In addition to driving direct leads and sales to your website, your SEM campaigns can also provide a wealth of data that you can use to improve SEM performance and guide successful strategies on other marketing channels, such as organic search, email marketing, social media, and even direct traffic. You could spend days sifting through Google Analytics data looking for valuable insights, so here are 5 GA reports that provide valuable insights and will improve your SEM and overall digital marketing strategies.

Image of Google Analytics

Make sure you are looking for meaningful insights when digging through Analytics. Image via Pixabay.

Audience > Interests > In-Market Segments

Looking to ramp customer acquisition with prospecting campaigns on the Google Display Network, but overwhelmed by Google’s vast sea of targeting options? Google Analytics (GA) can help you identify which Google-defined audiences are most likely to become customers with GA’s In-Market Segments report. If most of your sales or leads come from site visitors that have shown an interest in buying Real Estate, for example, you should test targeting audiences on the GDN that fall into that audience category.

Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages

At Metric Theory, we’re constantly looking for opportunities to improve click-through-rate and conversion rate through ad testing. When we’re in need of inspiration for our next test, we often turn to GA’s Landing Page report. When evaluating landing page performance, be sure to consider both conversion rate and site engagement metrics. For ecommerce advertisers, a landing page with high pages per session or average session duration suggests that the consumer is more engaged with your brand. For lead gen advertisers, look for landing pages that drive a higher time on site, a lower bounce rate, or multiple conversion events (such as a whitepaper download followed by a demo request).

Conversions > Ecommerce > Product Performance

Believe it or not, it’s already time to start thinking about holiday season strategy (Christmas in July, anyone?). Whether your high season is in Q4 like most online retailers, or in the summer months like some of outdoor recreation and auto parts advertisers, you should start your analysis by identifying last year’s top products.

Use GA’s Product Performance report to review last year’s data and sort by unique purchases or revenue. Are those products currently in stock? If not, are you planning to restock them well in advance of your high season? Do you have Search and Shopping campaigns targeting these items? If not, make sure to prioritize building coverage for those products long before the busy season starts.

If you are headed into a slower seasonal period, or your business sees little seasonal variance, you can use the Product Performance report to supplement standard keyword research. What were the top selling products (or those with the highest average order value) over the last 2-3 months? If you don’t have SEM coverage there, you should plan to prioritize new campaign launches accordingly.

Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Time Lag

Are you setting up Google Display Network remarketing for the first time? Or maybe you’re just looking for a remarketing refresh. The Time Lag report is a great place to make sure you’re showing ads to the most qualified audience. Look for the longest lag between first interaction with your marketing efforts and conversion. If 5% of people take 60 days to make a purchase, consider remarketing to users who have been to your site in the last 3 months and not yet converted. You can also leverage this data to build a time decay remarketing strategy.

Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions

When using GA to evaluate new campaign performance, consider the impact of first and assisted interactions with the Assisted Conversions report. This information is excluded in standard Acquisition reports, but is invaluable in determining the holistic value of new keyword sets and ad types. The Assisted Conversions report will help you better understand how your new initiatives are helping to drive both direct and assisted conversions. If you’re interested in reading more about use cases for the Assisted Conversion reports, check out our blog post on what the Google Analytics data you are using isn’t telling you!

Google Analytics contains a wealth of valuable data for any advertiser, but it can be difficult to cut through the noise to find the insights that will most help improve marketing performance. Use these five reports as a starting place to improve marketing performance across all your digital channels.