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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.
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.