Assisted Conversions. Google Analytics Guide
Increased visibility in search results and website traffic – that’s certainly what every website owner wants to achieve. However, it is only a way to reach the most important goal, that is, conversion. If you want to continuously monitor whether all your goals have been achieved, you can use conversion and assisted conversion reports as well as an attribution model comparison. Let’s find out why it is so important and what to pay attention to.
The Assisted Conversion report is another source of information on user behavior on your website, available in the Google Analytics tool. Previously, we have already explained in detail from which traffic sources users reach your website. Now, it’s time to learn which of these sources lead to conversions on the site. But do you know what a conversion is?
What Is a Conversion and How Is It Measured?
No matter what kind of website you have, it has some major goals to achieve. When the user completes such a goal, this is called a conversion. Simply put, the definition of conversion may look like this:
In an online store, buying a product is usually the most important conversion.
To be able to measure transactional data, you need to implement e-commerce tracking – in our article, we explain exactly how it should be done.
However, getting contact details from potential customers, downloading ebooks, entering the “Contact us” page are also great examples of goals you can set on your website.
Measuring the realization of goals is a competence that every website owner should have and only this can allow you to determine the 100% effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.
Once you have set your goals, you have an opportunity to analyze the following aspects:
- the number of goals achieved,
- conversion rate,
- bounce rate,
- pages on which the goals were achieved,
- traffic sources which lead to conversion.
All the above information can be found here:
In this report, the conversion is assigned to the last non-direct traffic source. What does this mean in practice?
1. A user enters a given phrase in Google.
2. From the search results, he/she click on a page of your online store (which is not a Google ad).
3. He/she reads more about the product on the website.
4. He/she buys the mountain bike.
In this situation, the conversion is assigned to Google / organic.
1. A user enters a given phrase in Google.
2. From the search results, he/she clicks on a page of your online store
3. He/she reads more about the product on the website.
4. He/she leaves your site.
One hour later:
5. The user enters the name of the store in Google.
6. From the search results, he/she clicks on the first result – a page of your online store which is a Google ad.
7. He/she selects a product on the page.
8. He leaves the store without buying anything.
2 hours later
9. The user enters the store by typing a web address into the browser bar.
10. He/she selects a product on the page.
11. He/she buys the mountain bike.
In this situation, the conversion is assigned to Google / CPC, i.e. paid traffic.
From this report, you can only find out which channel source reached its target (not including the direct traffic), but not which one brought users who completed the transaction.
Fortunately, there are even more possibilities that Google Analytics gives you. This is really just the beginning. At this stage of scanning the data, you shouldn’t take any hasty action concerning the exclusion of marketing activities from any source. This can lead, among other things, to a decrease in conversion. Why? Because of assisted conversions!
What Can You Learn From the Assisted Conversion Report?
Assisted Conversions is another report that can be found in the Google Analytics tool. With its help, you will learn which traffic sources have played an important role in converting. It is this report that shows you how important different marketing channels are in bringing users to your online store, business website, or company blog.
You can find it here:
In this report, you get clear information about the traffic sources that played a major role in the conversion path (the path shows all the steps a user has taken to make, for example, purchase in an online store).
* in order to get access to this report in Google Analytics, it is necessary to set up goals or run the e-commerce module.
The report contains three metrics:
- assisted conversions – any conversions for which a given channel appeared on the conversion path, however, it wasn’t responsible for the final conversion,
- last click or direct conversions – any conversions for which a given channel led to the final conversion,
- assisted / last click or direct conversions – a value which indicated the number of assisted conversions per last click or direct conversion. It makes it easier to evaluate a channel’s overall role. The result above 1 shows a situation in which a given channel supports the conversion to a greater extent than it is responsible for its final completion. A value below 1 indicates that a particular channel more often takes part in the final conversion.
Here’s an example of what a report might look like:
From the report, you can learn that:
- most conversions are assisted by organic search results,
- direct search results are also most often responsible for the final conversion,
- paid search is much more important for the last click or direct conversions than for assisted conversions.
Why is the Analysis of Assisted Conversion So Important?
In many cases, users do not buy products or decide to contact the company when they first visit the site. Sometimes they need time to familiarize themselves with the product, company, store, reviews, and only after a week or two (or, in the case of luxurious goods, after a month), they make the final decision to buy or to contact directly. Only products bought by impulse can have a conversion path limited to one step. The decision-making process is also different for women, who need more points of contact with a company, and for men, whose path to complete the conversion is mostly much shorter.
It is extremely important to remember about it when analyzing the conversion of your online store. A situation in which a given channel is not responsible for the final conversion doesn’t always mean that it is irrelevant and you shouldn’t concentrate your marketing activities on it. Perhaps it is thanks to this channel that users reach your website and find out more about your products, offer, or services you provide. However, they need more time to make a decision and leave the site without completing the conversion. Nothing stops them from visiting your website again after a few days from another source (e.g. from organic search results) and making the purchase then. But in this case, did the first visit not matter? Believe me, it did!
Imagine a situation in which you notice that in the following report:
facebook.com / referral is responsible for only 5% of all conversions, while google / cpc for 60%.
Based on the data, you may come to the conclusion that all the money spent on Facebook advertising is an unnecessary cost, and then you decide to replace them with Google Ads. However, in the next month, you can observe a sudden drop in conversion. Why is that?
Once you know how the conversions are calculated, you can conclude: “Facebook ads brought to my online store so many users interested in buying my products, but they made their final purchase decision only in the next steps on the conversion path”.
If you want to check whether your conclusions are true, all you need to do is verify them in the Assisted Conversions report! But why draw conclusions this late? It is recommended to analyze this report before making any marketing decisions, to avoid mistakes and revenue loss.
What to Pay Attention to When Analyzing Assisted Conversions?
One of the traps you may come across in this report is adding together the number of conversions or their value.
Remember that one channel can have different functions on a conversion path. It can be responsible for the assisted conversion, i.e. bring a user to your site, and later lead to conversion after the last click or direct conversion.
The number of total conversions for every channel can be found in the Top Conversion Paths report.
Top Conversion Paths, Time Lag, and Path Length
The Top Conversion Paths report allows you to learn the exact steps that users have taken before they accomplished the goal.
This report can be found here:
Apart from indicating specific paths, it also shows the number of conversions for every path and the conversion value.
In this report, you can see the exact number of conversions in which the Direct channel was involved. As you can see, the direct channel generated overall 789 conversions, not 1580 as you could assume based on the Assisted Conversions channel.
To get a full picture of your users’ behavior, it is also worthwhile to read the Time Lag report, which indicates how much time elapsed from the first time users visited the site to their conversion.
Another valuable piece of information is the length of the conversion path (it can be found in the Path Length report). The report shows how many interactions with the site from different channels users have to make in order to convert.
The reports described above can be found here:
Model Comparison Tool
This article focuses on assisted conversions, however, the same or even more detailed conclusions can be obtained by attribution modeling. This topic is extremely broad, but here, I would like to briefly present the most essential aspects of this report.
The reports you have learned so far provide great insight into how users reach your website, but Google Analytics offers even more functionalities. This powerful tool can be found in the Multi-Channel Funnels section.
The comparison of conversion models allows you to analyze certain decisions from a completely different perspective. With it, you can decide which channels should have an increased marketing budget as they attract more visits that lead to the conversion or which Google Ads campaigns should be continued in the following weeks.
In short, we can compare the default method of assigning conversions, i.e. Last Interaction, for example, with the First Interaction Model and see how the conversion has changed.
In the tool, you will find several attribution models that can be adapted to your demands. Additionally, you can also create your own models, more tailored to your business.
Setting goals is one of the key activities that you should do at the very beginning of running your own website. Google Analytics offers you many great features to analyze not only the users’ behavior on the site but also how they reach it. This allows you to make more data-driven marketing decisions. Learning more about assisted conversion reports, conversion paths and attribution models brings you closer to the desired success. I think that making marketing decisions based solely on measuring last-click conversion is insufficient and in some cases may lead to wrong conclusions. Check the contribution of source/medium on the entire conversion path.
Really enjoy those Analytics Guide articles, help me get my knowledge straight when it comes to my website analytics. Did you think of doing video tutorials to show how to get vital info from GA?