Do ROI Analytics, Calculate ROAS in Google Analytics

You can do ROI analytics in Google Analytics by using the ROI Analysis report and the Cost Analysis report. 

Through these reports, you can calculate the ROAS of various marketing campaigns under different attribution models.

In Google Analytics, the ROI analysis is done via ROAS (i.e. Return on Advertising Spend). So while the name of the GA report is ROI Analysis report, it is actually computing and reporting on ROAS.

ROAS is used to measure the profitability of advertising. 

The general definition of ROAS is not correct in the context of attribution modelling

Here is how most optimizers define ROAS:

“It is the amount of sales generated by a marketing channel/campaign for each dollar spent on advertising”

However, ROAS is actually the total value of conversions generated by a marketing channel/campaign under a particular attribution model and attribution window, for each dollar the channel/campaign spent on advertising. 

Depending upon the type of attribution model and attribution window being used, there can be dozens of different types of ROAS. 

For example:

  • Last-non-direct click ROAS (7 days)
  • Last-non-direct click ROAS (30 days)
  • Data-Driven ROAS
  • First Interaction ROAS (60 days)

In the context of multi-channel analytics, a standalone ROAS metric does not mean anything. 

It makes sense only when reported along with the attribution model and attribution window being used for carrying out the data analysis. 

Types of ROAS based on the attribution model being used

Depending upon the attribution model being used, we can have nine different types of ROAS in Google Analytics:

When you look at your marketing under different attribution models and attribution windows, it completely changes the way you interpret and report on metrics like ROAS, CPAs, conversions and conversion values.

Prerequisites for calculating ROAS in Google Analytics

Google Analytics can calculate and report the ROAS of a marketing channel/campaign only when the advertising spend data (aka cost data) is available in the reporting view. 

If you have connected your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account then GA can automatically pull the cost data from your Google Ads account and calculate the ROAS of the Google Ads channel and campaigns.

But for other marketing channels/campaigns, you would have to manually import their cost data to your GA property or use some third party tool to automate the cost data import process. 

You can import the cost data via the data import feature or via the GA management API.

For example, if you want to calculate the ROAS of your Bing ads channel and campaigns then you would first have to import the Bing Ads cost data to your GA property. 

Once the Bing Ads cost data is available in your GA reporting view, Google Analytics will automatically calculate and report the ROAS of the Bing Ads channel and campaigns.

Note: In order to get the best results from your ROAS analysis, make sure that your reporting view has got at least 30 days of ecommerce conversion data, 30 days of goal conversion data and 30 days of cost data. 

Also, make sure that each goal conversion you set up is assigned the correct goal value. If you do not meet all of these requirements then your ROAS analysis is most likely to be statistically insignificant or flawed.

How Google Analytics calculates attribution model specific ROAS?

Google Analytics calculates attribution model specific ROAS via the following formula:

The total conversion value attributed to a marketing channel under a particular attribution model and attribution window / Advertising Spend

Here, the Conversion value is the ecommerce revenue and/or goal value attributed to a marketing channel under a particular attribution model and attribution window.

Let us suppose that under the last non-direct click attribution model and the default 30 days attribution window, the paid search marketing channel generated 100 ecommerce conversions worth $4,200 and 50 goal conversions worth $300. 

So the total conversion value attributed to the paid search marketing channel under the last non-direct click attribution model and the default 30 days attribution window would be $4,200 + $300 = $4,500

Let us suppose the total advertising spend for the paid search marketing channel was $1,500. 

Now GA will calculate and report the last non-direct click ROAS for paid search marketing channel as $4,500  / $1500 = 300%

Now let us suppose that under the last non-direct click attribution model and 60 days attribution window, the paid search marketing channel generated 200 ecommerce conversions worth $5,500 and 100 goal conversions worth $500. 

So the total conversion value attributed to the paid search marketing channel under the last non-direct click attribution model and 60 days attribution window would be $5,500 + $500 = $6,000. 

Now GA will calculate and report the last non-direct click ROAS for paid search marketing channel as $6,000  / $1500 = 400%

Note: Longer your attribution window, the more conversions could be claimed by a marketing channel/campaign under a particular attribution model and hence higher the conversion value attributed to the channel/campaign.

Similarly, let us suppose that under the linear attribution model and the 7 days attribution window the paid search marketing channel generated 50 ecommerce conversions worth $1,900 and 25 goal conversions worth $100. 

So the total conversion value attributed to the paid search marketing channel under the linear attribution model and 7 days attribution window would be $1,900 + $100 = $2,000. 

Now GA will calculate and report the linear ROAS for paid search marketing channel as $2,000  / $1500 = 133.33%

Note(1): ROAS is reported in percentage by Google Analytics. 

Note(2): You should consider investing more in those marketing channels/campaigns which have generated higher ROAS.

Note(3): Google Analytics can calculate ROAS retroactively for your marketing channels/campaigns.

 
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How to find attribution model specific ROAS in Google Analytics?

Through the following reports you can find attribution model specific ROAS in Google Analytics: 

  1. Cost Analysis report
  2. ROI Analysis report
  3. Model Comparison Tool report.

The Cost Analysis report

Through the Cost Analysis report, you can determine the ‘cost per click’ and ROAS of all those marketing channels/campaigns for which you imported the cost data in your GA property. 

What that means is that you can determine the ROAS for marketing campaigns like Bing ads, Facebook ads campaigns, Affiliate campaigns, Display campaigns, Email campaigns etc. 

To view this report, navigate to ‘Acquisition’ > ‘Campaigns’ > ‘Cost Analysis’ in your GA reporting view:

cost analysis report

The downside of the ‘cost analysis’ report is that all of the ‘ROAS’ data is calculated using only one attribution model called ‘Last Non-Direct Click’. 

So if you want to do ROI Analysis under different attribution models then you would need to use the ROI analysis report.

The ROI Analysis report

ROI analysis report

Through the ROI Analysis report, you can determine the ROAS of all those marketing channels/campaigns for which you imported the cost data in your GA property. 

The ROI Analysis report calculates and reports on ROAS for each marketing channel/campaign under a particular attribution model and attribution window.

To view this report, navigate to ‘Conversions’ > ‘Multi-Channel funnels’ > ‘ROI Analysis’ in your GA 360 reporting view:

roi analysis report 2

Note: The default attribution model for the ROI analysis report is the data-driven attribution model. 

The Model Comparison Tool report

Through the Model Comparison Tool report, you can determine the ROAS of all those marketing channels/campaigns for which you imported the cost data in your GA property. 

The Model Comparison Tool report calculates and reports on ROAS for each marketing channel/campaign under a particular attribution model and attribution window.

To view the attribution model specific ROAS in the Model Comparison Tool report follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to ‘Conversions’ > ‘Multi-Channel funnels’ > ‘Model Comparison Tool’ in your GA reporting view:
    model comparison tool report
  2. Select two or more attribution models from the drop-down menus.
  3. Select ‘Conversion Value & ROAS’ from the drop-down menu just above the data table:
    conversion value and roas option
  4. Look at the data table. It should show you the attribution model specific ROAS for each MCF Channel grouping:
    attribution model specific ROAS

From the screenshot above, we can conclude that paid search marketing channel has the Last Interaction ROAS of 351.87% and the Last Non-Direct Click ROAS of 454.12%. 

So under the Last Non-Direct Click attribution model the paid search marketing channel has higher ROAS and is hence more profitable.

Types of ROAS based on the attribution window being used

The attribution model specific ROAS can be further classified based on the attribution window (lookback window) being used. For example:

  • Last-interaction ROAS (7 days) – It is the ROAS of a marketing channel/campaign under the last-touch attribution model and 7 days lookback window.
  • Last-interaction ROAS (15 days) – It is the ROAS of a marketing channel/campaign under the last-touch attribution model and 15 days lookback window.
  • First-interaction ROAS (60 days) – It is the ROAS of a marketing channel/campaign under the first-touch attribution model and 60 days lookback window.

Note: Google Analytics does not report the attribution window along with the attribution model specific ROAS. However, you should report it explicitly esp. if you are not using the default 30 days attribution window.

Other Articles on ROI

Other articles on Attribution Modelling

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  2. How to valuate Display Advertising through Attribution Modelling
  3. Understanding Shopping Carts for Analytics and Conversion Optimization
  4. 6 Keys to Digital Success in Attribution Modelling
  5. Google Analytics Attribution Modeling Tutorial
  6. How to Measure and Improve the Quality of SEO Traffic through Google Analytics
  7. How to explain attribution modelling to your clients
  8. Default and Custom Attribution Models in Google Analytics
  9. Understanding Missing Touchpoints in Attribution Modelling
  10. What You Should Know about Historical Data in Web Analytics
  11. Model Comparison Report Explained in Google Analytics Attribution
  12. Data-Driven Attribution Model in Google Analytics – Tutorial
  13. Conversion Lag Report Explained in Google Analytics Attribution
  14. Selecting the Best Attribution Model for Inbound Marketing
  15. How to do ROI Analysis in Google Analytics
  16. Conversion Credit Models Guide – Google Analytics Attribution
  17. Introduction to Nonline Analytics – True Multi Channel Analytics
  18. Conversion Types Explained in Google Analytics Attribution
  19. Attribution Channels Explained in Google Analytics Attribution
  20. Differences Between Google Attribution & Multi-Channel Funnel Reports
  21. Introduction to TV Attribution in Google Analytics Attribution 360
  22. Conversion Credit Distribution for Attribution Models in Google Analytics
  23. Conversion Paths Report Explained in Google Analytics Attribution
  24. Attribution Model Comparison Tool in Google Analytics
  25. Touchpoint Analysis in Google Analytics Attribution Modelling
  26. Attributed Conversions & Attributed Revenue Explained in Google Attribution
  27. Which Attribution Model to use in Google Analytics?
  28. Google Attribution Access and User Permissions – Tutorial
  29. Conversion Path Length Report Explained in Google Analytics Attribution
  30. How to set up a data-driven attribution model in Google Analytics
  31. View-Through Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics
  32. Offline Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics – Tutorial
  33. How to Create Custom Attribution Model in Google Analytics
  34. 8 Google Analytics Conversions Segments You Must Use
  35. You are doing Google Analytics all wrong. Here is why
  36. How to Use ZMOT to Increase Conversions and Sales Exponentially
  37. Connected Properties Explained in Google Analytics Attribution
  38. Marketing Mix Modelling or Attribution Modelling. Which one is for you?
  39. How is attribution modelling helpful for ecommerce and non-ecommerce websites?
  40. Conversion Time & Interaction Time Explained in Google Analytics Attribution
  41. How to Allocate Budgets in Multi Channel Marketing
  42. How Does Attribution Work?
  43. Data-Driven Attribution Model Explorer in Google Analytics
  44. Introduction to Attribution Beta – Attribution Project in Google Analytics

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