Most website owners make use of Google Analytics to measure their online marketing efforts. A lot of information can be pulled out of the data, which gives you valuable insights that can help you improve your future marketing campaigns. However, lots of website owners look at direct revenue from the channels used, and this can result in wrong conclusions.
In order to guarantee a complete analysis, we’ll have a look at how you should compare direct and indirect results. This will help to make sure that you take the right steps for future campaigns. Google Analytics has a feature called ‘Assisted Conversions’, which can show you this indirect value.
Be as specific as possible
When you’re setting up a new marketing campaign, you’ll probably use a few different channels. You might write a newsletter, create a Facebook post and/or a guest post on a relevant blog to promote your campaign. To make sure that you can accurately measure how many sessions, transactions and revenue come oout of every specific link, you need to use UTM tags. If you’re not sure on how to set up the right UTM tags, you might find this article about custom campaigns useful to get started.
What channel was responsible for your conversions?
When you’ve added specific UTM tags to your links, you can track every link within Google Analytics. You’ll see exactly what channel and what source or medium has brought in the most revenue and what channel had the highest conversion rate. Besides that, you can track every specific link within for instance a newsletter or a Facebook post. Keep in mind that you should never add UTM tags to internal links.
An example: we released our renewed Site structure course a few weeks ago. To measure all our efforts in promoting this course, we made sure that everything was tagged correctly. We sent out several newsletters and we wrote posts on Facebook and Twitter. After a week, we we’re able to analyze the campaign in Google Analytics:
When you click on the specific campaign, you can see the data of all sources and mediums that were relevant for this campaign. As you can see below, the sales email was clearly responsible for most transactions. However, the conversion rate for the Academy emails was much higher. This is probably a result of the fact that we send our Academy emails to a group that is already familiar with our Yoast Academy.
We wanted to dive deeper into the data of the emails to see what elements were most valuable and to see which landing pages had the highest conversion rate. When you add a secondary dimension, e.g. Ad content or Landing page to the table, you’ll get the following results:
As you can see, the links pointing directly to the cart have a higher conversion rate compared to links pointing to the product page of this new course. Therefore we can conclude that the link to the cart works better in terms of conversion, so maybe in future releases or sales, we’ll only add those kinds of links to the newsletter. But be careful when drawing this conclusion, it’s possible that the other link might have more value than you see here in direct value.
You can use the ‘Assisted Conversions’ tab in Google Analytics to check the indirect value of a certain channel, a specific element with UTM tags or a landing page you’ve linked. You can find this feature within the overall Conversion tab:
First, we’ll give a short description of the main elements of this Assisted Conversions feature:
“The number of conversions for which this channel appeared on the conversion path, but was not the final conversion interaction.”
This means that visitors have come to your website through this channel, but didn’t convert. They came back later through another channel and converted.
Assisted Conversion value
“The value of the conversions assisted by this channel.”
Last Click or Direct Conversions
“The number of conversions for which this channel was the final conversion interaction.”
This means that visitors actually converted coming through this channel.
Last Click or Direct Conversion Value
“The value of the conversions for which this channel was the final conversion interaction.”
Assisted / Last Click or Direct Conversions
“A value close to 0 indicates that this channel functioned primarily as the final conversion interaction. A value close to 1 indicates that this channel functioned equally in an assist role and as the final conversion interaction. The more this value exceeds 1, the more this channel functioned in an assist role.”
Checking the indirect value
Within the Assisted Conversions tab, you can pick a primary and a secondary dimension as well. For example, you could choose the landing page URL as a primary dimension and the campaign as a secondary dimension. When you do this, you can see exactly on what pages visitors landed after clicking on your UTM tagged link.
When we look at the same two URLs that we mentioned before – the link pointing to the cart and the link pointing to the product page – we need to change our first conclusion. The image below shows you the direct and the indirect value of both links/landing pages.
As you can see, the direct value (Last Click or Direct Conversion Value) is higher when the landing page is the cart page. However, looking at the indirect value (Assisted Conversions Value) of both landing pages, we see that the product page has way more value. In total, the product page was responsible for over 50% more revenue in the first week than the cart page.
This means that people who visited the product page, didn’t convert the first time but they often came back later to convert. So the product page might be a good trigger in the decision process of our customers.
Always combine the direct and indirect value
For your overall conclusion, we recommend combining the two metrics before you make any decisions for future campaigns. Some efforts might result in lots of direct value, but as you can see, some other efforts can make that right with indirect value. Did you already know this feature and do you use this in your own analysis? Let us know!
Read more: eCommerce usability: the ultimate guide »