With ecommerce PPC campaigns, it’s easy to see the direct ROI your work is earning. You get the revenue data in Google Analytics if ecommerce tracking is set up properly. With B2B PPC campaigns, it’s more tricky without revenue data. You have to work a little harder to prove ROI to your clients. There are several ways you can give clients proof of the awesome work you’re doing, but here are a few of my favorites that I use on as many B2B clients as I can.

1. Figure Out the Worth of a Goal Conversion

When working with most of my clients, I always encourage them to come up with a number on what they think each of their goal conversions are worth. This one is tough, but can be achieved with an understanding that this is an educated estimate. Say you have a contact form on your site or landing page. Take the total number of leads that come in from that form every quarter year. Find the  amount of those leads that your company or sales team actually closes. Take that average closed amount, and find the average number of closed revenue those closed leads had earned. (Perform this analysis every quarter to see if your average value stays consistent). Next you want to take that number and add it to your goals in Google Analytics.

goal value in google analytics

It makes perfect sense that a contact form or request for quote submission would be more valuable to a business than a newsletter signup. It all depends on who the client is, and what is important to them. However if you add values to each of your goals in Google Analytics, those values will start showing up in AdWords. You will then have a much better understanding on the worth of your target keywords, and have better data on how you may want to adjust your bids for keywords that are bringing in the most ROI.

conversion value in adwords

2. Research Assisted Conversions for Reporting

In Google Analytics, under Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels, you can view the Assisted Conversions page. (You can see high level Assisted Conversion numbers in the Multi-Channel page too). These pages will show you how your PPC efforts were a step along the way when another channel (organic, direct, referral, etc.) of traffic converted. Looking at these stats is a great way to see what is actually working in your PPC campaigns. But this blog is about proving ROI, not optimizing your AdWords accounts. That’s why it’s so important to find the true value of your goal conversions as I just mentioned. Let’s look at an example from one of my clients in an extremely niche market…

assisted conversions

We’re looking at just a 30 day span for this one. During this timeframe, the client has spent $202.40 on ad costs. Their estimated, direct, return value is $15,327.49. Now if we add the $3,259.23 from assisted conversions, our ROI numbers look better.

Some things to you must consider when showing these metrics to a client…

  • Understand that you can’t add the assisted value numbers directly on top of the last click numbers. However, if we can show that PPC helps our clients’ SEO, direct, social efforts it can help prove the value of your work.
  • Don’t be one-sided. Yes your PPC efforts are helping other channels, but most likely those other channels are also helping your PPC performance. Start changing your clients’ mindsets of singular channels only benefiting themselves and focus on overall marketing efforts.
  • Besides ad costs, the fee you or your employer charges for your services is an expense. Include that metric in your ROI reporting as well to show a more accurate ROI number.

3. Use Google Tag Manager and Analytics to Show Your Clients Which Exact Leads Came from PPC

This one is my favorite. I still get giddy talking about it. Simo Ahava has an incredibly helpful blog titled, “Advanced Form Tracking in Google Tag Manager” that laid the groundwork of how I implemented this function. With Google Tag Manager (GTM) you can record, in Google Analytics, whatever someone inputs into a “Company” field on your contact forms. This will allow you to show your clients which form leads came from your PPC work. Simo’s blog doesn’t show you the whole process, but I’ll break it down assuming you already have GTM set up properly.

Create an Event Listener Tag That Will Track All Site Form Submissions

Start creating a new tag. Name it whatever you want. Select “Form Submit Listener” as the Tag Type. This tag tells GTM to create the event gtm.formSubmit every time a form submits on the page. Next, look at the right-hand side of the page and add a new Firing Trigger. Firing Triggers lets the advertiser control when the tag should be fired. In  this case I chose the default of “All pages” since I want to track when every form submission takes place. The options for Wait for Tags, Check Validation and Advanced Settings are all optional so skipping over those. After the Form Submit Listener tag is created. Save it and move on to the next step.

gtm form submit listener

Create a Variable to Track the Company Field

Head back to the Container Draft Overview and create a new Variable (used to be Macros). Name the variable whatever you want, and then select Custom JavaScript as the Variable Type. In the Custom JavaScript field, enter the following code in the image below…

gtm company field macro

The reason part of the JavaScript is highlighted is because that is the part you’ll need to change. In between the two quotes in the second line, you need to add the form field input ID from the company field. That is found by inspecting the form element and finding the input ID in the source code.

form field input id

See how the input_4_2 fields match? After you have the proper JavaScript created make sure to save the variable.

Create a Tag for the Specific Form That’s Being Filled Out

Time to create one more Tag.  Again name the tag whatever you want. For the Tag Type, choose Google Analytics. Then select whichever type of Google Analytics you are using on your site. Classic or Universal. You must remember that if you change GA types after this tag is created, it will break the functionality of the field tracking. Next, you want to configure the tag. Enter in your UA tracking number from Google Analytics. Select the Track Type as Event. Then name the Category and Action fields however you want them to appear in Google Analytics Event reporting. For Label, select the Variable we created in the previous step.

quick contact form submission tag


Now the last step is creating a Firing Trigger for this tag. This time we don’t want to select “All pages.” We now want to create a custom trigger that calls out the element id of the form whose company field we’re tracking. Make this Firing Trigger a Custom Event. Then tell the trigger to fire when both the event containing gtm.formSubmit and element id containing your form’s ID match.

form submission firing rule

Remember how we used the source code to find the form field input ID for the company field. We’ll want to check the source code again, but this time find the ID for the entire form, not just one field. I highlighted the row that contains the form ID. You’ll see that it matches the element ID that is in the Firing Trigger we just created.

form id location in source code

Make sure you save the Firing Trigger and the Tag it applies to. Now that all of our GTM work is completed, make sure you publish all of your work!

View Your Results in Google Analytics

Here’s the fun part. To view the company names in Google Analytics go to Behavior > Events > Overview then select Event Label. Also note that this form tracking will record all submissions; not just for PPC. Here’s what it looks like.

event label in google analytics

It was great to hear feedback from the client that some of these leads already closed for big sales. And when one closed number can pay your PPC fees for more than a year you look even better.  Your clients will love seeing this in your reporting. I guarantee it.

That’s all I have for now. I didn’t even talk about call tracking! Do you have any other suggestions that will help your B2B peers? Let everyone know in the comments!