Valuing Website Metrics: Introducing Bid Optimization Support for Google Analytics Goals in DoubleClick Search

As part of our mission to offer the most actionable data and reporting, from all sources, DoubleClick Search lets you report on Google Analytics goals. You may not know that we also have the capability to use Google Analytics Goals as targets for DoubleClick Search bid-strategies. When you create a bid strategy in the Doubleclick Search Performance Bidding Suite, you can optimize to conversions and revenue based on Google Analytics goals and transactions. This feature extends the flexibility of DS bid strategies, which already support optimization to Floodlight activities and formula columns. This release also extends bid optimization support to goals based on site analytics metrics such as pages per visit, visit duration, and new visitors.

Make better decisions based on user behavior insights 
Google Analytics goals make it possible to have user behavior prior to purchase drive your bidding decisions. Conversion windows vary by vertical. Some customers finalize their purchases/actions within minutes or hours, while other customers may take days, weeks or even months to research before converting. If you understand the propensity of a user to convert based on their session behavior, you can bid more for keywords that drive higher quality customers. This is where site analytics data comes in as it provides useful post click data such as "are we getting many new visitors?" or "users from ad group X spend an average of 5 minutes on the site after clicking".

Our Google Analytics integration gives you access to powerful new metrics to enhance bid optimization and create custom models that not only include the final conversion but also values keywords that lead to pre-conversion user behaviors including time on site, pages viewed, etc. 

Getting started with Google Analytics goals 
Getting started with Google Analytics goals & DoubleClick Search bid-strategies is simple. They work in the same way as the DoubleClick Floodlight-targeted bid strategies you are already familiar with. Just create a new bid strategy using the wizard and select Conversions, Revenue, or Advanced targeting as the goal. Then Google Analytics can be selected as a conversion source (shown below).

If you want to mix Floodlight Tags and Google Analytics Goals in the same bid-strategy, first define the relative value of the Tags and Goal inside the formula column. For example, suppose you wanted a ROAS strategy for your travel agency. Your main objective is to drive revenue from ticket and package sales, but you value a user spending 10 minutes reading about vacation packages at $1.50 since you expect they will return later to buy. The following formula column would capture this valuation:

FL_ticket_revenue + FL_package_revenue + to_money(1.50 * GA_10_minute_session) 

In the above formula: FL=Floodlight, GA=Google Analytics

Once you've created this formula columns, create a new bid strategy, in step 2 select the conversion source to be "formula column". If you haven’t linked your Google analytics account with DS, you can find a step by step guide here. If you are interested in using the site analytics level goals, please follow the guide here (note: you only need to complete Step 1: Transferring Property). To learn more about DS bid-strategies and Google Analytics integration, please check out our help center article.