What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new version of Google Analytics out, and it’s different. Google Analytics 4 is creating a bit of a stir in the marketing community, so we thought we’d take a minute and let you in on everything we know so far. 

While there’s a lot still to come from Google on this new GA version, here’s the basic breakdown of what Google Analytics 4 is and what’s different about it:

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 is Google’s most recent version of Analytics, which started rolling out mid-October 2020. This new version of Analytics builds on Google’s App + Web system released in 2019 and aims to provide a more comprehensive, customer-centric view into your analytics. Most marketers and webmasters agree that Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is developed out of necessity, as more privacy restrictions are imposed on data collection, and as more users opt-out of cookie usage. 

This version of Google Analytics is designed to be “future proof” and relies on machine learning to fill in the gaps where businesses may be losing insight as we all work to protect our data and privacy. 

Like its predecessor, the App + Web system, GA4 also aims to provide a more comprehensive look at your data across your website, apps, software, and more. Here’s what Google has to say about this new version of Google Analytics:

If you want to know more about GA4, from how it’s different to how you’ll use it, the Evenbound team has you covered. Here’s our quick, comprehensive breakdown: 

What’s different about GA4?

There’s a lot that’s different about Google Analytics 4. To understand some of the new features and differences, it’s helpful to understand where GA 4 is coming from. There are a few fundamental shifts in how Google Analytics 4 is approaching data and providing analysis, and as far as we can tell, it’s bound to provide a range of useful insights, once we all get used to the new look and features.

Here are a few of the key shifts that make Google Analytics 4 different from previous versions:  

  • Built with machine learning at its core. GA4 is designed to be more intelligent than any of its predecessors. Machine learning is the main form of data measurement, and GA4’s robust AI uses “modeling” to make assumptions about user behavior based on existing data.
  • Focused on giving you greater insight into the customer journey. The final big perspective shift associated with GA4 is an increased focus on the customer journey. GA4 focuses less on individual metrics across different pages and devices, and more on the end-to-end customer journey, providing deeper, more comprehensive insight into how your customers are interacting with your digital platform from start to finish.

To give you a basic understanding of how Google Analytics 4 properties are different from traditional Analytics, take a quick look at these dashboards. The first is what you’re used to, and the second is a GA4 dashboard. Notice anything different?

Google Analytics Traditional Dashboard
Google Analytics 4 Dashboard

A few of these modules are similar, and some are even the same. The biggest change you should notice right off the bat? The menu change. Look at all of the options available to you in the GA4 property. They’ve got options like: 

  • Acquisition
  • Engagement
  • Monetization
  • Retention
  • And so much more!

Let’s dive into a few of the new insights and features that Google Analytics 4 provides.

What new features are included in Google Analytics 4?

There is a lot that’s new, a lot that’s different, and even some features you may have grown to love in your Universal Analytics account that you won’t find in GA4. While we can’t cover them all, these are the big, notable new features and changes to be aware of: 

  • GA4 automatically alerts you to significant trends in your data. From purchasing trends to new, intuitive reporting like churn probability and revenue predictors, GA4 is designed to use machine learning to help you stay ahead of your customer’s wants and needs. 
  • Better audience building for remarketing and returning visitors. Segment your data by audiences to better analyze why some customers aren’t engaging or why some audience segments tend to spend more. Admins can even remove a user from specific lists from within GA4 to ensure your data is always accurate. 
  • Codeless event tracking is one of the new features we’re most excited about. Instead of adding code or script to set up an event in your Analytics account, GA4 automatically tracks events for you and enables editing, tracking, and fine-tuning of those events directly within the UI. 
  • A new take on User Acquisition Reports. GA4s user acquisition reports have a greater focus on the entire customer journey. For example, the new user acquisition report allows you to see what channels are driving new customers, while engagement and retention reports give greater insight into what actions those customers take once they land on your site. 
  • GA4 integrates efficiently with Google Ads. Google Analytics 4 is designed to offer deeper integration with Google Ads, so you can get a better picture of your audience, and tailor your ad campaigns to fit. 
  • No view level section. Where traditional Analytics offered three levels — Account, Property, and View — GA4 only has Account and Property levels. 
  • GA4 is a “flat model” that prioritizes a granular approach to your customer data.
  • Data streams are used in place of old views and segments used in traditional Analytics properties. 

 

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What does this mean for your traditional Google Analytics properties?

There’s a lot going on with Google Analytics 4. There’s a lot to learn, and there’s a lot that Google hasn’t even finished yet. So what are you to do with your Google Analytics account in the meantime? 

While it’s likely that Google will eventually phase out older versions of Google Analytics, even they are recommending that users keep their existing traditional Google Analytics properties for now. Experts recommend you start by setting up a new Google Analytics 4 property to run alongside your existing properties and start collecting data as soon as possible.

Not sure how to set up your GA4 property? If you want us to help install Google Analytics 4 for you, we’re offering this service for free until January 31st! Schedule time with an Evenbound expert.

This will allow you to play around with these new features before you need to make the transition. Setting up your GA4 property will also ensure you’re gathering data now, and give you access to any new features Google rolls out as they continue to grow this new version of Google Analytics. 

GA4 is a big change for the SEOs, marketers, and webmasters who love the functionality of their existing GA account. Luckily, we’ve got some time to get used to it. If you’ve got questions about this new version of Google Analytics, we’re here to help! While we’re all learning about these new features together, we’d be happy to walk you through any questions you might have about setting up or using this new version of Google Analytics. 

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Google Ads Benchmarks By Industry

Google Ads Benchmarks By Industry

Google Ads Benchmarks By Industry

If you’re new to Google Ads, and even if you’re old-hat, it can feel like a guessing game. 
Is this a good click through rate? Am I spending too much? Am I spending enough? What even is a good conversion rate?
As Google Ads fanatics ourselves, we get it. 
It’s frustrating trying to estimate what a good Google Ad campaign looks like, especially if you’re new to ads, or if you’re working in an industry where it’s hard to find good data. 

If you’re tired of guesstimating what a good outbound marketing ad campaign looks like, the PPC experts here at Evenbound are here to help. We’ve gone ahead and compiled data from our quality Google Ad campaigns, and segmented it by industry so you can take a look at live Google Ads data from a real digital marketing company that works with clients in your industry every day. 

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We’ve compiled Google Ads benchmarks for the following four industries: 
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Real Estate & Home Building
  • SMBs – Small to Mid Sized Businesses
  • Construction
All four of these industries have their own quirks when it comes to Google Ads. This data should help you figure out how your ad campaigns are measuring up to other quality campaigns in your industry. 
Are you spending enough? 

How much should you be paying for a conversion? 

Let’s find out.  

Average Monthly Google Ad Spend by Industry

Before you can accurately assess your success against these benchmarks, it’s important to understand how your spend plays into your results. Underfunding Google Ad campaigns can cut your results short, as your campaigns run out too early to produce real results. 
On the other hand, overspending on a poorly targeted Google Ad campaign can be just as problematic. You’re spending a lot of money to see very limited results.
So, how much should you be spending? Here’s a look at our Google Ads benchmarks for average monthly spend by industry. 
EB Google Ads Benchmark Monthly Spend
As you can see, Manufacturing & Industrial clients spend the most on Google Ads, with a total average of $7,689 per month. This makes sense, as most manufacturing companies are selling products at a high price point. Their returns are much larger, so it’s reasonable to put a bit more behind their ad campaigns.
Real Estate & Home Builders are next with a $4,237 average monthly spend. Real estate is notoriously competitive, so again, it makes sense that their spend is slightly higher than SMBs and Construction Companies, which follow up with $4,082 and $3,891 per month, respectively. 

Average Google Ad Cost-Per-Click by Industry

Now that you have a better idea of how much to spend overall, let’s look at cost per click. How much are you paying for each person who clicks on an ad? Here are the benchmarks:
EB Google Ads Benchmark CPC
Real Estate & Home Builders are seeing the highest cost per click rate here at $5.85. Given the industry’s competition, this makes sense. Construction Companies, many of whom target similar audiences as the real estate industry, also have a higher cost per click at $4.82. 
SMBs are slightly lower with an average CPC of $4.04. 
The surprising industry here is Manufacturing & Industrial. At just $2.96, their average CPC is much lower than the other three industries.

Average Google Ads Conversion Rate by Industry

Conversion rate (CVR) is the average number of conversions per ad interaction, shown as a percentage. Of all of the people who see and interact with your ads, what percentage of them convert on that ad? Here’s a look at the CVR benchmarks by industry.
EB Google Ads Benchmark CVR
Construction Companies blew us away with an amazing 5.13% conversion rate. 

Real Estate & Home Builders were next with 3.57%.

SMBs had an average conversion rate of 2.52%.

And Manufacturing & Industrial had an average CVR of 1.84%. 

Average Google Ads Click-Through-Rate by Industry

Click-through-rate (CTR) tells us how many people are clicking through your ad, compared to how many people see the ad. Here’s the lineup: 
EB Google Ads Benchmark CTR
All four industries are relatively close here. 
Manufacturing & Industrial sees the highest click-through-rate at 2.58%. 
SMBs are next with 2.35%, followed by Real Estate at 2.23% and Construction at 2.20%. 
These industry benchmarks are particularly useful here. There is so much out there about what your CTR should be, and plenty of experts say you should strive for 3% regardless of industry. The data shows that 3% isn’t always practical.
Different consumers in different industries behave and interact with ads differently. That’s why it’s so important to use realistic, industry-specific benchmarks to measure the success of your ad campaigns. 

Average Google Ads Cost-Per-Conversion by Industry

Cost-per-conversion is a favorite benchmark for many PPC experts. Basically, how much are you paying to get someone to convert on your ad?

It can be a good indicator of ROI, but again, it’s important to understand cost-per-conversion benchmarks by industry, because every industry’s average sale price is so different. Let’s take a closer look at that: 

EB Google Ads Benchmark Cost per Conversion
Construction Companies lead the pack here with an average cost per conversion of $211.01. 

 

To an e-commerce business, that might sound astronomical. It’s important to consider what that cost really means for your industry though. A construction company’s average project likely costs a few thousand dollars and upwards. If their Google Ads leads convert, and hire the company to build a commercial building in downtown Grand Rapids, that’s easily hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not into the millions. And they spent just over $200 to make that happen. 
The same goes for Real Estate & Home Builders. Their average cost per conversion is $193.75. At a glance that might look like a lot of money. But if you think of it in the context of building a brand new home, $200 is just a tiny percentage of the money they’ll make from the lead who converted on that sale. 
We can apply the same logic to Manufacturing & Industrial, with a cost/conversion of $168.10, and to SMBs, with their significantly lower cost/conversion of just $84.22.

How do you stack up against your industry’s Google Ads benchmarks?

We’ve broken down each benchmark individually, so you can see how each industry stacks up against others. It’s important to remember that you should really only be measuring your Google Ads campaigns against other similar campaigns in your industry. It’s easy to see from this data that the average real estate consumer interacts with Google Ads very differently than a manufacturing consumer might. 
With that in mind, here’s a full look at all of the data for each industry:
EM Google Ads Benchmarks - Full Data
How do your ads stack up against these Google Ads benchmarks? 
If your Google Ads campaigns just don’t compare, there are plenty of workarounds and ways to get your data up to par.

Not sure where to start? Feel free to give the Evenbound team a call. Our paid ads team is happy to take a look at your campaigns and provide the advice you need to maximize your results. 

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How to Use Google Ads: A Complete Guide

How to Use Google Ads: A Complete Guide

How to Use Google Ads: A Complete Guide

If you’re considering running any sort of PPC or other outbound marketing strategy, you need to be using Google Ads. It’s one of the best digital marketing tools available to any company and when used effectively, can yield huge results for boosting website traffic, generating leads, and making sales. 

Here’s the complete guide on how to use Google Ads so that you can take advantage of one of the best advertising tools on the web.

What are Google Ads?

Search Ads

Search ads are a form of native advertising that appears on search engine result pages. When a user makes a query, search ads that are relevant to the keywords used in the query will appear at the top of the page as a sponsored result. These search ads look very similar to the organic search results that appear below them on the page. 

Google Display Network

The Google Display Network is a network of sites from Youtube to Weather.com to your local news station’s website that partner with Google and host advertisements. Unlike paid search, these advertisements appear directly on sites in the GDN, in banners, sidebars, etc. Rather than appearing as search engine listings, they appear as clickable images, which you can design. 

The Google Display Network allows you to target audiences for your ads based on location, the sites they’re visiting, their search history, and remarketing lists. Click To TweetThese types of ads can help you reach internet users who have not yet searched queries relating to your keywords.

Why Use Google Ads?

Google Ads has a lot of great features, including comprehensive and relatively easy to understand analytics so you can gauge the success of your campaigns, optimize future efforts, and measure marketing ROI. You can target very specific audiences and appear in searches for critical keywords, as well as selectively bid on cost-effective keywords and targeting options to maximize your marketing budget and ROI. 

Not to mention, Google is the internet. Nearly all online searches in the US are performed using Google, and there are thousands and thousands of sites, local and national, in the Google Display Network. Google Ads will get your ads seen, no question.

How to Use Google Ads

 

Create a Google Ads Account

#1 Go to ads.google.com and select “Start now.”

 

#2 Select your main advertising goal.

 

#3 Enter your business name and website.

 

#4 Choose your geographic area.

 

#5 Enter your products and services.

 

Once you’ve entered all of this information, you’ll be ready to start your first campaign.

 

Create a Campaign

In Google Ads, a campaign is an overarching category containing ad groups. Ad groups are sets of keywords and associated ads.

Initial Setup

If you’re creating your first campaign immediately after entering your business information and creating your account, you’ll be taken right to creating your first campaign. If you’ve already created an account, log in to your account and click the + icon on the Campaigns page. 

From there, you’ll need to select the network you want your ad to appear on (i.e., search network or display network). Note that you can have your campaign run on both the search and display networks at the same time, or just one of those networks. You’ll also need to set a goal for your campaign (sales, leads, or website traffic are the options Google provides) and name your campaign.

Then you’ll select the locations where you want your ads to be shown. This can be general, like the whole US, or more specific, like the region, state, or city. You’ll also want to select the languages your potential customers speak.

Bidding

Next, you’ll be prompted to choose a bidding strategy. Since Google Ads are pay-per-click (PPC) ads, each time someone clicks on your ad, you have to pay for that. 

Bidding allows you to limit the amount you spend on your campaign for maximum ROI. The interface offers you many different bidding strategies depending on your campaign goals, including maximize clicks, maximize conversions, target page search location, target outranking share, target CPA, target ROAS, enhanced CPC, and manual CPC.

Then enter a daily budget for your campaign, based on how much you want to spend on that campaign.

Ad Extensions

You’ll then be prompted to enter start and end dates for your campaign, as well as ad extensions. 

Ad extensions are extensions of your ad: they allow you to include additional information like an additional sitelink, more business information (like hours or storefront location), or a phone number. 

 

Choose Keywords

Keywords are the key to effective Google Ads, and effective PPC ads in general. You’ll need to select keywords that are: 

  • Relevant 
  • Specific

The Google Ads platform has a keyword planner that can be useful in generating keywords. Under “Get keyword ideas” you can enter a related website or your product or service, and the keyword planner will suggest possible keywords. 

If you’ve already been doing some digital marketing or updating your website, you may already have a keyword strategy in place and have some specific keywords, based on research, that you want to target.

 

Track and Review Metrics

In the Ads interface, select the tool icon in the top right corner, then select “Conversions.” Then select the + button, then select the type of conversion you want to track: website, app, phone calls, or imported from another system. From there you’ll define and categorize your goals, and add a global site tag and event tag to your landing page to track the conversions.

To review your ad performance, start at the Overview page. You can customize the line chart that appears to show you the data that is most interesting and relevant to you, such as clicks, conversions, conversion rates, and cost per conversion.

The tiles below the chart display useful information and data trends, such as which devices are accessing your campaigns, or your campaign activity today compared to the average number of clicks over the course of the campaign.

Google Adwords is a powerful tool when used properly. If you don’t have the team to manage it, a digital marketing agency can help

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Google Ads Rolls Out Higher Character Counts for Paid Search

Google Ads Rolls Out Higher Character Counts for Paid Search

Google Ads Rolls Out Higher Character Counts for Paid Search

Big news has hit the world of digital marketing. Google Ads officially increased the character count for paid search advertising. This unforeseen update allows users to create an additional headline and description for text ads within Search campaigns.

Before the August roll out, Google Ads previously supported only two headlines and one description. This set of updates produces a third headline and second description. When creating a text ad, users will see green text boxes to indicate the change within the platform.

google ads creation

What does this mean for advertisers?

The latest development to the search network’s software generates a huge opportunity for advertisers and marketers alike. A single ad can now contain 30 additional characters in Headline 3 and 90 additional characters in Description 2, totaling to a whopping 120 extra characters. (New to Google Ads? Check out our Complete Guide to Outbound Marketing for a crash course on the basics.)

The possibilities are endless!

Let’s use Evenbound as an example. Look at the difference in ad copy when we compare the old version of Google Ads to the new, extended character count version:

bad-example-of-meta-description

good-example-of-meta-description

A noticeable difference in the size of the ad, right? For Google Ad users, the extra characters mean a greater opportunity to capture the eye of a Google searcher with creative copy. More detail, more keywords, more opportunity to sell a visitor on your brand, product or service.

However, this change will not only impact advertisers but it will always affect the search experience. With the update, Internet users will have to digest lengthier paid content than ever before. Is it reasonable to expect your targeted customer to read through 270 characters? We’ll find out over the next few months as more and more digital marketers and businesses take advantage of this new layout.

Google’s Rebrand

This update comes shortly after Google’s rebrand from AdWords to Google Ads in June of 2018. The rebrand goes far beyond a new name and vibrant logo. Google explains the transition from AdWords to Google Ads is a step in a broader effort to simplify its advertising options.

As stated by Google, the complete rebrand will occur in waves during the upcoming months. The additional characters are one part to a much larger process.

Now is the time to get a head start on your competition and take advantage of the 120 additional characters granted to Google Ad users. Before everyone jumps on the bandwagon of more keywords and lengthier copy, explore how the recent shift to the digital world can impact your business by vamping your own ads.

Want to get the most leads out of paid search as possible? Schedule a free consultation with us and we’ll steer you in the right direction for digital success.

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How to Take Advantage of Your Google My Business Listing

How to Take Advantage of Your Google My Business Listing

How to Take Advantage of Your Google My Business Listing

The last time you wanted to know something, what did you do? There’s a pretty strong chance that you Googled it. That’s how we find out whether the actor in the show we’re watching was in that one movie and it’s how we find service providers when we need a new roof, the gutters cleaned, or an attorney. As a service provider, if you’re not taking advantage of your Google My Business Listing, you could be missing out on these opportunities.

What’s a Google My Business Listing?

When you search for something on Google and one of the top results is a business, the Google My Business Listing is what shows up on the right-hand side of the page with links for directions, website, etc. It usually contains photos of the business, the address, hours, phone number, and any reviews.

google-my-business-listing-evenbound

These listings are automatically created by Google based on activities like creating a website for your business, people checking in at your business, and information about your business on other sites. Because this information is being pulled from a variety of sources that may or may not be up-to-date or accurate—and because Google users can make changes to the listing without notifying you—the information there may be incorrect.

How can you take advantage of your listing?

The first step is to claim and verify your listing through Google. This allows you to have some control over the listing and ensure that the information on it is accurate. Go to https://www.google.com/business and complete the form there to claim and verify the listing.

Once you’ve done that, you can log in to Google My Business to manage the listing. There you can see if anyone has made updates to your listing and review those changes, giving you the chance to remove any info that is incorrect.

You can also add posts to your listing, which can serve as free advertisement. In the Google My Business dashboard, you can create these posts, which can include images, calls-to-action, and even links to your site. These posts are great for promoting sales, events, products, or good publicity that you’ve received.

A particularly useful feature for service-based businesses is the Booking button feature, which works with your integrated scheduling software to allow people to book appointments right from the listing. If you’ve ever booked a flight through Google, it works just like that. It’s super convenient, and it makes it so quick and easy for someone to become a customer.

Good reviews are also critical for service providers, and Google reviews are definitely influential to potential clients. You can ask satisfied clients to leave honest reviews for your business on Google, and if you’re managing your listing, you’ll be aware when false, malicious, or particularly negative reviews are made so that you can address them quickly.

Managing your business’s presence on Google is just one of the many ways you can use your online presence to reach new customers. If you’re interested in learning how digital marketing strategy can work for your service-based business, get in touch and let’s get started.

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Revamping your B2B Website in the New Year

Revamping your B2B Website in the New Year

Revamping your B2B Website in the New Year

Regularly updating your B2B website is necessary to keep up with changes to the Google algorithm, as well as web design best practices. If it’s been a while since you’ve tested your site for optimum performance (an issue may B2Bs have), you risk not being found by potential customers. Here are a few tips to revamping your website to maximize good traffic.

Mobile Responsive Design

If your B2B website isn’t mobile responsive (i.e., viewable on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and adaptable to any screen size), it should be. With most consumers using their smartphones for web browsing and online research, a mobile responsive site is crucial to reaching your potential customers, especially B2B customers, who may be doing their research on their phones quickly between meetings or sales calls.

If you’re using a WordPress site, you can easily find templates that are mobile responsive; entirely custom websites are trickier, and require testing to ensure that they appear and function as you intend on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Update Metadata

Accurate metadata is critical for being indexed by search engines. Metadata, if you’re not familiar, describes the individual pages on your B2B website. Title metadata affects how titles appear in browser windows; meta descriptions are the text that shows up on search engine results pages, and keyword metadata designates a specific keyword for the page. Ensure that you have custom meta descriptions, a keyword designated, and appropriate title metadata for each page of your website, or search engines, and the potential clients using those search engines, won’t find your site.

Fix Broken Links and Redirects

Broken links annoy site visitors and can lower your search engine rankings. Luckily, they’re easy to fix. You can go through all of the links and all of the pages to ensure that they work, or you could use a tool like Check My Links. If you find broken links or 404 errors, you can resolve the issue by updating the link, if possible, or using a 301 redirect, which will help you maintain the original ranking power of the page, as well as the original keywords and metadata, while still helping visitors find the what they’re looking for.

Get Rid of Pop-Ups

Google has started penalizing certain kinds of pop-ups, called intrusive mobile interstitials, which your current site may be using. If your B2B website has a pop-up message that viewers have to dismiss before they can view the page content on a mobile device (aka a standalone interstitial), a layout where the top portion of the page looks like a standalone interstitial, or a pop-up that covers the main content of the page while they are looking through the page Google will penalize your site, as these types of pop-ups are intrusive and affect the viewer accessibility of content on mobile devices.

Completing these quick checkups on your B2B website can make all the difference in your search engine ranking and site performance, driving more qualified traffic to your site. For more on revamping your site to enhance SEO, check out our SEO Site Checkup. If you have questions on how to improve your B2B site’s SEO, get in touch. Our SEO experts can help you achieve excellent site rankings and implement SEO best practices. 

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