Google Analytics is a powerful tool that allows businesses to assign credit to the marketing tactics that drive the most traffic and conversions. By the end of this guide, you’ll be better equipped to track revenue in Google Analytics and can start making better decisions about where to spend your budget.
Google Analytics offers a wealth of information that gives you insight into how users find and convert on your website. But while traffic and conversion metrics indicate some campaign success, marketers are becoming more accountable for the need to prove and improve marketing ROI.
Gaining visibility of revenue generated by marketing is key to making smarter decisions and understanding ROI. No reputable company wants to invest money into a marketing channel that isn’t going to generate a return, right?
However, when we surveyed 200 marketers to understand what metrics they use to define success, we found that only 64% of respondents are actively measuring marketing revenue. In other words, nearly half of companies are failing to track the impact of marketing on revenue downstream.
We wanted to change that.
In this post, we discuss the different methods for tracking your marketing revenue with Google Analytics.
Keep reading to learn:
Without further ado, let’s get started!
As a marketer, you should always be proving why your work matters to your company, and using revenue tracking in Google Analytics is the best way to get started.
Revenue tracking lets you see the marketing channels, landing pages, and keywords that are driving the most monetary value for your business.
Instead of focusing on metrics such as CPC (cost per click) or CPL (cost per lead), revenue tracking allows you to hone in and measure more meaningful metrics such as CPA (cost per acquisition) and ROAS (return on ad spend).
Access to such insight allows you to get a more accurate view of your ROI, allowing you to make more data-driven decisions to optimise marketing spend for maximum results.
Revenue tracking in Google Analytics is a must-have for many marketers, but many find it a struggle to execute the setup. Let’s take a look at the different methods for tracking marketing revenue in Universal Analytics to help you get started.
If you run an eCommerce business, then Analytics can easily track your marketing revenue. A little bit of code in your shopping system can help you to understand which of your marketing tactics are driving the most sales.
1. To install eCommerce tracking and revenue reporting, go to your Analytics property and go to ‘Admin’.
2. Under ‘View’, click on ‘eCommerce settings”.
3. First, you’ll need to turn on your eCommerce tracking by changing the status from ‘OFF’ to ‘ON’.
4. Under enhanced eCommerce settings, select ‘ON’ and click ‘Save’. Once you have made those changes, Analytics will be ready for the data you’ll send into the reporting once you’ve completed your eCommerce tracking setup.
5. Next, go to the developer section of Google Analytics. Here you’ll find how to install the right codes onto your Thank Page. These codes need to be installed in order to send transaction and revenue data to Google Analytics.
6. For it to work correctly, the code must be integrated into your shopping cart or platform. There are a lot of moving parts involved at this stage. So, we’d strongly recommend assigning the help of an experienced website developer. You also have the option to use enhanced eCommerce tracking. The enhanced eCommerce tracking provides several valuable insights such as product impressions, product clicks, viewing product details, adding product to cart and refunds. Again, this is an advanced feature and often requires the assistance of a developer.
Once you’ve completed the setup, you should be all set to track ecommerce and revenue data in Google Analytics.
What if you don’t sell any products but instead use your website to generate leads online or offline?
One alternative is to assign monetary values to your Goals in Google Analytics. You can gain a better understanding of your marketing channels, keywords and landing pages on bottom-line objectives.
There are a few things you need to consider before you manually assign monetary values in Google Analytics.
1. Goal values aren’t dynamic: Goal Values in Google Analytics are static. For example, let’s say you add £20 to the Value. Every time a user completes a goal, Analytics will assign that amount. In most cases, however, different sources generate unique revenue and lifetime values.
2. Goal values are permanent: The values you assign in Google Analytics are permanent. They do not update dynamically or change proactively based on adjustments you make to your website. So, if you add in the wrong value or your average sale price increases, there’s no way to update this information in Google Analytics.
Fortunately, there is another way to dynamically assign revenue to your Goals in Google Analytics, both online and offline, which we’ll get to shortly. However, for now, here’s how you can manually assign revenue to your Goals.
2. If you’re creating a new Goal then click “+ Goal”. Or, for an existing goal, click on edit.
3. Select your Goal type and fill out any relevant descriptions.
4. In Goal details, switch on Value and add in your desired amount.
Google Analytics revenue tracking has made it possible for companies to measure the effectiveness of their marketing based on monetary values, but it isn’t perfect. Let’s take a look at why.
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 IDs using the user ID tracking feature in Analytics, although you can’t see personal identifiable information such as email addresses, names and phone numbers.
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 accurately 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.
Attribution in Google Analytics allows you to assign credit to the marketing tactics that drive traffic and influence conversions onto your website.
A lookback attribution window in Analytics can tell you when a user makes a desired action within a certain number of days. By default, Google Analytics has an attribution window of 30 days, but it’s possible to change from 1 to 90 days.
Related article: Marketer’s guide to Google Analytics attribution
So, for example, if you were to stick with the default attribution window, Analytics would only take into consideration interactions made by your users 30-days before the conversion.
Why does this matter? If your company sells a service or product that costs a lot of money, chances are the time from the first interaction with your brand to the point of purchase is more than 90 days. You wouldn’t be the only one, as 18.8% of businesses have sales cycles greater than four months.
Anyway, let’s say a user came to your website 91-days ago using an organic search and left after a short while. 91 days later, The next day after clicking on a Facebook retargeting ad, they return to your website and make a sale.
Google Analytics would technically ignore the organic search and assign all the credit to Facebook.
Offline conversions are often overlooked or deliberately ignored. And for good reason too. 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 inbound calls.
As previously discussed, Google Analytics does a great job tracking your eCommerce sales, although this only applies to online purchases. Businesses that generate a lot of high-value transactions over the phone often have a huge gap in data as they’re unable to make the connection between online leads and offline conversions.
Why does this matter? If calls are an important part of your lead generation, then you’ll need to know what marketing initiatives encourage your customers to pick up the phone. Otherwise, you’ll underestimate the value of your marketing performance and ROI.
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.
Remember when we said there was an easier way to assign revenue in Google Analytics?
Imagine for a moment that you could track each and every lead across the customer journey. Even better, when they closed into a deal or sale, the revenue was automatically attributed to your goals, marketing channels and campaigns in Analytics.
Well, fortunately, there’s no need to use your imagination because there is a solution that can help you achieve this.
Using a tool like Ruler Analytics, you can send marketing source data to your CRM and enrich your Google Analytics with web form, phone call and live chat activity to understand which marketing sources generate the most revenue, both online and offline.
In a nutshell, Ruler is a marketing attribution solution that aligns revenue from your CRM with marketing source data in Google Analytics. You can track your visitors’ multiple touchpoints to measure and attribute value accurately across the entire customer journey.
The following is a step-by-step guide on how to send marketing revenue using Ruler Analytics.
1. Ruler tracks each anonymous visitor to the website over multiple sessions, traffic sources and keywords.
2. When an anonymous visitor makes a conversion, whether it be a form fill, phone call or live chat, Ruler will update the data on that user to create a journey map for what is now known as a lead.
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 solution allows you to analyse the impact throughout the entire sales cycle. Once the opportunity is closed into revenue, the data is passed back to Ruler. This allows you to measure the impact of marketing based on monetary values and make smarter decisions about where to invest your budget.
6. Using a pre-built integration, Ruler can automatically send the value of your deals and sales to your Google Analytics and Google Ads account. You can report and view revenue data throughout the Google Analytics reporting suite for web forms, phone calls and live chat enquiries, allowing you to see which marketing sources not only drive the most conversions but revenue too.
Ruler can match your phone calls to your online and offline campaigns and grants proof that your marketing drives valuable leads for your business.
Related article: How to track offline conversion with Ruler
Ruler’s call tracking uses dynamic insertion to assign a unique phone number to every website visitor. When that phone number is called, Ruler will attribute the offline conversion to the marketing channel that the visitor arrived from.
Also, Ruler allows you to report on your offline campaigns i.e. TV, radio, and print ads, alongside all of your online activities. You can apply labels to your offline numbers to identify the source and calculate the ROI more effectively.
It doesn’t stop there. Ruler is an official Google Analytics partner. You can attribute offline conversion and revenue data to your channels, landing pages and ads directly in Analytics. It provides you with a full view of how your online and offline channels are working together to drive new revenue for your business.
Tracking revenue in Google Analytics is essential if you want to assess how well your marketing is performing and how visitors are engaging with your website and content.
By enriching Google Analytics with Ruler’s revenue data, you can filter your performance data, improve your campaigns, reduce waste, and more importantly, demonstrate how your efforts are driving positive business outcomes.
Book a demo and get more information on how to connect online and offline sales revenue to your marketing channels in Google Analytics with Ruler.
This article was originally published in July 2020, but was updated in August 2021 for freshness.