Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes
Custom Tracking Options that Provide Data Beyond the Out-of-the-Box Offerings of GA and Other Data Collection Suites.
Challenge: Our client needed more data on assisted conversions
created by pay-per-click and other advertising campaigns. They
needed to know how many conversions were influenced by these
campaigns, not just based on the final visit, which is where Google
Analytics attributes the goal. The data being provided by GA for
assisted conversions appeared to be low and our client needed
accurate conversion metrics to make informed business decisions.
- Client Facts:
- For Profit Medical School
- Valued $115M in 2008
- Faculty size greater than 200
- Over 2,200 students from 24
- Custom Goal Creation:
- Create tracking functionality that
could double check and expand
on the Google Analytics data
- Allow for the new data to be
displayed in an easy-to-use manner
Business Solution: In 2011, Google Analytics provided an update
that included mulit-channel goal funnels. For the first time, this
free suite offered the ability to see how different sources and
campaigns interacted with each other in creating a goal
conversion. For a client whose goals often had a lead time of
several months (such as for application conversions), several visits
were often vital to creating conversions. The ability to track all
of the sources/campaigns that contributed to those conversions
are invaluable for determining true return on investment.
However, for this client, the assisted conversion total for select
sources seemed low based upon total conversions and total
inbound visits for those sources. As such, Beacon developed a
custom cookie to track users who arrived via these sources at any
time in the visit process. Beacon also developed an output
function that would send data to the Google Analytics interface
whenever a user with this cookie completed a goal conversion.
This provided the ability to track this data against the assisted
conversions data already present within Google Analytics to better
verify the data collected.
Results: After installing the code for the tracking cookie, Beacon
let the data accumulate for a month. The results were surprising:
Google Analytics was underreporting assisted conversions via
pay-per-click by almost 50%. Beacon was able to use this data
to make PPC recommendations and adjust budgeting in
accordance with the “real” numbers compared to lesser budgets
that would have been used based strictly on Google Analytics data.
This is another great example of how deeper analytics can benefit
your business and allow you to make data-driven decisions.