social media platforms

Double your ROAS in 2 months by analyzing your Source/Medium report

Before we begin, if you are not familiar with the basic Google Analytics reports I suggest you read about the 5 essential Google Analytics reports.

Google Analytics is a gold mine for your business. Grab a pickaxe, follow along and by the end of this article you will have enough knowledge to double your ROAS in 2 months.

There are 4 major report categories in GA: Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversion. Each one of them contains a mountain of information and a lot of reports:

  • The Audience reports tell you who are your users;
  • The Behaviour reports tell you what your users are doing; 
  • The Conversion reports keep track of your business goals;
  • The Acquisition reports show you where your users came from. This is the place where you will start digging out data about your traffic sources.

The Overview report

The Acquisition -> Overview Report
The Acquisition -> Overview Report

On the left you’ll see a pie chart sliced up by traffic channels. You can use the Overview report when you want to get a feel of the main channels that are bringing in traffic.

Beware that this report will not be enough to double your ROAS. You will have to go further down and jump into the rabbit whole, also called:

The Source/Medium report

The Source/Medium Report
The Source/Medium Report

The easiest way to get there is to click here but you can also browse to Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Source/Medium report. 

In the first column you will see the traffic source (google, baidu???, direct, facebook, instagram and so on) and the traffic medium (cpc, organic, referral, affiliate, none etc.). If, by any chance, you forgot to add UTM parameters to your links before promoting them, well, you can’t do much.

This is because GA sends a pageview whenever a user enters your website. Based on what was in the URL and a bunch of other factors, GA attributes that user to a channel (a source and a medium). If the URL did not have any UTMs in it, GA will try to give the credit for the visit to any of its default channels. If it can’t do that then it will simply mark that session’s source / medium as (direct) / (none).

Your data without UTMs
Your data without UTMs

This transforms your data into a rotten apple: it looks amazing that you get so much direct traffic for free but behind that appearance there can be hundreds or thousands of dollars spent on advertising that can not be tracked. Moral of the story is to ALWAYS use UTM parameters on each and every new paid campaign that you’ll run.

For the sake of this article, I’m sure you already have UTMs in place, but if not, bookmark this article, add UTMs to your links and come back in a month after you have gathered some data.

What’s YOUR best platform to advertise on?

You might be running paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Google or some other unknown platform. Each of these channels has its own costs, audiences and types of ads available. They also offer very good ad tracking options: you can see how many people view your ads, how much each view costs and so on. 

But how do you know which platform is the best for you?

Every paid campaign should have it’s medium set up as “cpc”. Since you pay for clicks, one way or another, you have to mark these clicks as paid. 

Filter the report so that you only see the Source/Mediums that contain “cpc”:

 How to sort the Source/Medium report table
How to sort the Source/Medium report table

Now of course Google doesn’t pay anyone else to market their merchandise store besides Google, so this example does not contain enough data to act on. They only have paid campaigns running on 1 site. If they ran campaigns on Facebook or Instagram or even LinkedIn, they could’ve compared all of them in this report and invest more in what brings back more.

But I do know that you run ads on multiple websites. I also know that Facebook and Instagram are your go to platform for ads. And this might even be how your Source/Medium report looks like:

 Source/Medium report filtered by “cpc”
Source/Medium report filtered by “cpc”

What’s the first thing that catches your attention? Look at Instagram and Baidu, they have generated traffic and have the lowest bounce rate (except Google) but they have made you 0 dollars. You should stop advertising on these platforms or change your creative and copy, as each channel covers a different audience. 

Time is money and you will need a lot of time to test campaigns. But there is another way to boost your ROAS, a faster way to get things rolling and increase your revenue.

The first 3 campaigns have all generated transactions. You should pick the best one and pump more money in it.

Stop wasting your money

 Your budget on bad campaigns
Your budget on bad campaigns

The most important metrics to look at:

  • Users
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate
  • Transactions
  • Revenue

Users

You pay the advertising platform for them. Users come in all shapes and sizes and each one of them has its own mentality and passions. If you run ads on Facebook you will target them based on some criterias. You might get a lot of them but that does not mean they will also purchase. 

Pay attention to the number of users you receive from every campaign and double check with your ads platform if the numbers match.

Ecommerce Conversion Rate

This is the number of transactions divided by users. It basically means how many users have purchased something from your store.

If you look again at the table you’ll see that your Google campaigns have generated 5,129 users. Out of these, only 0.56% converted into a customer. If you are not selling houses or something then that is a really low conversion rate.

Transactions

How many orders you got, nothing much to say about this, the higher the better.

Revenue

How much money you got from these transactions.

Focus on the Conversion Rate

 Source/Medium report filtered by "cpc"
Linked in has the highest conversion rate out of all these platforms

It’s not about quantity, but quality. With just a look over the Source/Medium report you can immediately see that LinkedIn is killin’ it. You paid for 1,118 users and got 35 transactions. Based on these stats, you LinkedIn people have a conversion rate of 3.13%, SIX TIMES HIGHER THAN ANY OTHER PLATFORM

Congrats!🎉

The second part of this equation is how much money they have generated. From these 1,118 users you got $1,387.5. With a little math (Revenue divided by Users) you can see that each LinkedIn click is worth $1.24.

The hard part is over, you now know the value of each LinkedIn user and their likeliness to convert.

Next things to do

All that’s left for you to do is to go on LinkedIn and make sure you pay less than $1.24 per click (a lot less). If you feel confident with your numbers then start pumping more money in this website. 

Step by step instructions

  1. Check your Source/Medium report
  2. Look at your best performing ads platform
  3. Pump money into it

It’s really simple to make more money if you have enough data. I’ve only covered “cpc” campaigns but that’s just a reaaaaaally small part of the entire report. Let me know in the comments if you want me to explain some other reports or other channels (organic, direct, referral or anything else).

Now go to your Analytics and start analyzing because you are losing money as you read this!

Dan Cucolea
I am a conversion rate optimization specialist at Ontrack Digital. I am a Spreadsheets Wizard who can translate any data into a lovely graph that even has a story behind it.
Write a Comment