At the end of October, Google Analytics announced a series of exciting updates. Included was the Analytics Intelligence engine  which algorithmically tracks significant changes to patterns in your website’s metrics. This engine works both as an automatic feature for general alerts and a custom feature for you to leverage Intelligence based on any metric and/or traffic source you choose. Intelligence comes with the ability to provide Daily, Weekly or Monthly alerts. As a PPC manager, I'm thrilled to be able to let Google track my data and tell me when things are going well, and more importantly - not going well. Today I'm going to share with you some quick ideas on how you can leverage Analytics Intelligence for your own PPC campaigns. But just in case you missed the official announcement, here is the 411 on Intelligence .
Intelligence > Automatic Alerts
If you do nothing else with Analytics Intelligence, Google will still provide you with Automatic Alerts. Their algorythms will still examine your data - present and historical - and provide you with daily, weekly and monthly alerts across the spectrum of your Analytics data. By that I mean all sources and mediums and totally at the discretion of Google. I don't mean to knock Automatic Alerts, but it is a "take what you get" approach to reporting. Below is a snapshot of daily Automatic Alerts in action. On the date in question, Google alerted me to 3 metrics: decrease in Time on Site for Total Traffic and a specific Country/Territory plus a decrease in PageViews from one source. All of that is great information to have, but unless your entire search marketing campaign is hinging on Time on Site, it isn't the most actionable data!
Intelligence > Custom Alerts
The other half, and in my opinion, the most important half to Analytics Intelligence is Custom Alerts. Much like using Custom Reports  or Advanced Segments , Custom Alerts let you pick and choose any combination of metrics and demensions. Say you want to know whenever your PPC campaigns exceeds a certain threshold for conversions in a single day? Create a Custom Alert and check the "Email me" box to receive that data in your inbox. Say you want to know when your PPC revenue (assuming you've set up ecommerce tracking) drops below a certain level? Create a Custom Alert and, well, you know the drill. Whatever your pain point is in your online marketing, PPC or otherwise, Custom Alerts allow you to pinpoint those potential trouble areas and facilitate automated reporting.
Leverage Intelligence for PPC
So you have all of this great data at your finger tips, but how do you actually use it to improve your PPC campaigns? Below I've listed some straight-forward, common sense applications for using Analytics Intelligence for monitoring your pay-per-click data:
- Week-to-Week or Month-to-Month Comparison Models: In my PPC management process, I consistently pull performance reports to compare week-to-week and month-to-month data for trend analysis. For many advertisers, this is a manual process involving logging into different accounts, recording that data into a spreadsheet, and so on and so forth. And it isn't until you've spent the time accumulating the data that you can actually make any analysis to say, "Oh we've increased in conversions this week" or "Oh we've decreased in traffic this month", etc. Analytics Intelligence provides you with the platform to create Custom Alerts which will notify you when your PPC performance as a whole, or specific search engines, campaigns, ad groups, etc. meet your custom criteria.
- Conversion and/or Revenue Based To-Dos: With so many levers to pull when managing pay-per-click, sometimes it can be overwhelming to decide on what tasks to do first. How's this for a to-do prioritizer? Create Custom Alerts that will notify you on a daily basis when campaigns, ad groups or keywords fall below your conversion rate and/or revenue goals. This actionable data will act as a road-map to making bid changes in your accounts and improving your performance.
- Landing Page Performance: You create and launch new landing pages every week, but how are you keeping track of your performance? Sure you can access that data in your PPC accounts, but its the same time-consuming scenario. Create Custom Alerts that will pinpoint your new landing page (value would be your landing page URL) and let you receive notifications when that landing page's conversion performance decreases (or increases) past your chosen threshold. Again - actionable data!
These suggestions only skim the surface of the potential uses for the Analytics Intelligence engine. The fact that you can customize the data to report on your actionable needs is extremely useful. And it's easy, too!
How do you plan on using Analytics Intelligence for PPC or your online marketing efforts?