Become better equipped to track marketing revenue in Google Analytics 4 and start making better decisions about where to spend your budget.
Important Note: Google Analytics is sunsetting Universal Analytics in July 2023 and replacing it with GA4 tracking. For this article, we’ll mostly be focusing on GA4 to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.
It’s no secret.
Marketers are under extreme pressure to prove marketing ROI.
But tracking ROI isn’t easy, especially if you have several channels working together to drive new business.
Our data backs it up. 31% of marketers stated that proving ROI was one of their biggest challenges.
As a provider of revenue attribution, we want to change this.
In this article, we’ve outlined the steps you can take to successfully track your marketing revenue. And what better place to track revenue than Google Analytics 4.
Keep reading to learn:
💡 Pro Tip
Ruler attributes revenue data from your CRM to your marketing sources, landing pages, ads and keywords in Google Analytics, allowing you to calculate your ROI more accurately.
How Ruler enriches your attribution reports in Google Analytics
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).
Revenue data lets 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.
If you sell products online, then Google Analytics 4 can easily track your marketing revenue.
A little bit of code in your shopping cart, and you understand which of your marketing sources are driving the most sales for your business.
If you’re using Shopify, WordPress or Squarespace, you can use their built-in integrations to send transaction data to Google Analytics 4.
Below are the steps to send transaction events to Google Analytics 4 using Google Tag Manager.
Important Note: In this demonstration, we’ll assume that you’ve already set up your GA4 tracking tag on your website.
1. First you need to ensure that your data layer includes relevant details for your transactions. To do this, your best option is to make a demo purchase on your website and expect the source to check everything is in working order. If all looks good, your next job is to to configure Google Tag Manager to send these details to GA4.
2. Head over to Google Tag Manager and select tags. To send purchase details to GA4, you’ll need to set up a new tag. Select New.
3. Name the tag and select Tag Configuration.
4. Choose GA4 Event as the tag type.
5. Select your existing GA4 conversion tag using the drop-down.
6. Click the variable icon under Event Name and Choose Event. This will pass the name of the data layer event into your tag.
7. Next, select More Settings and enable “Send eCommerce data”.
8. Ensure that “Data Layer” is selected in the drop-down. This option will allow you to automatically collect ecommerce details from your data layer and send them to GA4 along with the event.
9. Now it’s time to add a trigger to your tag. Select the pencil icon on Triggering.
10. Here you’ll need to set up a trigger that will allow us to fire out tag our ecommerce actions. To do this, click the blue plus sign in the top right corner.
11. Give your trigger a name and select Trigger Configuration. Scroll down and click Custom Event. Now you need to enter the data layer event names you want to use to fire the tag. Google has list of recommended events you can use:
Each one is separated by a pipe. If you enable the User Regex Matching option, Google Analytics will recognise the pipes as regular expressions. If you only want to trigger your GA4 event for some of these listed events, you can adjust the regular expression.
12. Now save the trigger and the tag.
13. Before you go any further, it’s best to preview your tag. To do this, click Preview, enter the URL for your store and hit Connect.
14. Add an item to your cart and purchase it. Once complete, click the Tag Assistant tab. Select the purchase event and select the tag. If set up correctly, you should be able to see the details for the activity in your Google Tag Manager.
15. To check it’s working in Google Analytics 4, go to Configure > Debug view. Here you can see if the purchase event has come through to your GA4 property or not.
Once set up, you can benefit from ecommerce transaction data across your reports in Google Analytics 4.
If you haven’t managed to migrate over to Google Analytics 4, don’t panic. Universal Analytics isn’t completely gone just yet. And, honestly, you wouldn’t be the only one. We found that 30% of marketers aren’t planning to migrate until early 2023.
Keep in mind that GA4 is coming whether we want it to or not. So, best to get a jump on it now rather than later.
For now, here are the steps for setting up eCommerce revenue in Universal Analytics.
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.
Many reputable shopping platforms now have built-in plugins that allow you to enable eCommerce and revenue tracking in Google Analytics automatically. We’d recommend you check out the help section of your shopping system to see if this is possible before uploading the data manually.
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 Universal Analytics.
What if you don’t sell any products but instead use your website to generate leads?
There are a few ways to track revenue in Google Analytics for non-eCommerce transactions, but the easiest method is to set up conversion values.
Stick around, and we’ll show you an alternative method for sending revenue data into Google Analytics to gain a more accurate view of your ROI.
With conversion values, you can quantify the monetary impact of each conversion and better estimate your ROI.
Setting up conversion values includes the following steps:
In this guide, we’ll assume that you’re already tracking conversions and cost data in Google Analytics 4 and jump straight into step three.
If you haven’t got round to step one or two, don’t panic. We’ve outlined all the steps (start to finish) in our guide Google Analytics ROI, if you prefer a more thorough walkthrough.
For now, here’s how to add conversion values in Google Analytics 4.
1. If you created the conversion using a predefined GA4 event, then you can simply adjust the configuration to include a value. Navigate to Configure and click Create event.
2. You should see your custom event that you previously created. Select this event.
3. Click on the Pencil icon in the top right-hand corner to add a value. Scroll down and click on Add modification.
4. Here you need to add two parameters to the event “currency” and “value”. In the first parameter, add in currency and include in your currency code (GBP). Click on Add modification again. For the second parameter, add in “value” and include the value amount for your event. For this example, we’ve chosen £50. This will mean each conversion event will be assigned a value of £50 whenever it’s triggered.
5. Click Save.
If set up correctly, these event values should appear across your Google Analytics property in the relevant reports.
You can use the conversion value data in GA4 to track which advertising efforts offer the highest return and optimise your marketing for maximum revenue.
For conversion values in Universal Analytics, follow the steps below.
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.
💡 Pro Tip
Follow Katie on LinkedIn for tips and tactics on attribution, analytics and all things digital marketing. Don’t forget to say hi. 👋
Google Analytics has made it possible for companies to measure the effectiveness of their marketing based on revenue, but it isn’t perfect. Let’s take a look at why.
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
For example, let’s say you add £50 to the value. Every time a user is converted, Analytics will assign that amount.
This is fine if you sell a single product at one specific price. But, if you provide a service or bespoke products, you’re going to struggle to track your revenue accurately.
B2B businesses, in particular, often rely on leads to feed their sales pipeline.
These leads will come from various marketing sources and will deliver different revenue and lifetime values.
Also, some of these leads may not even convert. They may fall through the cracks as they move further down the funnel.
With that in mind, it’s somewhat unfair to group and assign individual leads the same value, as some are worth more to your company than others.
Google Analytics can’t track individual customer journeys.
Tracking customer journeys allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your visitors and unlock valuable data about their interactions and behaviours.
Download the guide on how to track customer journeys
It is possible to view unique IDs using the user ID tracking feature in Analytics. This allows you to view each anonymous user and track the different interactions they’ve completed on your website such as views, events or purchases.
So, what’s the issue? Google Analytics doesn’t allow you to see personal identifiable information such as email addresses, names and phone numbers.
With its inability to track personal identifiable information, the connection between visitors and revenue is non-existent.
If you can’t see where your visitors are converting into leads, you can’t link revenue data back to their marketing touchpoints and accurately measure your impact on pipeline generation.
Attribution in Google Analytics allows you to assign credit to the marketing sources that drive traffic and influence conversions on your website.
By default, the maximum attribution window for acquisition events in Google Analytics 4 is 30-days (only applicable to first_open and first_visit events). For other events, you can choose up to 90 days.
The average lead-to-close length for B2B companies is 102 days.
So, if you’re in B2B and relying on Google Analytics, chances are you’re missing out on multiple marketing data points that played a key role in driving leads and revenue.
Google Analytics does a great job tracking online conversions, but it falls short at offline conversions.
Out of the box, Google Analytics can’t track phone calls.
So, if you have a phone number on your website, and are using Google Analytics exclusively, then you have no way to collect conversion and revenue data about your inbound calls.
This is fine if most of your leads come in via your website.
But if calls are an important part of your lead generation, chances are you’re massively underestimating the value of your marketing performance and ROI.
Remember we said there was another way to send revenue data into 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 conversions, marketing channels and campaigns in Analytics.
Well, there’s no need to use your imagination because there is a solution that can help you achieve this.
Attribution tools like Ruler Analytics allow you to send marketing source data to your CRM and enrich your Google Analytics with revenue data, both online and offline.
Here’s a quick run through of how Ruler works:
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 enquiry, 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. Allowing you to track marketing’s impact at every stage of the pipeline.
5. Once a lead is converted into a closed deal, the revenue data is sent back to Ruler’s dashboard. This is where Ruler attributes the revenue back to the marketing touchpoints that drove the conversion across various attribution models.
6. Using a pre-built integration, Ruler will automatically send the revenue attribution data to Google Analytics and Google Ads account. Here 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 drive the highest ROI.
💡 Pro Tip
Want to know more about Ruler and closed-loop marketing attribution? We created a simple eBook on how Ruler works to walk you through the entire process. Alternatively, if you have any questions about sending Ruler data to Google Analytics, our team would love to chat with you.
Book a free demo of Ruler
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 on 1st December 2022 for freshness.