. Google Analytics doesn’t provide call tracking. So, if you have a phone number on your website, and you’re using Google Analytics exclusively, then you have no way to collect data about your phone calls. Also, as previously discussed, Google Analytics does a great job of tracking your eCommerce sales, although this only applies to online purchases. This makes it extremely difficult for eCommerce businesses that generate a lot of high-value transactions over the phone.
Why does this matter? If calls are an important part of your lead generation, then you’ll need to know what marketing initiatives encouraged your customers to pick up the phone so that you optimise your performance.
Post-conversion data locked within other tools
Google Analytics was built for marketers, so it doesn’t provide much context or explanation for why your visitors converted on your website. The good news is that this data does exist, the bad news is that it’s locked away in other tools such as your CRM.
Why does this matter? Your CRM contains purchase and transactional data about your new and existing customers. Having this data sent to your Google Analytics will allow you to compare profits and identify which channels and campaigns are most effective at driving revenue growth.
Google Analytics Revenue Tracking With Ruler Analytics
To unlock the data you need to track revenue in Google Analytics you need a solution that can:
1. Capture all interactions throughout an individual customer journey, such as the first and last-click source.
2. Attribute revenue back to your marketing channels and can support long and complex sales journeys.
3. Track call activity and identify which of your marketing initiatives are making the telephone ring.
4. Integrate with Google Analytics along with other data sources such as your CRM and Google ads to gain visibility of the conversion path.
Ruler Analytics is a marketing attribution solution which aligns revenue from your CRM with marketing data in Google Analytics so that it can track your visitor’s multiple touchpoints to measure and attribute value accurately across the entire sales cycle.
Here’s how it works:
1. Ruler tracks each anonymous visitor to the website over multiple sessions, traffic sources and keywords.
2. When a visitor converts, data is captured via form, call tracking or live chat on your website.
3. Ruler matches the real user’s details with their marketing touchpoints.
4. The marketing and conversion data is sent to your CRM. Marketing data includes channel, source, campaign, keyword and/or landing page.
5. Ruler’s attribution solution allows you to analyse the impact throughout the entire sales cycle. Once the opportunity is closed into revenue, Ruler passes this data back to your Google analytics and paid media tools so that you can report on revenue.
Tracking Google Analytics Offline Revenue
Ruler is an official Google Analytics partner and enables you to see data for all of your online or offline conversions so that you can accurately track your marketing ROI. This data can be viewed within Ruler Analytics or sent directly to your Google Analytics account.
Offline conversion tracking allows marketers to match leads to revenue and evidence which campaigns drove offline sales. This helps businesses align sales and marketing activity, measure true ROI for campaigns and optimise ads based on value to drive higher quality leads.
Ruler’s call tracking uses dynamic insertion to assign a unique phone number to every website visitor. Then, when that phone number is called, Ruler will attribute the offline conversion to the marketing channel that the visitor arrived from.
You can find more information about that here.
It’s always tempting to get caught up in vanity metrics like goals or leads. But, as we’ve seen, goals don’t always tell the real story.
As a marketer, you should always be proving why your work matters to your company, and using the revenue marketing approach is the perfect way to do that.
Need help tracking your revenue in Google Analytics? Book a demo of Ruler Analytics to get started with closed-loop marketing attribution.