Do you know what I love most about using Data Studio for reporting? Once you have Google Data Studio template in place, 98% of your work is done!
You simply connect your Data Studio Template to your marketing platforms… and bam! Report Finito! Now more messy data exports, fiddling with charts or building fancy spreadsheet queries. Tens of hours of data gathering, calculations, and filter configuration done in minutes.
Over the past several months, my team and I have compiled a library of Google Data Studio report templates. These templates are not only saving us hours tracking down data points we used to have to dig out of multiple marketing platforms… but they are also helping clearly see our progress and stay focused on our goals.
Now, we are sharing these templates with the marketing world inside my Done-For-You (DFY) Data Studio Report Template Library.
7 Google Data Studio Templates that will save you 100s of hours and make you look like a hero in front of your clients and stakeholders
From our consolidated, 3-in-1 (Facebook & Google Ads & Bing Ads) PPC report to our Complete SEO Dashboard… these templates are designed to save you 100s of hours while making you look like a marketing mastermind in front of your clients and stakeholders.
Follow along to see exactly what’s in these report templates. And, I will also share how you can join our GDS DFY Template Library.
The ACES All Marketing KPIs Template
ACES is a concept I came up with while teaching a Data Driven Marketing course last summer. The ACES strategy helped my students identify goals as well as measurement plan for every stage of their organization’s marketing funnel.
The ACES concept worked so well, I started using it with my own team. And I built a Data Studio dashboard to help us implement ACES.
The ACES dashboard takes a little more planning and strategic thinking to setup than or other templates. But the end result is worth the effort.
This report is a representation of the kind of strategic marketing analysis that consultants get paid tens of thousands of dollars to deliver. But those consultants usually invest months of work and use a team of MBA’s to produce their analysis.
You can build a complete (top-to-bottom) insight packed funnel report in a day using the ACES Data Studio Template and the worksheets that come with this report.
When you join our DFY Template Library, you can download the ACES template, put your branding on it, and pass it off as your own creation. Then you can use this template to show your clients where their marketing funnel is broken… and why they should hire YOU to fix it!
The Complete SEO Dashboard Template
The complete SEO GDS Dashboard (version 1.0) was born out of frustration with Google Analytics (GA). Specifically, this report is meant to solve GA’s infuriating organic keywords “not provided” issue.
This dashboard uses both Google Search Console and Keyword Hero to give you back your organic keyword info… because as any digital marketer worth their chops will tell you when it comes to accurate keyword data more is… MORE (not less).
You can use this report template to pinpoint the search terms customers are using to find your website. Knowing the lingo people are using to find your services or products is invaluable.
Once you know your top keywords, you can double down on them. You can use your best keywords in your paid ads as well as on your landing pages to increase your traffic and your conversions.
The Consolidated, Automated PPC Report may just be the crown jewel of the DFY library. I don’t want to stray into another soliloquy about how this dashboard is the answer to my many years of PPC reporting agony. So Instead, let’s talk about why this template is so valuable.
The Consolidated PPC report automates your data gathering and calculations from Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Bing Ads. The first page of this report combines your results from these platforms in one dashboard. And the following three pages break out your results by advertising platform.
If you’re looking for a way to automate your PPC reporting while delivering a clear, professional designed report… this template can provide that solution.
Product launch/Campaign Report Template
Want to see how your latest product launch performed… or show off the success of a recent email campaign? This simple dashboard will do just that.
You can automate this report template using the Google Analytics Data Studio connector. Or you can use the pre-formatted Google Sheet that comes with this template to feed your report and highlight your sales results.
Black Friday/Holiday Promo Report Template
Holiday promos are always crazy. They are fun for customers and great for producing a sales spike. But the second your proms are done, you’re team’s out the door for some well earned time off. That leaves someone behind (probably you) to tally up the results.
Instead of spending your holiday vacation sorting out exactly how things went down during your sale, use the Black Friday GDS report template.
This template will show you day-by-day sales broken down by product and discount coupon. And inside my Data Studio Mastery Course, I’ll show you how to use one of my favorite tools, Zapier, to automate this report.
Seeing real-time results of your promotions in a clear report will save you from spending unnecessary time compiling your sales data after your promo is over. You can use a copy of this template to help you keep track of every promo you run so you can produce better results with each sale.
Youtube Growth Dashboard
Who doesn’t want to be YouTube star? I know I do. Here’s an unreleased pic from my latest YouTube photoshoot.
All kidding aside, if you run a YouTube channel, there are some simple growth metrics that are important to keep an eye on. And if you’ve spent any time inside the latest version of the YouTube Analytics interface, then you know it’s a little cumbersome… meaning it sucks!
The YouTube Data Studio Template will help keep on eye on your channel growth without having to log into the clunky analytics interface. This automated report will keep you up to date on which of your videos are driving views and shares.
Year-in-Review complete website marketing report
The Year-in-Review Template captures just about every meaningful, high-level website KPI you need to track. This four-page report allows you to see how your website content is impacting your traffic, conversions, and SEO performance.
If you’re a website developer or manager, or SEO, you can use this report to show your clients the results your work is generating. Or you can use this report to help your clients see where they can make improvements.
If you’re a website owner, you can use the report to see all your site KPIs in one place without wasting hours clicking around in Google Analytics.
This Data Studio report template was designed to present an entire year’s worth of website data. But the date picker on the report allows you to focus on any period you want to review.
Join the Data Studio Mastery Course and the Done-For-You Data Studio Template Library
Do you want to learn how to use Google Data Studio to develop a template library of your own? Or do you want to copy and use the templates from my library?
If you do, consider joining my Data Studio Mastery Course. Inside Data Studio Mastery Course, I’ll show how to use GDS along with some simple automation tools to save tens of hours every month. And you’ll discover how to turn your reporting from a time-sucking “to-do,” into a revenue-generating business development opportunity.
Comments or questions
You’ve seen my seven go-to report templates. Do you have a “go-to” Data Studio template? If you do share it in the comments. Also, if you have questions about my Data Studio templates, or how to use Google Data Studio, leave them in the comments below.
PPC Reports. They are 100% necessaryif you provide paid advertising as a service. But they can be time-consuming to create and frustrating to maintain.
These problems are especially true when your reports cover advertising on multiple different systems… like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Bing Ads.
Trying to manually consolidate all your data into one report where the numbers add up is a giant headache no one needs. Thanks to Google Data Studio (GDS) you don’t have to spend hours trying to hand-stitch your PPC reports together.
Instead, you can use GDS and third-party data connectors to create…
Automated PPC reports!
In the video and post below, I am sharing how I created my automated, consolidated Google Data Studio PPC report with you. I’ll also show you how I built the consolidated PPC report. And, I’ll share a massive shortcut to consolidated reporting I discovered after I completed my report.
Build the Ultimate PPC Report in Google Data Studio - YouTube
You can download your own copy of my 3-in-1 (Google + Facebook + Bing Ads report) when you join our Data Studio Mastery Course. Click the link below to learn more.
The evolution of Reporting – chasing the dream of automated PPC reports
Before I share how to build a consolidated PPC report in Google Data Studio, I’d like to offer a little history on my reporting evolution. I shared this historical context during a presentation at PPC Hero Conference 2019, and I saw a lot of heads nodding along in the audience. So I thought you might also enjoy a little background on PPC reporting in the 21st century.
If you’re not up for bonding over PPC reporting failures and triumphs, feel free to scroll down and click the link to grab my report template. But if you’re like me and you’ve been “chasing the dream” of automated PPC reporting for a while, then you’ll appreciate this prologue.
PPC reporting in the 21st century – the trials and tribulations
As long as I have been providing PPC services (since 2006), there’s always been one constant thorn in my side. Reports.
Reporting is an absolute necessity if you provide PPC services. More often than not, reports are how your clients see all the results your advertising is producing.
The standard reporting equation in the PPC world works like this:
Reports = Informed clients = Continued budget for your services.
Caveman reporting – Screenshots
Back in 2006, when I first started sending my clients PPC reports, they looked something like this:
That screenshot represents PPC reporting circa 2006. A single screenshot was combined with a verbal report, something like “Hey, your campaign had 156 clicks, 12,291 impressions, and .64% conversion rate.”
Not very insightful.
Medieval PPC reports – Excel charts
It didn’t take long for me to evolve and realize I needed to do better than screenshots and inconclusive statistics.
So I stepped my game up and started creating my more comprehensive reports in Excel. I would copy all the data I needed from Google AdWords and Microsoft and paste it into a spreadsheet. Then I would work with the data manually to produce a chart that looked like this:
Now, this chart may not seem like much to you. But at the time, I was beaming with pride from this effort.
I also improved my analysis (but not really) by letting my clients know that big blue lines meant their campaigns were doing well.
Stepping into the light – Automated PPC reporting version 1.0
The next iteration of trying to make reporting easier involved automation. At that time, my agency’s PPC business had grown to the point where reporting was almost a full-time job.
So we hired someone to build various databases we could use to create our reports. We used Excel until we maxed out the row limits. Then we tried Microsoft Access. We eventually built a proprietary reporting system using SQL server.
BUT, then the end result was usually the same. When it came time for reporting day, the system would break, and we would pour hours into building our reports manually.
Dark times – Building a data warehouse
Next, we moved to build an internal data warehouse for marketing reports. I am not going to spend a lot of time telling you how difficult and costly it was to create a Data warehouse. I’ll just sum this learning up by saying… It did not make reporting easier.
The elusive dream – Automated monthly reports
Until recently, the dream of automatic reporting was just that, a “dream.” Why? Because automations break. Our automated reporting systems would usually break at the most inconvenient times.
Now you can see why I grew to hate reporting…
That is until Google Data Studio introduced third-party data connectors.
Is Google Data Studio the solution to automated monthly PPC reports?
When Google introduced third-part data connectors into Data Studio, I started to dream of the possibilities.
You already know that Google Data Studio is a free, sophisticated reporting system we can all use with no fancy coding or costly data warehouses required. Connect Data Studio to your marketing platforms, and you can build a live dashboard that automatically reports on your latest results.
Add in the ability to connect with 30+ advertising platforms using Supermetrics, and you can report on Facebook, Bing, and Google Ads in a single consolidated report.
Of course, Data Studio still has its quirks, especially with third-party connections. And I wouldn’t say we have arrived at the goal of comprehensive automated reporting yet. But you can see we are getting close based on what I was able to build using Data Studio and Supermetrics.
Building an Automated Consolidated PPC Reporting Dashboard in Google Data Studio
In the interest of sharing how I created an automated PPC reporting dashboard which combines data from Google Ads, Facebook, and Bing, I’ve outlined the steps I used to build this dashboard in the remainder of this post.
So if you want to see how the sausage is made, follow along. If you just want to download dashboard (like I mentioned before) click the link below to join Data Studio Mastery.
Step #1 – Go analog and whiteboard it out
Before I design a new report, I always start with the trusty whiteboard. Why not just jump into Data Studio and start building? Because tinkering with the charts and graphs into Data Studio can suck up hours of your time.
I’ve found that whiteboarding your desired metrics and design is the quickest and most efficient way to get your report concept in place.
Step #2 – Add the tools you need to your tool belt
Data Studio is the primary tool we need to build our automated PPC report. But sometimes one tool isn’t enough to get the job done.
(Kind of like when you put together IKEA furniture. They tell you that all you need to get the job done is that little Allen wrench. But come on! Try putting together a STUVA without busting out a hammer or screwdriver!)
While Google Data Studio can get you most of the way, the complementary tool you need to create an all-in-one PPC report is Supermetrics.
I am a big fan of Supermetrics because not only do their data connectors help me automate the connection to platforms that Data Studio doesn’t natively connect to; they have an excellent team in Helsinki who is at the cutting edge of data liberation through their connector products.
Without Supermetrics, you can’t automagically pull data from Facebook or Bing (unless you want to code your own data connectors or use one of a few other connector options).
Step 3 – Play in the sandbox
Next, it’s time to jump inside Data Studio and start building the elements of your report. But you don’t want to slow yourself down with design considerations until you’re confident you can get the data you need into your report.
So at this stage, I recommend using what I refer to as a GDS “sandbox.” The sandbox is a blank reporting template where you only play with data, not the formatting.
I used a GDS sandbox to start building my automated PPC report. Experimenting with data blending and creating calculated metrics in my sandbox helped me see what was going to be possible in my final report.
During this experimentation, I ran into quite a few issues, which I’ll show you how to avoid in upcoming steps.
One word of warning. You can’t easily copy your blended data source into a new report. So once you’re sure you can get at the data you need, move on from your sandbox and start building the final draft of your report.
Step 4 – Put your design template in place
Putting your design in place will help you see if you can re-create the whiteboard version of your report in Data Studio.
All my Data Driven reports follow the same design theme. For this step, I copied our Year-in-Review Website Marketing report and built my new report with a copy of that format.
Step 5 – Connect to your data sources
As always, when you set up a new report, you need to connect to your data sources. Using the native data connectors is an essential part of working in Data Studio. If you need a little more guidance on this step, check out my 4-part, free Google Data Studio Tutorial. Or if you want a comprehensive GDS guide, you can join my complete Data Studio Mastery Course.
The Consolidated PPC Report starts with the native Google Ads connector and then mixes in the premium Supermetrics connectors to connect to Facebook and Bing Ads.
Step 6 – Add your blended data
Data blending is how you create a single visualization or report in GDS using multiple data sources. If we want to see data from three ad platforms – Facebook, Google, and Bing in one chart or scorecard, we need to blend data.
When building our Consolidated PPC Dashboard, I discovered the hard way that dimensions from Google Ads do not always play nicely with Facebook and Bing.
To save you from the data blending frustrations I suffered, let me share what I learned.
How to blend data from Google, Facebook, and Bing into a single data source
To blend data, go to the resources menu then select manage blended data.
Next, select “Add Data View.”
Then add the data sources you want to blend.
Keep in mind, the data sources you’re blending must have a dimension in common which you can use as a “join key.”
For example, when blending Facebook and Bing Ads data, you can use the Year & Month dimension as your join key.
Things get a little trickier when you bring Google Ads into the mix. Google’s API naming conventions are different from the other two platforms. You need to use the dimension Month from Google Ads to make this blend work.
One thing I learned the hard way… Your consolidated data may break if you try to join Google using the “Day” dimension with Facebook and Bing’s “Date” dimension. So be careful out there, folks, and always be sure to verify your data against the original source.
Since most reporting is monthly, I decided to stick with months as my join field.
Naming conventions are important
As you’re blending your data, make sure to use naming conventions which identify your data source. For example, I’m using the following naming conventions for impressions: IMPR (FB), IMPR (GOOG), IMPR (Bing). If you forget to name your metrics, things will get very confusing when you move on to your GDS workspace.
The things you learn
Just a quick word to the wise… if you’re looking for your Facebook Cost data, it’s called “Amount spent.”
I “spent” a reasonable amount of time searching for Facebook’s cost metric before I realized this nuance.
Step 7 – Add your calculated metrics
Using blended data to create calculated metrics is a feature that Google recently added to Data Studio. Without that capability, this report would not have been possible.
Here’s an example of how this feature works. To create a scorecard that..
In both 2016 & 2017, I brought on an apprentice at Jeffalytics. It was one of the best decisions I could have made for the business. Both apprentices have advanced their skills significantly since we started working together and are still involved with the company!
This year, we are looking to add a customer acquisition focused apprentice to our team. This person will be heavily involved with paid media campaigns, conversion rate optimization, and every other method we discover for drawing in new customers. Here are the details for the 2019 program.
You are optimal
If you’ve taken my online courses or followed my blog for a while, you know that I find the quest to be “optimal” with marketing efforts both exhilarating and neverending.
The journey to optimal is the destination, and I want to give you a front-row seat.
Do you get excited by making small, incremental gains while running paid media campaigns? Are you pumped to log into Google Ads or Facebook Business Manager each day to tweak results? Do you bookmark direct URLs to your campaigns to save time?
Do you have a desire to work tirelessly to grow profitable campaigns, test new ad formats and networks, and position yourself at the bleeding edge of the digital advertising industry?
Then you might have what it takes to become my next Apprentice.
Paid advertising is my addiction – is it yours?
When I first got started building Google AdWords campaigns for clients, I became addicted to generating real-time results. It was hard to put the computer away. Day became night. My Netflix DVD envelopes began collecting dust (this was back when Netflix was a mail order service). I celebrated my first thousand dollars in spend managed like I just won the showcase showdown on the Price is Right.
Eventually, all those years playing video games paid off in the form of profits. I mastered the game of paid media.
Screw video games, playing with real money is much more exciting!
Over the years, I’ve continued to keep my skills sharp, but the time I have available to run my own campaigns has suffered as my training business (Data Driven) has taken off.
Now, I’m looking for an apprentice to build, develop, and optimize our customer acquisition efforts.
This is a career-making opportunity
I want to make you a star in the world of paid media by creating and generating ad campaigns that draw in millions in revenue each year. I want to give you a budget to try advertising on every platform imaginable, the assets to pull it off, and the guidance to build your skills to levels you never imagined.
Along the way, I will be teaching you how to think about paid ads, how to make better decisions, and how to form data driven arguments to secure budgets.
And I want to turn our one-on-one interactions and mentoring into a future training program released on Data Driven.
As you probably know, our products at Data Driven show marketers how to get more results by understanding the strategy behind their numbers. Showing how we build and optimize our own advertising campaigns is the perfect embodiment of that philosophy and has great potential to become a product in itself.
I’m not going to make you a rockstar (because rockstars leave a mess behind and die early), but I’m confident you’ll become an all-star after we work together.
What does a Customer Acquisition Apprentice do?
This apprenticeship program will give you hands-on experience working in the following disciplines:
Paid Media – The bulk of your time will be spent building and tweaking paid media campaigns to promote our online programs. Any and all advertising platforms will be considered, and you will be the day to day manager of every program. Ever dreamed of testing podcast advertising vs. YouTube vs. Amazon? Here’s your chance. Everything is on the table.
Conversion rate optimization – You will set up tests to optimize and improve the performance of landing pages, sales pages, opt-in forms, email marketing, and much more. You will set up A/B tests, think analytically, and suggest/implement constant improvements.
Analytics – You will use analytics to inform your opinions and improve results, implementing multiple technologies to build a best in class solution.
Automated Reporting – Working alongside the Data Driven team, we will develop dashboards that automate repetitive reporting tasks for internal campaigns, then polish up the best templates and make them into products we market to customers. Speaking of…
Product Development – The ideal candidate will have a hand in our new product development process. We will use your research to inform product decisions and forecast potential revenue from advertising. Use your skills to inform product development, with the potential to even be the “on-air talent” for a future course.
Product Launch Marketing – You will make sure our program is EVERYWHERE during new product launches. If there’s a way to remarket to a person who visited our sales page… whether it’s on the radio at the car dealership, or while they are getting an oil change, you’ll get us there.
Education – You will learn from the best. The winning candidate will have access to all our Data Driven courses and meet with Jeff weekly to develop skills and measure progress toward targets.
Sales – You will be exposed to our sales process and have the opportunity to suggest and implement improvements.
Process – You will witness first-hand as our team develops proven processes for getting paid media results and contribute ways to tweak and make future improvements.
Autonomy – You will have the autonomy to make decisions, put yourself out there, and make an impact across multiple aspects of the business.
Exposure – Your name will be attached to the ultimate case study of growth through paid media.
Tool-chest – You will become familiar with over 100+ sales, marketing, and analytics tools. You will learn their nuances, add to your toolbox, and have tangible experience that you can take with you.
Culture – You will become part of a remote-work culture that spans multiple continents, time zones, and specialties.
Sounds like more than just a paid media management gig, doesn’t it?
That’s why we call it an apprenticeship.
The 2019 Paid Media/Customer Acquisition Apprenticeship with Jeffalytics
Jeffalytics is seeking an apprentice (possibly more than one) to help grow my Data Driven and Jeffalytics business through paid media customer acquisition. This apprentice will work to complete objectives, grow leads, drive revenues, and generate profitable results for the business through paid advertising.
The apprentice will receive advice, autonomy, mentorship, inspiration and (most importantly) loads of experience for their efforts. And compensation as well.
Are you looking for a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from a successful marketer? Then maybe we should work together.
The application process (each step is mandatory)
The goal is for this apprenticeship to last for 12 months, starting in July of 2019. Ideally, we will work together until you feel there is nothing left for you to learn.
If you are still interested, please complete the following steps.
Step 0: Listen to this Podcast Episode
In order to fully understand the value of mentorship, you need to listen to this episode from the Tropical MBA Podcast. It is a 37 minute listen, and is well worth your time, even if you have no interest in this apprenticeship.
Step 1: Fill out the form (deadline is July 8, 2019 at Midnight CST)
Fill out the form below as best as you can. You will immediately receive a percentage grade that shows how closely you fit that criteria that we are considering. While this does not necessarily prohibit you from being selected, if you are below 80%, your chances are not very good.
This form should take 5-10 minutes to fill out. Make sure to use your preferred email address so that I can reach out to you when the application process is complete.
The form is embedded at the bottom of this post.
Step 2: The Test (only sent to those who pass Step 1)
After step 1 completes and we have a list of viable candidates for the apprenticeship, we will be giving an assignment to determine the best candidate.
The assignment will involve a real-world problem Jeffalytics faces as a business and how the candidates will approach the solution. These details will only be sent out to the qualified candidates from Step 1.
You should also note that the work you submit in Step 2 becomes the property of Jeffalytics. I want to be up-front about this beforehand.
FAQs for the apprenticeship program
Isn’t this a lot of work?
Absolutely. It takes a lot of work to gain trust with someone you are meeting over the Internet, so we are both putting in a lot of effort to make this work.
Why would I want a Jeffalytics apprenticeship?
You are getting the opportunity to work with a world-class digital marketer. And by world-class, I truly mean all over the world (I have given speeches in 20+ countries since 2015). Not only that but the Jeffalytics team is currently spread out over 4 continents! This is truly a global organization and a unique opportunity for advancement.
I have generated billions (with a b) in revenue for clients using online marketing, tens of millions for my businesses, and multi-millions for myself. Jeffalytics has been featured in several top online publications, like Moz, the Official Google Analytics Blog, Search Engine Land and many many more. PPC Hero named me the #10 most influential PPC Expert for 2019.
How much will I get paid?
That is the wrong question to be asking. You shouldn’t be doing this for the short-term money. You should be doing this for the experience. But I don’t expect you to work for free. Compensation will be offered.
You will not get rich from this apprenticeship. But you will gain knowledge of how to generate wealth for yourself, start your own business, and own your work freedom.
If you have questions, you should be able to find my email address pretty easily. If you can’t even find my email address? Then you probably won’t make it as an apprentice.
Customer Acquisition Apprentice Form 2019
Please indicate your interest in my apprenticeship program.
This form closes end of day Monday, July 8, 2019
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What’s the #1 reason you want to advertise on Google? To bring in new customers, right? You want to turn internet searchers into leads, customers, and profits.
Well, I have Good News and Bad News for you.
On average, every dollar spent on Google Ads results in $2.55 back to the advertiser.
Now, you might be thinking, “That’s great all I have to do is pump money into Google ads, and I’ll get a 155% return on my investment.”
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
The vast majority of advertisers are either losing money on Google or just breaking even.
By and large, it’s experienced advertisers who have mastered the system that are generating profits on Google Ads. And these pros are doing much better than a 155% return on ad spend (ROAS). They are making back 5 to 10X their investment in Google.
So how can you learn the skills the pros are using and start generating 5 to 10X results from every dollar you spend with Google?
Well, that’s what we are going to cover in this Google Ads tutorial.
5-Part Profit-Driven Google Ads Tutorial
In this 5-part training series, I am going to share what I’ve learned in over a decade of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising on Google.
Together, we’ll walk step-by-step through the fundamentals behind the system I’ve developed for advertising profitably. I have proven this system works while directly managing over $20 million in ad spend and has resulted in more than a billion dollars in revenue for my PPC clients.
This Google Ads tutorial is so in-depth it contains more than 2 1/2 hours of FREE video training content. So, I’ve broken it into six chapters. Each of the sections includes a downloadable resource to help you master the advertising techniques we’re going to cover together in our Free Google Ads Bootcamp.
You can get access to all these downloads by clicking below to set up a free account on our Data Driven training platform. Inside your free account, you’ll able to access every resource that goes along with this Google Ads tutorial, as well as our complete Google Ads Bootcamp program.
Alright! If you’re ready to learn the secrets behind generating profits using Google Ads, let’s get started.
I want to make sure we’re on the same page by defining some of the standard PPC terms you’ll see in this tutorial.
Experienced advertisers or PPC savvy digital marketers may want to gloss over this section. However, if you’re new to PPC advertising, this section includes lingo you’ll need to know moving forward.
A Glossary of PPC terms you should know
CPC – Aka Cost Per Click: the amount you pay for a click on your ad.
Searcher – A person who performs an internet search using Google.
Visitor – A person who visits your website after performing a search.
CTR – Click Through Rate: The percentage of searchers who see your ad, click through on the ad, and end up on your landing page.
Landing pages – The destination webpage you direct searchers to after they click on your ad.
Lead – A searcher or website visitor who takes action which communicates interest in your product or service. For example, filling out a web form or calling a phone number to learn more about your product or service.
Sales Funnel – A sequence of marketing or sales material designed to attract an audience and turn them into customers. For example, a sales funnel using paid advertising might encourage a searcher to call your business. Then when that lead calls your business, your sales team attempts to convert that lead into a customer. Your ad and the sales call are both steps in your sales/marketing funnel.
Session – A unique visit to your website that includes at least one pageview.
Keywords – The words or terms searchers use on Google to retrieve information.
Conversion – A conversion occurs when a website visitor performs the action intended by your ad. These actions usually involve buying a product or filling out a lead form.
Quality Score – This is Google’s quality rating score for your advertisement. The score is based on the relevance of your keywords to your ads to your landing page and is calculated automatically by Google. A perfect quality score is a 10/10.
Now that we have the industry jargon out of the way, let’s get to the exciting stuff. Let’s talk about how to build profitable advertising campaigns on Google.
Setting Realistic Google Advertising Goals
In our first video of this tutorial, I share my five hard-and-fast rules for profit-driven advertising on Google… and we also go in-depth on Rule #1 – setting realistic, yet profitable advertising targets. If you like what you see, you can download my Google Ads Advertising Goals Model and learn more about how to use this handy tool.
Google Ads Tutorial: Lesson 1 - Five Rules for Profit-Driven Advertising on Google - YouTube
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an advertiser is not setting targets for your ad campaigns.
Setting up a new ad campaign is an exciting process. But it’s hard to be satisfied with your results if you don’t set targets. If you don’t define what success looks like, nothing will ever be good enough!
Now, don’t worry if you’ve never estimated your advertising targets before – because I am going to show you how you can produce a quick yet realistic estimate of the revenue you can earn using Google Ads. And I am even going to give you a tool that will do 90% of this work for you.
I’ll show you how to use this tool in just a minute. But, first there a few basic questions about your product or services you need to address before you can calculate your Google Ads earning potential.
Critical questions you need to answer before you start advertising on Google
Answering the questions below will help you evaluate how prepared you are to begin advertising on Google. You’ll also need to know the answers to these questions if you want to be able to estimate the revenue you can earn from advertising.
So, take a minute to go over these questions. Then, keep your answers on-hand so that we can use them in the next step.
How much revenue do you generate when you sell your product or service?
Has your business been successful at generating leads and sales online in the past?
Do you have a sales process for receiving and closing leads?
Are your competitors advertising on Google?
Have your customers shown you love? Do you have testimonials and reviews you can use to engage the potential customers your ads send to your website?
What is the lifetime value of your average customer? Do they purchase your product over and over again?
Do you collect recurring fees from your customer? Or is a new customer almost always a one-and-done sale?
Calculating your Google Ads profit potential
In this section of our tutorial, I am going to show you how to estimate the revenue you can generate advertising on Google.
You’ll need access to two resources, the Google Keyword Planner and my Advertising Goals Model, to produce your estimates.
Follow along, and I’ll show you how this works.
Using Google’s Keyword Planner data to estimate your advertising market
Next, enter some general keywords that describe your product or service into the GKP.
For example, here are some seed keywords I am using to research the advertising market for my Google Ads training program: Google Ads training, Google PPC course, PPC training, PPC Certification Course, Google Ads Certification, free Google AdWords course.
When you start running your ads, you’ll want to be very picky about your keyword list. Right now, we’re just doing market research. So you don’t need to worry about being super targeted with your keywords at this point.
After you’ve entered a handful of keywords into the GKP, Google will return a list of hundreds of suggested search terms for your product or service.
Google’s keyword suggestions tend to be meh at best. But once again, we’re not going to use this entire keyword list in our advertising. We are just trying to get an idea of what the marketplace has to offer us.
So don’t bother wasting your time combing through this list of search terms. For now, we are going to export all these keywords to a spreadsheet.
How to use the Data Driven Advertising Goals Model to set realistic PPC targets
Next, if you haven’t already, opt-in to join my Google Ads Bootcamp and access my Advertising Goals Model.
This model has two tabs. One of the tabs is labeled Google Ads ROI Model, and the other one is labeled Keyword Data.
I’ll show you how to use the beautifully designed ROI Model in the first tab in just a moment. For right now, open the Keyword Data Tab. Then paste in all the keyword data you exported from the GKP.
After you’ve pasted your search term data into the “keyword data” tab, jump back over to the ROI Model tab in our spreadsheet.
You’ll notice our ROI model has different colored cells. The gold cells represent variables which you can use to adjust your projections. The light blue cells are calculations based on your keyword data and the numbers you enter in the gold cells.
Let me show you how this all comes together.
Choosing Your Google Ads goals
Remember the list of hard-hitting questions I asked you to answer before we started gathering keyword data?
Well, now is when we’re going to use the answers to those questions.
The top four gold cells in the ROI model are your advertising goals. In these cells, you want to enter the targets that represent a semi-realistic version of your ideal advertising scenario.
For example, let’s say you want your ads to produce 20 new leads per month. And, you’re willing to spend up to $250 on advertising for every new lead you get.
From that advertising, you expect to generate 10 sales per month and you’re willing to spend up to $500 to land each new sale.
Enter your goals into the gold cells, and we’ll use ROI Model to see if the data supports your advertising ambitions.
Adjusting your keyword estimates
There are only two variables in the Keyword Metric fields of our ROI Model, Expected Click Through Rate and Cost Per Click (CPC) Weighting.
The numbers in the light blue cells are all based on the data you exported from the GKP and pasted into the Goals Model spreadsheet.
Glossary of Google Advertising Goal Metrics
Total Searches Per Month is the sum of all the monthly searches on Google for the keywords you entered into this spreadsheet.
Your Expected Click Through Rate is the percentage of searchers you believe will click on your ads and go to your landing pages. You can set your expected CTR to be anything you want. Your CTRs from live advertising campaigns will vary significantly based on your industry, the keywords you target, your budget, and the quality of your ads. If you have no idea what type of CTR to expect for your advertising, 2% is a safe guess.
Expected Website Sessions from PPC is the total expected monthly searches multiplied by your click-through rate. This is an estimate of the number of people that will visit your website every month as a result of your advertising.
Low and High Range Average Cost Per Click (CPC) – If you look at the keyword data you pulled from the GKP, you’ll see that Google projected a low and high CPC for each keyword you’re analyzing. We base the average CPC in our ROI model on Google’s low and high CPC estimates.
Cost Per Click (CPC) Weighting – This variable allows you to adjust your CPC expenses towards one end or the other of the low to high range. For example, if you believe your ad quality will help reduce your CPCs, then you could reduce your cost estimate to 50% of the average (instead of 100%). If you use the advertising tactics I’ll share with you later in this tutorial, you’re likely to find that your ad campaigns will trend towards, or even below, the low end of the CPC range.
Your Estimated Monthly Ad Spend is equal to the total number of expected website sessions times the average of your clicks costs times our CPC weighting variable.
Estimated monthly ad spend = Expected Website Sessions from PPC * ((Low Range Average Cost Per Click (CPC) + High Range Average Cost Per Click (CPC))/2) * Cost Per Click (CPC) Weighting
Adjusting your Lead and Sales targets
The two remaining variables in our ROI model are your Website Lead Conversion Rate and your Sales Close rate.
In any business, especially B2B services, it’s hard to increase your revenue without consistently filling the top of your sales funnel with new leads.
But the typical top-of-funnel marketing tactics, like blogging, or link building, or growing a social media following can take a long time to pay dividends.
So if you need to get more clients now, then you want to find a way to inject your lead generation machine with a little bit of rocket fuel.
In this video and post, I am going to share four ways you can start to pack the top of your funnel with new clients. These four strategies will help give your lead generation an instant boost while you work on building out your complete business development flywheel.
How to Fill the Top of Your Sales Funnel with More Clients - YouTube
Doing great work, alone, will not fill the top of your sales funnel
As a B2B service provider or consultant, your work product is likely your focus. After all, that’s how you generate an income. You deliver expertise to your clients that’s so valuable that their willing to hire you, “an outsider,” to solve their problems.
It’s easy to become consumed by your work and fall into the trap of relying on your work product as your sole business development mechanism.
But it’s also a big mistake to view your work as your best marketing tool. In my experience, doing great work, alone, doesn’t scale.
Producing an excellent work product is table stakes.
Your clients expect it.
And even when your clients are happy to sing your praises, word-of-mouth lead generation is usually painstaking slow to catch on. Your clients are focused on their own problems. They need time to understand and implement your expertise. So they are not likely to open up their contact list and start sending you referrals until well after they’ve seen results from your services.
Invest in building your network effect to scale your business development process
A much better way to generate top-of-funnel leads for your business is to leverage the “network effect.”
Your professional network and reputation can be used to gain more exposure, which in turn can help you quickly generate more top of the funnel traffic and leads to your business.
Also, as opposed to relying on your clients to celebrate your work, building a reputation is scalable. When done the right way, growing a professional reputation is like investing. The effort you put into developing your network today will have a compound effect on your business’s future success.
However, unlike investing, you don’t need 20 to 40 years to see a return on your efforts. If you’re working full time on your business, you can see massive growth within the next five years. Heck, if you focus your efforts, you can see dividends within the next 6-12 months.
If you’re just starting to think about business development because you need revenue growth now, then you probably want to see quick gains. If you need a quick fix while building your own network, one of the best ways to grow your exposure is to leverage the networks of others.
So let’s talk about how you can tap into the network effect to rapidly increase growth at the top of your sales funnel.
1. Leverage existing networks like LinkedIn, and take advantage of the network effect
It’s never been easier for B2B service providers to connect with clients and other business owners, and LinkedIn is far and above the best tool for quick and effective B2B networking.
You can use the search features in LinkedIn to connect with influencers in your industry, as well as niches that are downstream and upstream from your business. Then you can provide value to their network by asking questions, sharing your ideas and having a positive impact on others. When done consistently, this strategy will help expose you to a larger audience, and in turn, grow your network quickly.
*Pro tips for building a valuable LinkedIn network*
Isaac Anderson, LinkedIn Expert and Lead instructor of Linked Jumpstart, shared the following tips for growing a valuable linked network that’s loaded with potential clients.
Step 1: Connect with the piggyback
You can piggyback trust by leveraging the network of others. It’s called trust by association, and it’s a great way to quickly increase your exposure, website traffic, and lead generation. You can piggyback the networks of your clients, friends…and even competitors. Here’s how this works.
If you’re connecting with a friend or client, this will be an easy step. Find them and send a connection request. As an added bonus ask them for a recommendation after you connect with them. Their recommendation will give you extra trust when their network views your profile later on.
If you are connecting with a competitor (playing frenemies), approach the situation like you appreciate having colleagues in the industry.
Step 2: Prospect their network
Most people allow their connections to see everyone else they’re connected with (it’s a setting you can turn on/off – the default is on). Click the “connections” icon to see everyone in your new contacts network.
Use advanced search filters to find potential leads in their network.
Search filters include job title, location, industry, and more.
Step 3: Connect and Talk
When you find someone who looks like a potential lead, send them a connection request with a custom message. In that message mention that you’re both connected with your piggyback and say something personal about them. This should be a friendship pitch, not a sales pitch.
Utilize open profiles and InMail to visit with people who don’t accept your connection request. If they accept, they’re now in your network as well. Have a two-way dialogue to discover if they’re truly a good potential lead and where they’re at in the sales cycle.
Most of your prospects will be top-of-funnel, but a small percentage will be looking for what you do now.
Step 4: Stay top of mind as they move down the funnel
Once someone is in your network, it’s easy to stay top of mind as they move down the funnel. You can message your connections directly any time, your content will be eligible for their newsfeed, and you usually get their email. Sharing high-quality top-of-mind material by messaging and in your newsfeed is a great way to drive traffic to your website.
To learn more about Isaac’s unique and ultra-effective process for growing a highly valuable B2B network on LinkedIn, check out Linked Jumpstart.
2. Contribute to popular industry blogs (ahem…)
When you’re first building up your presence online, contributing to more established sites can be more effective than publishing content on your own website. By giving away your unique and valuable content to a website with a larger presence, you can connect with a new audience. Also, when your content is seen on a platform that your desired audience already likes and trusts, you earn instant credibility with that audience.
As a result, you can capture a lot of new leads in your funnel if you’re prepared to capitalize on the referral traffic these posts generate.
Before Jefflaytics gained momentum, I did a ton of contributing posts all over the internet. I wrote posts for the Moz Blog and shared content on other popular digital marketing sites to spread the word.
Contributing to more established sites had a significant impact on the growth of my website. It led to thousands of new followers to my social accounts and invitations to speaking gigs all over the world. It also helped me generate goodwill amongst my peers and made them more likely to share the work I publish on my own website.
Now that I’ve grown Jeffalytics to the point where I get a consistent stream of new visitors to my site, I’m looking for fresh content that brings value to my network. If you want to share your digital marketing expertise and get your name out there, I am open to featuring you on Jeffalytics.
3. Get people to say “I want that” when they see your work
Growing your network is about more than just awareness. You also need a way to capture your new audience’s attention so that you communicate with them long term. There are thousands of articles about how to capture leads on your website, or from social media posts. But they all boil down to one thing – your prospect saying “I want that.”
If you can get others to say “I want that” when they see your work, you’re going to convert a lot of your website visitors into top of the funnel leads. Here’s an example of an irresistible offer that one of our Agency Jumpstart students shares on his website.
He’s been able to collect a ton of leads by sharing his work in a way that allows others to consume his expertise quickly and on-demand.
When you’re crafting an “I want that” offer, think about how you can turn your most popular solution into something that people who have never heard of you before can access and benefit from immediately. Giving away lots of value up front, in a scalable format, is one of the best ways to get your name out there and quickly warm your relationships with new leads.
4. Discover frustration and solve for pain
Listening to your potential customer’s pain points and frustrations may be the single most powerful way to grow your business. Why? Because once you know what your ideal customers’ most common problems are, and you have a solution, you can share it everywhere. You can share your answers to these problems on LinkedIn, on your blog, as a contributor to other blogs, on social media, and it will amplify your reach quickly.
Also, understanding how your customers talk about their problems, and what kind of solution they are looking for will allow you to use their language in your future marketing content.
Then, when your target audience sees the solutions you share in your content it will resonate them, they won’t just say “I want that…” they’ll say “I NEED that!”
So we covered four ways you can amplify your top-of-funnel lead generation efforts immediately. And we discussed one common trap to avoid. At this point, you may be thinking “how am I going to get this all done.”
Well, it comes down to adopting a straightforward rule for your business.
Spend 20% of your time on new business development
No successful business was ever built without putting in significant effort to attract new customers. If you don’t put in the work, you won’t reap the rewards.
My recommendation is you spend 20% of your work hours on business development, no expectations. If you work 40 hours a week, that’s eight hours or the equivalent of one full business day spent building new opportunities.
Eight hours may seem like a lot if you’re crunched for time. But think about what you want out to get out of your business. How much further along will you be in a year if you invest eight hours a week to business development now?
Remember, your networking, and business development efforts will have a compound effect. So eight hours a week now could be worth hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars five years from now.
Are you ready to leverage the network effect and start accelerating your business development flywheel?
If you are, leave a comment with “YES!” below. Or, leverage the network effect right here on this post. If you have a top-of-funnel “I want that” offer, please share it in the comments below.
Follow along with our five-part series on growing your business development machine. You can take a look back at our recent videos and articles here:
Creating a reliable, consistent B2B Lead Generation system is a challenge that just about every service provider, agency, consultant, vendor, etc. faces on their way to building business development momentum.
For me, I’ve struggled with lead generation at every phase of my business. I struggled when I first launched my freelance business back in 2005. And I faced this obstacle again while growing my marketing agency a few years later. I even struggled with finding students for my courses for the first few years.
The truth is that it takes time and substantial effort to build momentum with business development and most fledgling businesses will give up way too early in the process. Usually, they are giving up right on the cusp of finding the momentum they desired for years – which is a shame, because it was just about to start getting easy.
Fortunately, through my experiences, I have been able to uncover a process that I believe every service-based business can use to build an effective lead generation system. This system is based on my own trials and tribulations, along with helping 200+ business owners refine their lead generation processes through my Agency Jumpstart program.
In this video and post, I am going to show you why creating a consistent and scalable lead generation system is the most important thing you can do to grow your service based business. And I’m going to cover the steps you can follow to start building a program that has the potential to change the trajectory of your business.
But before we get started, I want you to know that this process isn’t about exploiting some new marketing tactic you haven’t heard of yet. It’s not nearly that exciting.
Instead, we’re going to break down the business questions you need to ask yourself to get started and the components you can build to make lead generation a lot less daunting.
How to Solve Your B2B Lead Generation Problems - YouTube
Why NOW is the best time to fix your lead generation process
The harsh reality of building a service-based company is that until you meet the business development challenge head-on, and find a lead generation process that works for your business, you are stuck in survival mode.
And the feast or famine cycle that comes with not having a reliable source of new clients makes it almost impossible to predict your revenue, OR hire employees, OR bring on more resources so that you have time to work ON your business instead of just IN your business.
But don’t worry. EVERY business goes through this phase. Some never leave.
The good news is that if you’re in survival mode, and you’re wondering how you’re going to get over the hump… how you’re going to close a deal to keep the lights on, that’s actually a sign that your business is going to be successful.
Why? Because you’re thinking long and hard about how you can solve the biggest problem you are facing in your business right now and at nearly every point in the future.
Most consultants and agencies won’t solve this problem. They’ll continue grinding out getting clients here and there until something forces their hand… It could be a market crash, or a family issue, or problems with a business partner, or unexpectedly losing a major client. And when this huge shock occurs, their revenue may dry up altogether, leaving them OUT of business. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this happen to many businesses. Good people closing their doors because they never built the business development flywheel.
So if you’re thinking it’s time to solve your lead generation problems and build the machine that will allow your business to hit the next growth phase – I’m here to tell you that YES – it’s definitely the right time to face this challenge.
I can tell you from experience that once you solve this problem, the rest of the pieces of your business will fall into place. It won’t be seamless, but it will put many components into perspective. You’ll finally have the revenue needed to appropriately staff your projects, which opens the opportunity to fix the issues that are holding your business back right now.
So let’s talk about building your lead generation machine.
The trouble with getting started, and how to take the first step
One of my Agency Jumpstart students, Darren, recently sent me a question that pretty much sums up the challenges we face when we start trying to figure out how to get more leads for our businesses.
“My biggest struggle is generating leads and going after business. I have many ideas but to get started I don’t know where I should be putting most of my energy & focus.”
Darren is a skilled and successful PPC Manager. He’s already at the phase where he’s hiring employees to replicate his PPC results so he can take on more clients.
But between servicing his clients and training his employees, he barely has time to focus on his lead generation efforts. So like the rest of us, he doesn’t have time to waste.
Well, Darren, I feel your pain. It’s hard to know where to get started. We all have millions of ideas, and we don’t have enough time to execute on all of them. There are also 1000s of networks you could use to build your business pipeline, but there’s no confidence any one of them will work. Take for example the SMB Marketing Ecosystem.
This is a simplified chart of all the players in the marketing space for small businesses. Simple? Not really. It makes me wonder how could any single service provider navigate this roadmap and make it work for their business?
The answer? You can’t.
So instead of getting overwhelmed by all the choices you have in front of you, I recommend starting with something I call Project Forcefield.
Put a forcefield around your business
Take all the distractions that don’t bring you closer to your goals and eliminate them. Build a forcefield around your business and only focus on the actions that bring you closer to your goals.
Commence Project Forcefield
After all, if your efforts aren’t going to help you achieve your goals then you’re probably not going to be happy or satisfied with the results they generate.
But therein lies the bigger problem. If you don’t know the ultimate objective of your business, then you can’t define what’s going to get you to your goal.
So we need to work backward. We need to define the goal Moonshot you have for your business.
Determine Your Moonshot
You’ll notice I crossed out the word goal above and replaced it with Moonshot.
Because goals are often arbitrary, they lack definition and clarity.
Your Moonshot is the ultimate ambition you have for your business.
To me, taking a Moonshot means preparing for an unlikely event that’s well out in the future and developing a plan to reach your moonshot by working backward.
Your moonshot represents the picture of what your business looks like when you solve the things that are holding you back right now. Whether it’s eliminating bad client relationships, or improving your employee structure, or upgrading your team, achieving your Moonshot will allow you to make these changes.
Your Moonshot could be represented by a revenue figure, or growth percentage, or a number of employees, or your company valuation, or even the number of clients you want to have.
What is your Moonshot goal?
You may not know the answer to this question right now. In my experience, most businesses don’t. 90 to 95% of the business owners I’ve talked to don’t know what they ultimately want their company to achieve in the next few months, let alone years into the future.
That makes things difficult, doesn’t it? If you don’t know what your Moonshot is, then it’s also impossible to chart the path you need to follow to get there.
So how do you determine your Moonshot?
Project Three Scenarios
You can figure out what your Moonshot target is using an exercise I call “Three Projections.”
Projecting your revenue, expenses, and profits using the scenarios I detail below can show you what your business will look well into the future based on the decision you make now.
Pessimistic Growth Scenario
Our first scenario takes a pessimistic approach to your business’s growth. In this situation, you want to estimate what will happen if everything goes wrong for your business. This projection is the financial picture of what happens to your business when you over-invest in resources and don’t achieve any growth.
Realistic Growth Scenario
Next, take a realistic look at your business’s. What happens to your key financials when your business progresses at a rate that’s on track with or slightly better than your current growth rate?
BHAG Growth Scenario
Finally, project what your numbers look like when you build your ultimate B2B lead generation machine. I call this the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) forecast. The BHAG projection represents what your business can achieve if you keep bringing in new clients, retain your existing customers, and you maintain manageable salary growth for your employees.
Essentially, the BHAG projection allows you to visualize how a really well run service-based business maximizes their profits.
Looking at these three scenarios, you can start to see how your ideal business would function. You can formulate precise targets for your revenue, expenses, employee structure, and client numbers.
And you’ll also notice that both the realistic and BHAG projections depend on consistent business development. In fact, without an effective B2B lead generation pipeline the only scenario that’s left is the pessimistic one.
Now that you have a goal – or rather a Moonshot – in mind, you can build the system that’s going to get you there.
Identify the service offerings that will help you achieve your goals
So which services are most likely to help you achieve your Moonshot?
Think about your service offerings based on three foundational pillars:
What are you good at?
What can you make money doing?
And what are you passionate about?
If you can afford to sacrifice any one of these pillars, it’s probably the third one (passion). Your service offerings don’t have to be glamorous. There’s a lot of money to be made in doing things like emptying dumpsters or watering plants.
Many business owners fulfill their passion by building a successful company that creates generational wealth.
Define your unique selling proposition
Once you know your service plan, you can define your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is how you communicate the benefits of your services to your potential clients.
Your USP can be summarized by saying:
I do X (your service) for Y (your target customer).
Here are some examples of USPs based on the business of students who have gone through our Agency Jumpstart program.
“I run PPC lead generation campaigns and build landing pages for roofing companies.”
“My business creates custom dashboards for medium sized real estate companies using Power BI or Data Studio.”
“I make conversion-focused websites for online course sellers who are hosting their site using WordPress.”
Your USP should be as specific as possible about the benefit your services provide and targeted to the ideal customer who needs that service.
Get to know your target customer on a personal level
Customer research will help you figure out who wants your service, where they hang out and how to connect with them.
When you do customer research, you want to investigate the company demographics, locations, and revenues of your target customer. You also want to find out who they network with and what communities they spend time in.
If possible, interview as many businesses ownersas you can who fit the profile of your target customer. Interviewing these individuals will help connect with their pain points and allow you to adapt your service plan to meet the most critical needs your customers have.
There are many other places where you can conduct research as well, but I find primary research is always the best starting point.
Use a Cornerstone Content strategy to corner your market
The Cornerstone Content strategy has been very successful at both my agency business and at Jeffalytics.
Here’s how it works.
Create an epic solution for the most common problem faced by your target customer.
Then you test and prove that your solution works.
Finally, you create a piece of content designed to share your solution with your target customers.
When you develop your Cornerstone Content, you can use this proven marketing and storytelling framework to make sure you get your audience’s attention:
Problem > Agitate > Solve
Let’s talk about how to use the problem, agitate, solve sequence in your content.
First, you introduce your content by letting your potential customer know that you identify with their problem. Empathizing with them will communicate that you understand their frustrations.
Next, you discuss and remind them why the problem they are facing is limiting their business’s potential.
Finally, you share your epic solution, and you show your potential customers how it solves their problems.
Example: Let’s take a look at how the problem, agitate, solve sequence would work in the PPC industry.
Here’s a challenge that almost every business owner who uses Google Ads faces:
“We can never bring enough leads from Google Ads to generate a positive ROI.”
Anyone who’s used Google Ads has felt this pain at some point, so it’s easy to empathize with the problem.
“I know you what you mean! It seems like the only one making a profit is Google, amirite?”
But, that’s not actually the case. “You” have an answer to your audience’s problem. Now that you have your potential customer’s attention let them know about it.
“It turns out it’s still easy to make a profit from Google Ads… if you focus on the right things. Here they are…”
How giving away your best solution works to your advantage
Here’s the counterintuitive part of this formula. In your Cornerstone Content, you give away your solution.
Sure, there will be people that will grab your intellectual capital and try to recreate your success. But they are not you.
They’ll have the tactics, but they will not understand the strategy behind your exact process, and they won’t be able to recreate your success.
So don’t worry about the DIYers. They would never have been your customers anyway.
Your ideal customers will see your solution, and they will pay you to implement it for them.
These customers don’t have time to re-create your work product. They probably won’t even entirely consume your content. They’ll see that you have a new approach to solving their problems, one that they’ve never tried before, and they’ll want your solution in place as soon as possible. They’ll want your experience and expertise, and they’ll be willing to pay for it.
Amplify your message
You might be wondering how you’re going to get your content in front of your customers so that they see and desire the services you offer.
Well, there are many ways to amplify your message. Here a few of the strategies I’ve found to be most effective.
Leveraging your organic reach
Your organic reach is basically your existing network of connections and colleagues. This could be direct contact you have with other business owners, or it could be your following on LinkedIn or other social networks in your industry. It could also be forums you post in, your email list, or people that read your website’s blog.
The key to effectively using your organic reach is to leverage your business’s existing skill sets and assets to reach your customers.
For example, before I started offering PPC or Analytics services, I provided SEO services, and I built WordPress websites. So when I wanted to start Jeffalytics, creating search optimized blog content on a WordPress website was a natural fit.
If you already have assets, like a social media following, or a network of business influencers, use those resources to promote your content.
If you’re starting from scratch…
Look for the path that provides the least amount of friction between your skills and your target customers’ attention.
Investing in paid advertising
With all the content created these days, organic reach only scales to a certain extent. So if you really want to jumpstart your B2B lead generation machine, you’re going to have to pay for it.
But if you followed the process I’ve outlined and done your research, paid advertising should be very successful for you because…
You already know the platforms that your customers like to use.
You know who your customers are.
And you know what will get their attention.
Automating your outreach
Eventually, you might decide to automate your outreach so that you can grow at a faster pace. Automating your lead generation process could involve hiring a virtual assistant to help you implement the outreach methods we teach in our Linked Jumpstart program. Or you might hire a salesperson to focus on contacting your potential customers.
How you choose to amplify your message really depends on your industry and the resources you have at your disposal.
Clarity (not focus) is the difference maker
Most business owners I talk to assume a lack of focus is preventing them from building their lead generation system.
But that real problem is usually a lack of clarity. And that lack of clarity is understandable.
It’s shunned by society to talk about how much money you want to make, or how we want our business to generate millions in profits. So instead of setting sights on our highest ambitions, we get distracted by tactics and strategies that offer short term fixes.
Then, when we don’t see instantaneous results, we start believing that real success must be the product of irreplicable business genius or luck or timing.
The truth is that building a business is a challenging and rigorous pursuit.
You’re a far more likely to be successful if you don’t compromise your uniqueness and you embrace what you really want. And once you’ve mapped out what you genuinely want your business to achieve, you can start to put the pieces of your lead generation machine together.
Recapping our B2B Lead Generation Process
If you’re ready to build your ultimate B2B lead generation pipeline, here’s a quick recap of the steps we covered:
Commence Project Forcefield – Put a forcefield around your business and commit to blocking out all distractions that don’t bring you closer to your goals.
Determine your Moonshot – Use our Three Projections exercises to define what success looks like for your business.
Define your business’s service offerings.
Craft your business’s unique selling proposition.
Research your target customer. Learn about their demographics, tendencies, and behaviors. And become well acquainted with their most significant problems.
Create a piece of Cornerstone Content that shares your solution to your potential customers’ most common problems.
Amplify your message so that your unique solution gets in front of as many..
Google Analytics makes it easy to see how many people visit your website. Sign up for GA, add some code to your website theme, and voila! You’re rolling in data.
But, of course, you’ll soon learn that this is only a small piece of the puzzle.
Google Analytics is great, but with ONLY the base GA code in place, you’ll have a hard time discovering what these people actually do on your website.
What’s missing from vanilla Google Analytics?
That base GA code doesn’t show you how far your visitors scrolled through your pages (a leading indicator that they actually read the content), if they watched your videos, or if they clicked any of your calls to action (CTAs).
Want to know if the people who visit your site download your PDFs or white papers? Or how they interact with your opt-in forms? You’ll need extra tracking code to pull it all off.
Just about anyone can add event tracking to an existing site in under 20 minutes using tag templates in Google Tag Manager (GTM), assuming you already have GTM on your site. Don’t have GTM in place? Check out our GTM Tutorial to get started.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to use GTM to set up my four favorite Google Analytics event tracking tags. Not only that, but I’ll share why these tags are critical to optimizing your website and I’ll show you a couple of shortcuts that will save you loads of time while applying these tracking upgrades to your site.
Event Tracking with Google Tag Manager: Tips and Tricks - YouTube
Want to skip ahead to see the Google Analytics event tracking tags in Google Tag Manager? Here are some quick links for you:
Event tracking is how you tell Google Analytics to record the actions people take within the pages of your website. Event tracking goes beyond the capabilities of your standard GA tracking code and requires additional code to pull off.
These user-triggered actions are unique to each website, so Google isn’t able to track them automatically on your behalf with the base GA code. You need to tell them the actions you want to track, and this is done through an additional event tracking code library.
The events we’re going to discuss in this post include tracking downloads, link clicks,video views, and page scrolling.
Is Google Tag Manager required to track events?
No, you do not have to use GTM to track events. You can manually add the event tracking code (which can easily top 100+ unique events and manual code placements) to your website and collect the same event data if you have a solid process in place and strong attention to detail.
The process of manually adding event tracking code to a website typically takes days, if not weeks, and can cost $1,000’s in web developer time and fees. It also takes a lot of time to debug, test and maintain the code as your tracking needs evolve.
You can probably guess as to how I feel about manually adding event tracking code to your site. Yes, you can torture yourself and add event tracking tags to your website manually if you like. But as an alternative, I highly recommend you add your event tracking the easy way… using GTM.
Why should I add event tracking to my website?
Not every website needs event tracking. If you just want to see how much traffic your site gets, and where your traffic comes from, then the standard Google Analytics tracking code will take care of all your needs.
But collecting on-page visitor behavior data is the next step of analysis for a website owner who wants to excel in marketing and business growth.
Here are some marketing disciplines that can use our recommended event data to significantly improve their results.
If you run any type of paid advertising, event tracking can help you understand how people interact with your landing pages. You can use event tracking to see how far people read down your pages and where they fall off. You can also track if they watch your videos, and how they interact with your forms, and which links they click.
Blogging and content marketing
When you publish a blog post, do you know if anyone actually reads it?
You can find the answer easily if you track page scrolling and measure reader engagement with events. As you probably know, better reader engagement can lead to higher search engine rankings, as well as more conversions.
Want to track conversions you drive to affiliate sites? Tracking external link clicks can help optimize for affiliate revenue as well.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
Every CRO project starts with a deep dive into your current analytics. If you have set up GA to track on-page behavior with events, you’ll be able to discover what is needed to increase your conversion rates.
Have a sales campaign that isn’t working? Data from event tracking can help you optimize your product pages, and increase your sales.
You can track lead form interactions and opt-ins using event tracking. Note: I am not specifically covering form tracking in this guide because this process varies a bit depending on which type of form builder you use (and there are 100’s of from builders). That said, similar techniques can be used for from tracking.
(If you’re interested in learning more about form tracking, make sure to check out my full GTM Course. Inside my GTM Course, I have in-depth lessons on lead form tracking.)
If you do affiliate marketing, tracking outbound link clicks can help you analyze and improve the results from your product referrals. Collecting link click data to use along with your campaign and traffic reports will also help you learn how to increase your conversions.
Other on-page tracking tools
There are other on-page analytics tools, like HotJar, Crazy Egg or Sumo Tools that will create heatmaps and track button clicks. You can use these tools to create specialty reports in addition to what you will find in Google Analytics (if you’re a Data Driven member, we have discounts on these tools inside your account).
But at this time, in my opinion, the fastest and most foolproof way to gain on-page insights is to use automatic GTM event tracking to enhance your Google Analytics data.
Why? Because GTM is free, universally useful, and it’s made to work seamlessly with GA. You can use your event data to make improvements to your site and get better results in a few days.
Alright, now that we’ve covered the what and the why of event tracking, let’s delve into the how.
Event tracking in Google Tag Manager
Although GTM makes advanced tracking accessible to everyday marketers (even those with no web development experience), you still need to know how do some of the basics in GTM to get your event tracking tags in place.
That said, even if you are new to GTM, the rest of this rest of this guide will help you see how what’s possible once you learn the fundamentals.
Four event tracking tags that will help you optimize your marketing results
Let’s take a look at my four favorite event tracking tags to implement in GTM. These tags work for any website using GA.
1) Download Tracking in GTM
If you’re offering up white papers, PDFs, or other downloadable content on your website, you probably want to know how often your visitors opt to take advantage of your content upgrades. But, Google Analytics does not track downloads by default.
You can use a GTM tag along with a regular expression to track every download that happens on your website.
Here’s how to set up download tracking
Start by creating a Universal Analytics tag in GTM, using the GA Tag template. In in the “track type” section of your tag template, choose “Event.” Then name your category, action, and label. As you can see in the screenshot below I’m using variables in my action and label fields to record the URL and text for my download events.
Download event trigger
Select a “Just links” trigger for your tag. Then to make it so that this trigger tracks all your downloads, sitewide, use a regular expression (RegEx) to fire your trigger.
This expression includes the extensions for all the downloadable files available on my sites.
Using this RegEx in your trigger will save from having to create multiple tags and triggers to track your various types of downloads. If you use this RegEx, make sure to add or update to represent the correct file extensions for your downloads.
Want to know where your website visitors go when they leave your site? Using a GTM event tag, you can track any link clicks that take visitors off your site. Outbound link click tracking can help you understand where to place your links strategically inside your content to maximize engagement and affiliate commissions.
Here’s how to set up outbound link click tracking
Once again, start with a Univeral GA tag template. In my template, I am using variables to make my label dynamic so that this tag will report the link text and URL in Google Analytics.
Link click event trigger
Next, set up the just links trigger again. In the trigger, use a regular expression to track any clicks that don’t include your site’s domain name.
3) Video Tracking in GTM
Lots of websites use videos to increase audience engagement on sales pages, product pages, and blog posts. Using GTM’s pre-built YouTube tracking triggers, you can find out exactly how much of your videos your visitors watch. You can also see which parts of your videos draw the most attention, and where your visitors stop watching.
How to set up YouTube video tracking
As with our other our event tracking tags, you want to start by creating a Universal GA event tag. I am using variables in the category, action, and label fields so that I can use this one tag to track every video on my website.
YouTube video event trigger
Next, you want to add the YouTube trigger to your tag. This trigger is super easy to set up. All you have to do use it is select which action will make it fire. I have my tag firing on all video plays (starts), completions, pausing, buffering and seeking. I also have my trigger set up to fire when a visitor makes it 10, 25, 45, 65, 75 and 100% through my video.
Using a different video platform like Vimeo and Wistia? There are libraries for tracking these videos as well. I specifically recommend DuracellTomi’s GTM for WordPress to track Vimeo videos, which we use on our Data Driven courses.
4) Scroll tracking in GTM
Want to know how much of your content your visitors really read? You can set up a scroll tracking tag in GTM to tell how far your visitors make down your pages. Scroll tracking can help optimize the format of your content, as well as the in-content placement of your CTA’s so that you get better visitor engagement and more conversions.
Not only that, but you can configure Scroll Tracking to reduce your bounce rate by making it an interaction event when they scroll past a certain percentage of the page.
How to set up scroll tracking
In this scroll tracking tag, I am using variables to report the scroll depth and direction of my website visits. I have also made the page path dynamic so that this tag reports the page that was scrolled in my event data.
Interaction hits and bounce rate
Additionally, I have set this tag to report an interaction hit in Google Analytics. Making this event an interaction hit means that any visitor’s session that fires this tag will not count as a bounced visit.
Why would you want page scrolling to impact bounce rate? Well, bounce rate is a metric that’s meant to represent visitor engagement. If you publish long-form content, then scrolling more than 1/2 way down a page is a strong sign of visitor engagement. That way, if someone reads more than 60% of one your pages, you don’t have to report them as a “bounced,” or disengaged visitor.
Scroll depth trigger
The scroll depth trigger is also easy to set up. You can choose to track vertical and/or horizontal scrolling. And you can fire your tag based on the percentage of the page or number of pixels scrolled.
Always test and debug your tags before you publish
Once you’ve set up your event tracking tags, it’s imperative to test and debug these tags before you publish them.
You also want to closely monitor the data your tags send into Google Analytics using your Real-Time reports. Make sure you’re happy with the labels, categories, and actions appearing in your reports before you publish these tags to your site!
That wraps up the basics of using Google Tag Manager for event tracking. As we discussed, event tracking can help you use a data-driven approach to optimize your PPC landing pages, e-commerce product pages, blog posts, lead generation campaigns, and affiliate marketing.
Want to learn even more about to use event tracking?
If you want to learn even more about how to use GTM for event tracking, join the Jeffalytics email list to get notifications about how to join my GTM Course. I’ll be opening up our GTM Course to new students at the end of this month. And, over the next couple weeks, I’ll be announcing some surprise bonuses we are adding to this training program.
Which event tracking tags are critical to your marketing?
Which event tracking tags are you going to use to measure your marketing campaigns? Leave a comment below and share your favorite event tracking tags, tips and tricks.
Working in Google Ads is all about control and efficiency.
You want to take control of your advertising, and you don’t want to let Google choose how you spend your budget.
In Ads, keyword match types determine how much control you have over the searches that trigger your ads. There are four different keyword match types.
Broad Match Modified
Plus there are negative keywords that you can use to prevent certain words or phrases from being associated with your search query.
Broad match offers the least amount of control over your keywords. But, sometimes, when you’re just starting an ad campaign, you need to use broad match keywords to test the market and gather data quickly.
In these cases, where you are testing the waters with PPC, you can gain more control over how Google displays your broad keywords by using the broad match modifier.
Today, we’ll look at how broad match modified keywords work in Google Ads
Then I’ll show you how to quickly add the modifier to your keywords, using AdWords Editor. And we’ll check out how to make single keyword ad groups that use three keyword match types.
How Broad Match Modified Keywords Can Help Your Results - YouTube
Last November, I gave a presentation on the 10 Commandment of PPC Advertising at the DMSS conference in Bali. You can watch the full presentation in the video below.
Why is broad match bad?
Broad keywords give control of your advertising to Google.
If you were to advertise on the keyword “werewolf novels,” using broad match, your ad could display for all sorts of unrelated search terms.
Your ad could rank for searches related to:
“werewolf costumes”, “travel novels”, “prince concert tickets”, and “scuba equipment.”
And when a searcher who’s interested in travel novels or werewolf costumes clicks on your ad, you pay for the click!
The result is that you pay for lots of wasted clicks. Or no one clicks your ad because it’s not related to the search. Then your Quality Scores tank and your ads don’t display at all.
Those results? They are bad! Using simple logic, that implies that broad match is bad!!
Broad Match Modified
One way to make the broad match type more targeted to your keywords is to use the broad match modifier.
Adding the broad match modifier to your keywords is a simple as placing a “+” before each word you want to modify.
The modifier tells google that there must be a close variant of your keyword in the search for your ad to display.
So if your keyword is “werewolf novels,” then “novels on werewolves” and “werewolf cheap novels” are still acceptable searches for your ad to display on.
But, “travel novels” and “scuba equipment” are ruled out because there are no close variants in these searches.
Broad match modified strikes a balance between broad coverage and control of your keywords.
Here’s where broad match modified falls on the spectrum of all the keyword match types.
Keyword Match Types
Broad Match = Keyword and all it’s synonyms as interpreted by Google.
Broad Match Modified = Searches that include the keyword, and/or close variants of the keyword.
Phrase Match = Exact Keyword, with other terms before or after your keyword. And your keywords can appear in any order within the search.
Exact Match = Exact keyword only
Why should you use broad match modified keywords?
1) Because these keywords produce valuable data in your search term reports.
Modified broad match can help you learn how people use your keywords in search. Broad keywords populate your search term report with lots of data about the searches that trigger your ads.
Mining your search term data will show you which keyword variations are working the best. You can use this data to adjust your keywords to target the searches that are resulting in conversions. And, you can also add search terms that are resulting in wasted clicks to your negative keywords list.
2) Google doesn’t like it when you go too granular, too quickly (from my experience).
In my experience, when you start off with a super refined ad campaign, Google doesn’t like it. If you go 100% phrase and exact match from the get-go, Google doesn’t display your ads, and you get little to no results. I’m not talking bad results. I’m talking no results at all.
So when you build out your ad groups, consider including broad match modified keywords to round-out your search term reports.
PPC Course Student Question
One of our PPC Course students asked the following question about using the broad match modifier:
Modified broad match. Do you place the + in front of your key word/s in Adwords Editor in keyword edit screen? And it automatically makes it modified broad when you post back to Adwords?
Shelly wants to know how to use the modifier in AdWords Editor.
So, Let’s jump inside Adwords Editor and see how this is done.
Adding the Broad Match Modifier using AdWords Editor
One of the great things about AdWords Editor is you can make changes in bulk. Adding the broad match modifier to your keywords using the Editor will save you loads of time.
Let’s look at how to add the modifier using AdWords Editor.
As you can see, I set up an ad group with a bunch of broad keywords.
Some of these keywords are very specific, bordering on, well… Creepy. (Hopefully, no one is actually doing these searches.)
I put way more keywords into this ad group (plus creepy keywords) than I usually would for a single keyword ad group (skag). But, I wanted to show you how to refine this ad group quickly, using the Editor.
Adjusting match types using AdWords Editor
The first thing we’ll do is copy our entire keyword list. Then we’ll paste these keywords into our ad group twice, creating two sets of duplicate keywords.
Next, we’ll change one set of duplicates to phrase match. We’ll repeat this process, and change the second set of duplicate keywords to exact match.
You’ll receive some warnings in the Editor while you’re adjusting your match types. The red warning will disappear as you make the adjustments.
I always ignore the yellow warning about having the same keyword in my ad groups. Google’s been offering this warning for years. But I don’t see that it has any validity. The whole point of a skag is to put your different match types for the same keyword in one ad group.
Now, we’ll change the broad match keywords to broad match modified in two simple steps.
Adding the “+” to your keywords
First, select all the broad keywords. Then, right-click to choose “Append text.”
Next, add a “+” to “Before existing text.”
Our first step added the modifier to the first word in our keywords. But it didn’t add the modifier to the other words in our keywords.
So, with our broad keywords selected, will use the replace text command.
Using this command will replace the spaces in our keywords with ” +.” Remember to add one space before your modifier so that your keywords format correctly. If you screw this up, like I did in the video above, you can always hit “ctrl z.”
That’s it! With two quick steps, and maybe 15 seconds of work, we changed all our broad keywords to modified broad match.
Single Keyword Ad Groups- How and When to use SKAGs - YouTube
Here’s how we could quickly refine this ad group down to a skag using AdWords Editor.
Just select and delete the keywords you want to remove. Or move them to a new ad group.
If you want to create a “pure” skag, you’ll be left with your root keyword and that’s it. My version of a SKAG is your root keyword with 3 match types. This level of granularity tends to produce very precise results.
Using these techniques, you can have pinpoint targeting for your keywords, as well as better data in your search term reports.
Let recap the steps we used to bulk add the broad match modifier.
Fire up AdWords Editor
Enter your keywords as broad match type
Copy and paste keywords, changing match types for phrase and exact
Highlight just your broad keywords and append + to the beginning of the string
Replace spaces with space +
Pretty painless!! That’s the power of Adwords Editor. You can make bulk changes to your Google Ads campaigns in seconds.
Adding the modifier to your keywords gives you more control than broad match. The modifier can help make your advertising more efficient than regular broad match. And it pulls lots of good data into your search term reports.
Using AdWords Editor is an ultra-efficient way to bulk ad the broad match modifier. The Editor saves you time and helps you manage your ad groups efficiently.
Do you use the broad match modifier?
Are broad match modified keywords present in your advertising? If so, do they affect your results? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
How many of your current customers do you think you can target using Google Ads?
Don’t know? Good news! Google can tell you.
Google will even tell you how many of your customers they can find on the Search Network, the Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail.
It’s called Customer Match.
Customer Match allows you to use your customer data in your Ads targeting. And today I am going to teach you how to use Customer Match.
In this post and video, we’ll go inside Google Ads and I’ll show you how to upload your customer lists. We’ll also run a live Customer Match experiment. Our experiment will test Google’s Customer Match results using customer emails vs. physical mailing addresses.
Follow along! And let’s learn how we can use Customer Match to improve our efficiency and targeting in Google Ads.
Google Ads Customer Match
Building your Customer Match lists
Creating your Customer Match list is pretty simple.
Let’s walk through how to get your list set-up.
To get started, click the gear icon in the top right-hand corner of your Google Ads dashboard.
Then, select audience manager from your Shared Library menu.
Next, click the blue “+” icon, and choose to create a customer list.
Once you’re in the customer list screen, you can start to set up your new list. You can give your customer list a name. Then, choose to upload your list of customer emails, phone numbers and/or mailing addresses.
Matching customers by email address
To upload a list of customer emails you need to create a plain text file of email addresses. This file can be super basic. You only need one column, with the heading “email.”
Here’s an example of what my customer email CSV file looks like:
Once you have uploaded your list, Google will let you know if your customer emails are in the correct format.
Google was able to interpret 100% of the emails on my customer list.
After your list is in Ads, Google will attempt to match your list with their targeting data. The matching process takes less than 24 hours to complete.
Customer Match results for our email list
When Google’s matching process is complete, you’ll see results that look like this:
Google was able to match over 50% of the customers on my test email list!
Ads also provides you with a report of where Google matches your customer data. They show you the number of customer matches they found on each of their networks.
The entire process of preparing my customer email list, and uploading into Google Ads took about 30 minutes. And the result, I now have an audience list that can make my advertising more efficient.
Out of over 3,000 customers, I was able to match 50% of them with Google’s data. I can target these customers with ads for new products. Or exclude them from future ad campaigns.
Building a Customer Match list using mailing addresses
Uploading a customer mailing address list requires some additional formatting. You need to include the first name, last name, country and zip code for each customer.
This list took me a bit longer to prepare than my simple email list. I had to work out a few problems with my CSV file to get my list to upload correctly.
One item of note: You need to format your country column with the correct two-letter country code for each customer.
After I worked all the bugs out my CSV file, I had an address list of 4,199 customers from 97 different countries.
97 countries, wow! It’s exciting to see that PPC Course has spanned the globe!!
Out of the 4,199 addresses I uploaded, Google was able to read 3,736 of them.
I was skeptical that Google would be able to match my customers using the data in my mailing address list.
The simple fields, name, country, and zip seem like they might generate a lot of false positives.
But, I was also excited to see the results of my experiment.
Customer Match results for mailing address list
Google matched approximately 24% of the customers on my mailing address list.
The volume of my customer matches across Google’s networks was very consistent. Once again, Gmail had the highest match rate out of all Google’s networks.
Demographic data for Customer Match lists
It took a while for Google to return the demographic data for my customer lists. In fact, at the time I completed the above video Google still hadn’t reported any demographic data for my lists.
Eventually, Google populated the demographic data for my customer email list. But, Google still hasn’t returned any demographic data for my mailing address list.
Phone numbers for Customer Match lists
We do not collect phone numbers from our PPC Course customers. So, I was not able to test the effectiveness of customer matching using phone numbers.
I did notice that Google allows a lot of flexibility in the formatting of phone number data.
If you have experience creating match lists using customer phone numbers, leave a comment below. Let us know how effective phone matching is, and share your thoughts about this feature.
Strategies for Customer Match
Customer Match lists offer us some new and exciting options for our ad campaigns.
Here are some specific strategies for Customer Match lists.
1) Sell only to your customers on Google Ads
Targeting existing customers is one of the most efficient forms of..
Where do IP addresses factor into the world of Google Analytics? The answer to this question is both complicated and straightforward at the same time.
Google collects IP addresses from your website visitors whenever you send a hit to their systems (think each time a page finishes loading). That means every Google Analytics hit from your tags is attached to an IP address.
But Google truncates this data before it enters your analytics reports. So it’s not something you can access via the reporting interface.
To get a clear understanding of how IP tracking works in GA, let’s walk through how Google processes your analytics data. If IP tracking is essential for you, we’ll also share some tools you can use that don’t filter IP data out of their reports.
What is the role of IP tracking in Google Analytics? - YouTube
Analytics Course student question
Kate, from our Analytics Course, asked one of the most common problems I hear about IP tracking in our private Facebook Group. She wants to know if she can see the IP data in her Google Analytics reports. Kate’s question is the perfect topic for a video because there’s often confusion around IP tracking in GA.
To answer Kate’s question, let’s take a look at how Google collects and processes IP Data.
There are four components of data processing in Google Analytics.
Most of us only think about the reporting component of Google Analytics, because that’s where we do our work.
But, by the time our data hits the reporting stage, it’s been scrubbed and processed by Google.
Data collection and Google Analytics tracking code
There are many different ways you can install the Google Analytics tracking code on your site. Google Tag Manager is probably the easiest way to add your tracking code. You can also use gtag.js, analytics.js, or ga.js. If you’re super old school, you can even use urchin.js. (Please! Don’t use urchin.js. That was my way of telling an analytics joke!)
Each one of these tracking solutions collects IP addresses. Collecting IPs is a necessary component of data collection.
You can anonymize the IPs coming to your site at the point of collection. Some Analytics users have to anonymize IPs due to the tracking regulations in their area.
You anonymize IPs by adding a function to your tracking code that tells Google not track IP data on your site.
Google Analytics data configuration
After collection, IP addresses enter the configuration and processing stages of Google Analytics. These stages are where you apply your filters for IPs.
Google Analytics IP filters
Most users filter their home/office IP address out of their reporting data. This filter prevents internal traffic from diluting their reports.
Here’s an example of an internal IP address filter.
This exclusion filter removes traffic generated by the filtered IP from going into your reports.
Google Analytics data processing
During the processing stage, Google transfers data to a reporting database, which strips IP addresses along the way. Any IP data that hasn’t already been anonymized, or filtered, gets scrubbed at this point. Although the data from each user’s service provider (ISP) are visible in your reports, their IPs are not.
IP addresses are not available in your Google Analytics reports
So, while Google does collect IP addresses, Google doesn’t provide that data to end users. The bottom line is you are not able to see IP addresses anywhere in your Google Analytics reports.
You can’t even verify your exclusion filters, because Google completely removes any IP data before it gets to your reports.
Why doesn’t Google Analytics share IP address data?
There are privacy issues with collecting and sharing IP address information. Google decided a long time ago they wouldn’t store this information, and given the developments in internet privacy regulations, that stance is unlikely to change.
Tools that may track and report IP addresses
If you absolutely must collect and store IP address data, here are a few places you may want to look.
Landing page tools
Most landing page tools will show you IP address data for visitors. These tools often allow you to see which IP address visited your site. You can also view events related to those IPs, like form submission or email opt-ins.
Marketing automation tools
I use Drip. As you can see in the example below my landing page tool, Thrive, is collecting an IP address. And Drip is tracking the IP address with my user’s data.
CRM (customer relationship management) tools
Many CRM tools are capable of IP address tracking. CRM systems track IPs to see if a lead has visited your site, and track that leads activity in your sales database.
Tools like Drip, will also “lead score” your you email subscribers based on visits to your site associated with their IP address.
User analytics tools
Kissmetrics, Mixpanel, and other similar systems will show you IP data that you collect on users. These tools are designed to track users and may be a good alternative or complement to what you can collect in Google Analytics.
Web hosting and logs
Web hosting tools track and store IP addresses in their server logs. Your web host tracks IPs to help you protect your website, and allow you to manage your site’s security.
So, you do have options for IP tracking outside of Google Analytics.
But be careful what you track!
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. How and who you choose to track is about to come under a lot more scrutiny.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in May of 2018. GDPR increases internet privacy for web users. But, it also has a massive impact on tracking in internet marketing.
Tracking IP addresses can tell you a lot about your website visitors. But make sure you comply with internet privacy regulations. Just because your marketing tool allows you to track IP addresses, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea!