Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | Analytics, SEM, SEO, Video | March 10, 2017

Analyzing Assisted Conversions

Hello Fellow Advertisers!


Today I’ll be discussing the differences between last-click and first-click attribution models within Google AdWords and Google Analytics. I’ll show you some tips and tricks on how to analyze your current tracking. I’ll also provide recommendations on how to properly analyze the fruitfulness of your campaigns.






Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of my video blog series. I’m your host, Nick Reynard, and today we are going to talk about the difference between the normal conversions that we see in any given AdWords account versus what we called assisted conversions.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately on why there are discrepancies between the conversions that we see in AdWords and the conversions we see in Analytics, and even going deeper than that sometimes those conversions won’t line up with the conversions that you’re seeing in your CRM. You may have heard about First Touch, Last Touch conversions, so I’m going to go over a little bit of all that today and explain the differences between them and also give you recommendations on how to pull a very accurate view of exactly what your campaigns are generating for you.

Let’s go ahead and get started. I have AdWords open here because I want to start with how AdWords tracks conversions. AdWords used to only track stuff on a First Touch basis. It has since allowed you to be more customized in the way that you want to track your conversions. The way that you check how you’re currently tracking conversions is you go to tools up here in the top after you’ve logged into AdWords, go to conversions, and you can select any of your conversions within your account here. This contact us form for example, and hit edit settings. There’s going to be a few things that we can … Let me zoom out a little bit … A few things that we can custom tailor here.

The conversion window is a big thing you want to take note of. This is the amount of time that people have. If someone comes to your site, you can think about it like let’s say you’re trying to buy something on Amazon, but today you went and looked up on Amazon basketball shoes or something. Then you looked around but you didn’t want to buy. Then you came back 15 days later, then you decided to actually buy something. There’s a 15 day gap between when you originally found their ad, and when you actually decided to convert. That’s what we call the conversion window.

There’s a certain point where if I looked up basketball shoes one day but then 18 months later than I decide to come back to Amazon and convert, there’s a certain point where we have to make a judgment call on whether or not that person has sort of fallen out of the funnel, and consider them as a new user and no longer consider that part of the same conversion. The default for conversion window, I think in AdWords I know it’s 30 days. In Analytics I believe it is also 30 days. You can see here that you can set this up for longer.

30 days is fine just for most purposes, but you definitely want to take your product or service that you’re selling into consideration. If you have a significantly longer sales cycle, let’s say you’re selling a B2B software that takes eight months of demo requests and trials and following up with them and phone calls and email blasts and all kinds of stuff from point A to point B of when they’re actually turning into a closed sale, you may want to extend this conversion window a bit longer. That being said, generally speaking 30 days is fine.

The other thing we want to look at here is attribution model. Like I said, AdWords used to track stuff on a first click basis. You can see here this is tracking on a last click basis. They have some other cute ones called linear time decay and position based. I never use any of these bottom three here; I only use last click and first click. The last click model is going to give attribution to the platform whether it’s AdWords or Bing or whatever you’re tracking, LinkedIn, if that was the last platform that the user visited before they decided to convert. If someone maybe had found your site organically and then they came back directly and then they looked up your website again, and they clicked on a paid ad and then they converted, that would be a last click conversion for paid because paid was the last thing that they clicked on before they decided to actually follow through with converting, whether it’s calling or buying something whatever it is.

First click is the inverse of that. It will track users based off of whatever the first thing that they found you through. The reason that first click is used a lot is because in theory you can think that if someone found this through a paid ad, so if someone looked up basketball shoes and they found Amazon through that, we can assume that if we weren’t running our paid ad that they may have clicked on another website that was advertising for basketball shoes and they may have never followed up and ended up converting with us at all. We definitely want to take those into consideration. A lot of people think that last click conversions are all that matter, because that’s the last thing that they clicked on. Being able to associate those conversions regardless of where they were in the funnel, we want to know how much are our efforts through paid searches or organic or whatever view we’re looking at, how much is that actually contributing to our overall revenue.

My overall recommendation here is that there isn’t one that’s necessarily right or wrong. You want to consider all avenues, which is what I’m about to go in here in Analytics, because the question is, “How do I look at both last click and first click?” The answer is that we can’t actually do that in AdWords, and so I’m going to show you how to do that in Analytics. By the way, I think AdWords now defaults the last click, but I think they originally were using first click several years ago. I don’t know if they switched over. I do know that I’m going to log into Analytics here, and just use a random account here.

If we’re looking at the typical view that I go to for my last click conversions in Analytics, is if you log into your Analytics and under acquisition here. If you go to all traffic and then source medium. Just again, acquisition, all traffic, source medium. We’re looking at all the users. You can see that here; all users that have been to the site. Let’s go ahead and look at all of 2017 just to have a longer date range here. Scroll down, and now we can see all of the sources and mediums that our traffic is coming through.

You can see 91,000 sessions from our paid Google stuff, our paid Google efforts is probably a better term than stuff. Organic traffic from Google: 25K. Direct/none, means people just typing the website in directly into their browser up here. Criteo, Facebook, Bing. You can see everything is here for all traffic. There’s a myriad of different traffic sources. You can see it starts to taper off, that the sessions start to diminish pretty quickly compared to our top traffic generator, which is paid search on Google.

What we’re looking at here … Let me drag this bar over a little bit. Let’s see if I can zoom out so you guys can see the whole screen, hopefully that isn’t too small for you guys to see. I do have to lower the resolution on my monitor to be able to upload these to YouTube. We can see here that we have eCommerce selected as our goal. We can see how much revenue that we’re generating from each one of these channels. This revenue is not all of the revenue that you are generating from here. What we’re seeing under here under acquisition, all traffic, source medium this is only last click. This is only people where the last thing that they clicked on was a paid Google ad. That was $274,000 worth of revenue for them. Organic, $151,000.

This doesn’t account for people who found us through paid advertising, but then converted through another medium. That would have been attributed to something else. For last click revenue, let’s say you’re trying to report on how much revenue you generated from the AdWords campaigns that you set up. In this case, we’d be able to report $274,000 worth of revenue for last click.

I’m going to go ahead and show you what the channels look like, because I think it’s really good to get a visual of that. If you go down to conversions here, it’s under multi-channel funnels and then top conversion paths. There’s a cool visual on these where we can see how people are actually converting. This isn’t something that’s actually useful or that we really use for reporting that much, but it does give you an idea of how people … You can see this top one here. People clicked on two paid ads; that was 647 of the conversions for $42,000 worth of revenue. Number three here, they found us through a paid ad but then they converted by coming back to the website directly. That was $38,000 worth of revenue. These conversions right here on number three, these wouldn’t have shown up as revenue under acquisition, all traffic, source medium, because paid search was not the last thing that they clicked on before they decided to convert. That’s why we call it last click. Whereas something like this first one, paid search, was the first thing that they clicked on so these ones would have been counted there.

The question there is, how do I report on this one? We don’t want to necessarily discount paid search as not having being at all attributed to this revenue because these people originally found us through paid search, so we definitely want to give it some credit. We can scroll down here. Sometimes there’s some pretty crazy ones … They’re not too crazy. Sometimes you see these huge … They went paid, then direct, and then paid, and then direct twice. That was 12 conversions over $450. Kind of cute and fun. Or this one here where they come back directly six times. It was 12 conversions.

Anyway, I want to go into how to report on those other ones. The first thing that we did was acquisition, all traffic, source medium. This is going to be your last click revenue. For anything prior to that, we go to conversions, multi-channel funnels, and assisted conversions. Typically we’re reporting on paid things, but if you’re wanting to know organic or something else, you can select any of these options here. We’re going to go ahead and look at paid since that’s most of what we manage for our clients.

Here we can see under assisted conversions and assisted conversion values, you can go ahead and disregard any of this last click or direct conversions. We’re not interested in direct conversions. We’re only interested in what’s called assisted. This would be somebody who found us through a paid ad, but then they converted through another medium. We’re not getting credit in that other view. Here you can see that our paid Google ads, they had over $400,000 worth of revenue in last touch, but in first touch revenue, or in first click, there’s another $318,000 worth of revenue where our paid ads were involved in the process, but it just wasn’t the last thing that they clicked on before they decided to convert. That’s a massive number; you’re talking about $450,000 plus about $300,000. Not giving credit to our paid platforms or Bing or Facebook or whatever we’re running, not giving that credit to those campaigns I think is unfair. I also just think that it’s an inaccurate way of measuring your revenue. If you only think that last touch if that’s it. It’s just false.

We want to take into consideration how much, regardless of where it is in the funnel or how much of an effect it had in the funnel, the point is that it was part of the funnel. That revenue may have not been generated if we weren’t running those campaigns. Why wouldn’t we give them credit?

If we’re reporting on this for our client, I would pull the acquisition, all traffic, source medium view and say this is all your last click traffic. Then I would also come into conversions, multi-channel funnels, assisted conversions and then click on my paid avenue and also report on this $318,000 in revenue and say this is also $318,000 of revenue where Google assisted it. It was involved in the process, it just wasn’t the last thing that they clicked on. Then I would combine those two numbers and that would give us a better analysis of overall what we’re getting out of our campaign.

That’s a basic overview of what I wanted to show you guys. If you have any questions you can leave it on the comments section. Otherwise, thanks for watching and I’ll see you guys in my next video blog.

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