At GA-Experts, we also provide PPC Management services through our parent company Omega Digital Media, so we are continually looking at ways to improve the data that Google Analytics provides about a PPC campaign. With this in mind we have developed a new filter that shows exactly the Search Term (i.e. keywords that are searched on) rather than just the Bid Term (i.e. the keywords that triggered a PPC advert).
For example, if a visitor searches for “sony digital camera” and you have an ad configured for the keywords “digital camera” as a Broad Match in Google AdWords, then this search will show your ad. But in your GA reports, the keywords for this search will be reported as “digital camera“. Whilst this gives you good data on your Bid Term, it doesn’t help you refine your keyword triggers because the reports don’t show the actual Search Term.
If you use this Override Bid Term filter then the same search will show “digital camera, (sony+digital+camera)” in any Google Analytics report that shows keywords (e.g. Marketing Optimisation -> Search Engine Marketing -> Overall Keyword Conversion) or any time you cross-segment against keywords.
This data now allows you to fine-tune your PPC campaigns by getting greater detail from your GA reports. In the example above, if the ‘sony+digital+camera‘ search is a frequent one, you might consider creating an Exact Match advert that took visitors to a dedicated Sony landing page. Or replacing the Broad Match ‘digital camera‘ term with a more precise ‘sony digital camera‘ Exact Match to increase your clickthrough rate.
There’s lots that can be done to optimise a campaign using this filter, so please see below for configuration instructions:
1) Create two filters as per the images here:
The Field A regular expression is: (\?|&)(q|p)=([^&]*)
In English, this means:
Look for character immediately following a ? or & (i.e. a URL variable), that is named q or p, and extract the value of this variable.
2) Create a new profile for your existing site. This keeps the detailed keyword data in a separate profile. You can apply this filter to your main profile(s) if you prefer, but a separate profile allows for continuity and top level reporting in your main profile with keyword detail available as required.
3) Apply the two filters to the new profile, in the order Override Bid Term 1 *then* Override Bid Term 2
You can now view detailed Search Term data from any GA report that shows keyword information. Please let us know any feedback via the blog comments.
For further examples of using filters, get a copy of the book Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics published by Wiley & Sons, March 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-470-25312-0).