Using Google Analytics to Measure Profitability

Using Google Analytics to Measure Profitability

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Here is an all-too-common scenario we hear from new incoming clients: Six months ago you launched the newest version of your website (three months later than you originally anticipated) and had Jim your IT guy setup Google Analytics because someone said it’s a great tool to have. A few weeks later you logged in and saw a dizzying array of graphs and charts, a few numbers called ‘Bounce Rate’ and ‘Unique Visitors’ and quickly clicked out to get back to your email.

I don’t blame you - I did the same exact thing for years and I run a company that spends all day on the web! However, my attitude changed dramatically coming into 2013 when we started asking ourselves how concepts like Gross Profit per Visitor could help our clients make more money through their websites.

Soon we found that the right combination of properly configuring Google Analytics and focusing on each individual marketing channel could create a powerful source of insights. Let’s walk through a few scenarios:

Measuring the Value of an Email

Sally O'Brien manages email marketing for They release a new frozen banana product every month and will send out newsletters both to highlight new product releases and upcoming promotions. Sally was able to view open rates and click-through-rates in her newsletter management tool but couldn't tie any sort of conversion or e-commerce data to each campaign. Once she enabled 'e-commerce integration' in Google Analytics and started poking around 'campaigns', she was able to extract performance information for her monthly email campaigns. One surprising insight she gained was the value re-sending the same email campaign actually had on driving revenue. Now Sally is experimenting with re-sending follow up email campaigns with the same content to encourage purchases from customers who might have missed the first email.

From Social to Successful

Betsy Haroldson manages social media for She focuses primarily on promoting interesting content and connecting with their fans through Facebook and Twitter. Betsy has a few social media 'dashboard' tools that allow her to see all of her activity in one hub, but she's unable to pull together clear ROI for the campaigns she runs. Once she enabled e-commerce integration and campaign tracking as well as started digging deeper into the 'social' section of Google Analytics, she was able to uncover performance information for their social media efforts. One surprising insight she gained was the revenue produced via Facebook vs Twitter. Now Betsy has re-prioritized her content campaigns to primarily focus on Facebook as a distribution channel.

Marketing Content for Conversion

Bill Ferguson manages blogging and content marketing at He spends most of his time creating unique articles, whitepapers and presentations for plumbers (their target audience) to consume from their website. Bill is very good at writing and using his company's existing platforms to distribute their content, but is having difficulty determining which content is more compelling (higher read time) and which content generates more customers. Once he enabled e-commerce integration and started digging deeper into the 'content' section of Google Analytics, he was able to uncover performance information for their content marketing efforts. One surprising insight he gained was the average read time per article type, specifically that ‘how to’ articles had the longest reads and therefore most engaged audiences. Now Bill is focusing his content creation on more ‘how to’ and DIY guides for his audience to read.


Most people know that Google Analytics is a potential source for deep insights around their marketing. The problem is that most people don’t spend the necessary time configuring Google Analytics in a way that will provide those insights. Additionally, people are looking at their analytics through a broad lens and not through each individual marketing channel. By getting down the channel level, we’re able to get closer to computing Gross Profit per Visitor for each marketing tactic and calculate actual ROI figures that can help you determine where to allocate your marketing budget most effectively.