I love tools that provide increased clarity in organic search campaign performance, and I also love finding new ways to use data to report the value of organic search to clients more clearly and precisely.
The GA team has been busy rolling out fancy new reports and features all summer, and two of them in particular provide more clarity in organic search’s role in generating conversions and revenue on websites.
Side note: I am more impressed with the new version (v5) of Google Analytics every day, I love their approach of making continued improvements and roll-outs over time.
If you’re not familiar with the Multi-Channel Funnels report yet, read up! It’s a report that gives marketers a new (for Google Analytics) wealth of data surrounding the various touchpoints visitors have with your marketing efforts before converting on your website.
The Multi-Channel Funnels report answers:
- How many ads did a user click on before making a purchase?
- How many marketing channels do my converting visitors interact with, and which are the most effective?
- What combination of marketing channels is most effective at leading to success?
- Is organic search, an email campaign, or another channel best at generating conversions?
- What role did organic search (or PPC/social/etc.) play in conversions attributed to Direct visits (or email/display/etc.)?
If you’re not familiar with channels in online marketing, they include organic search, paid search, social, email campaigns, direct traffic and referring traffic.
Here are the two reports in the Multi-Channel Funnels section of Google Analytics that you can begin to include in SEO reports today:
1. Assisted Conversions
The Assisted Conversions report provides data on how often organic search "assists" in conversions that are credited to referrals, PPC, banner ads, social media, etc., and vice versa.
Imagine that a user discovers your website via organic search, and only signs up for your newsletter on day one. Two weeks later, you send an email blast that is so persuasive that the user clicks on it and ends up making a purchase on your site. In this scenario, the email campaign gets credit for that conversion and the revenue associated with it, but the Assisted Conversions report will tell you that organic search played a role in that purchase.
In this example, Organic Search assisted in 3,822 conversions, amounting to $169k in revenue:
Before this report, we wouldn’t have necessarily given SEO any credit at all for playing a role in these conversions. Whether direct search, an email campaign, etc. drove the final visits before converting, we can see that organic search had an impact on these 4,000 conversions.
2. Top Conversion Paths
The Top Conversion Paths report tells us just that - what the best converting paths are across each marketing channel - in most cases, organic will be included in the highest converting path.
How to see the Multi-Channel Funnels Report in Google Analytics
1. Make sure you’re viewing the new version of Google Analytics by clicking the New Version link at the top of the page.
2. Then go to My Conversions -> Multi-Channel Funnels.
3. Now use the left hand sub-navigation to browse the Assisted Conversions and Top Conversion Paths reports!
Website owners and marketers: comment with your thoughts and what you see in these reports - what role does SEO play in your conversions?