Using Google Analytics As A Calculator For Any Paid Traffic

This example is for a car dealer. Google Analytics allows up to 20 goal conversions that you can set a different dollar value to each.

  • How Much Is A Contact Lead Worth To You?
  • How Much Is A Phone Call Worth To You?
  • How much is an engaged VDP visit for new cars worth to you?
  • How much is and engaged VDP for used cars worth to you?
  • How much is a visitor that clicked to external driving directions from a new car worth to you?
  • How much is a visitor that clicked to external driving directions from a used car worth to you?
  • How much is a visitor that actually engaged in your specials pages worth to you?

Once a dealer defines these, the calculations will make more sense. Many of these require Google Tag Manager, but many website vendors pull some of these events and they’re pretty easy to figure out.

Every goal conversion I configure is triggered by an event, not a pageview. Pageviews can be a bad strategy because many people will land on them and automatically trigger the goal. A good example is a VDP Visit. Never count just a visit to a VDP as a goal because anyone can send traffic to a VDP. Make the visitor work to create a goal completion. I use timing triggers and/or css selector element views.

This method is fair because it measures all traffic equally. I like to push these goal completions To Google Ads as well.

Using It For Adwords

Using Data Studio, I’m pulling this information from Google Ads. This date range shows the actual dollars spent and the dollar value brought to the website. This is search and display combined. So I know that the spend of $852.00 brought $1,700 worth of value. The average cost per click was $2.35 and it brought a value of $4.99 per user.

Now Lets Filter By Search Only Campaigns

Search will always be the best. Overall you can see the difference in all metrics.

Display Campaigns Only

Display and remarketing can be tough. It’s very easy to get traffic, and it’s great branding. However, it’s tough to get these people to do anything after the click. If my values were a lot lower than the spend, changes would need to be made. I can filter by campaign and even ad group to find out what should be paused. We can even sort by the website the ad showed on.

Search campaigns can be filtered right to the actual search query. This is where you can pause keywords that don’t convert. My highest converting keywords will always be made exact match. I only use broad match to farm for new keywords if the budget allows.

Imagine You’re A Football Coach For A Minute

Your budget is your salary cap. Don’t bench your starting star quarterback or receiver if they’re performing. Let them play all the time (100% impression share). Let only the keywords that fit into your salary cap play.

Think of display as your defense. Let’s get the ball back!

If budget allows for it, try some new players out at the end of the month. In my world, keywords are players

Using It For All Paid Traffic

I have no idea how much this dealer paid for the other three sources, but it’s easy to measure. When the month is over, sort by last month and check the Ad Value vs the actual spend.

Sometimes you may want to shift a budget to a better performing vendor. I’m sure you already noticed one source that needs to go, so who gets the extra budget?

It’s really tough to find another source that actually brings engagement, so don’t be too quick to judge. Look at Edmunds. It’s all display and remarketing here, and the cost is reasonable from what I understand.

We can also measure other Google Paid Search sources.

This is showing Google Paid Traffic from Ford Direct. It’s easy to find because the campaign will be (not set). Filters can be made in seconds in Data Studio to find this, without having to bother with segments.

Intent & Lead Examples

You can even take a look and see what exactly is going on with the users. We can’t fit 20 here, but we can show what the dealer cares most about.

The mobile calls are combined here, but I actually have them segmented by new call, used call, service call and all other calls. This is done by using different triggers when I set them up in tag manager. For example, a used mobile call click (or directions click) will fire on a page that matches regex [/used-.*] or [/used-inventory.*]

Measure Portal Traffic

You can even measure your portal traffic. If you have a separate display package with any of them you can filter down to that as well.


This site was recently tagged so ignore the data studio up and down green and red arrows. Tags cannot go back in time but starting next week I can compare week to week and they’ll be accurate.

I’m not a writer, so pardon my grammar and assumed typos.