Automating Google Analytics Cost Upload for Maximum Campaign ROI

James StandenAd spend ROI, Automation

Last week we released the latest version of Analytics Canvas which allows for the automation of uploading cost data into Google Analytics, even for the most sophisticated digital campaigns.

Visits, clicks and pageviews don’t really matter – what matters is, for a given channel, is the value being created greater than the spend? Google Analytics lets you track this if you have the cost data uploaded.

Why automating cost upload is key to ROI tracking

If you have a manual, labor intensive process to track ROI, you are turning it into a postmortem-only measure.

Digital campaign optimization is not something that should be done only after the campaign is complete. Sure, you might learn something for the next campaign but you’ve already wasted all that money. If a channel or ad isn’t working, why keep spending money on it?

Constantly optimize your campaign mix


  • Set up your spend and process in a way that you can quickly adjust where the spend is going. Specify a total daily spend but make it possible to determine each day where it goes make sure the people responsible understand that their budget will change daily.
  • Automate your cost upload, so that you can refresh it each day. This means when the team comes in, Google Analytics will have ROI waiting for them for every channel.
  • Every day, at a specific time, have a mix optimization meeting. Look at your best performers, look at the worst. Discuss the why.
  • Using common sense, adjust the mix. Move the budget away from under performers to the channels that are delivering ROI.

Obviously, there are often other things to consider than the immediate ROI of a channel (is the channel one where for brand purposes you need to keep some presence? Is it something that is leading up to a planned coupon, contest or other event that will drive higher quality traffic, is the time span of a day too short to really see how the channel is performing, etc.)

But once you have a routine at a frequency that works best for your business and campaign, you can make decisions more quickly, move the spend to where it is going to do the most good, and your return on investment WILL be better than an approach where you wait for the campaign to be half (or worse completely) over before making adjustments.

The bottom line is that by automating the cost upload process you can analyze your spend more frequently without the painful, tedious exercise of preparing and uploading your data.

So get your automation on and keep your eye on the prize – ROI.