24 Jan 2012

PPC Assisted Conversions & Multi-Channel Reporting

January 24, 2012PPC Advertising

In PPC, it is very important to consider how your keywords and ads will interact with other marketing channels to instigate conversions. To get the most out of your PPC efforts it is essential to keep in mind what may be happening behind the scenes. Thanks to Google Analytics, Multi-Channel Reports can give you a good framework for analyzing this information and remind you not to underestimate your PPC approach.
You should have an understanding of just how much your PPC campaign is interacting with other marketing channels during the time of a conversion. If you are not looking at all the puzzle pieces, it’s impossible to truly know how the conversion initially occurred and why it was successful. Visit the Overview report in Analytics to see a tool known as the Conversion Visualizer. Here you will be able to examine what marketing channels worked together to make your conversion a reality. There are many factors that affect a conversion, from the type of search that spawned the ad to the final landing pages that customers are redirected to. Here you’ll be able to get an idea of the path that the potential customer took that resulted in a conversion.
Are you aware of just how much PPC is directly affecting your conversions? Not long ago, Analytics only credited conversions to PPC if it was the final interaction leading to the actual turnover. This means that if PPC initiated the conversion or was involved somewhere in between, it was in no way attributed to the final product. You should be fully aware of Assisted Conversions. If you have only been analyzing and reporting these last interaction instances in PPC, then more than 50% of the total generated revenue that was at some point involved with PPC has gone unrecognized.
Of course, if you were neglecting assisted conversions as mentioned above you may have also been cutting or holding back on campaigns that were actually generating valuable revenue. If you have not been looking at the big picture thus far, it’s very possible that you have revised keywords, ad groups and placements that were in fact successful in assisting conversions, but may not have been that last interaction. Navigate to the Assisted Conversions report and visit the AdWords tab. Here you can filter the report to reveal Assisted/Last Interaction Conversions to see what portions your campaign has been helping more than you previously thought. You’ll want to consider optimizing bids for keywords that are driving assisted conversions and improve your overall return on ad spend (ROAS).
Your Assisted/Last Interaction Conversions report may also reveal that you’ve been underestimating your unbranded keywords. Often, the branded key words tend to steal the spotlight, because they lead to final conversions. Initially however, the potential customer was probably led to your site through a more general search on an unbranded term. If you fail to recognize this initial interaction, then you are giving all of the credit to brand names, and you are not crediting the whole path leading to the conversion. You can take a look at these analytics by visiting the Conversions Path report on AdWords. You can create a new segment that only shows the branded keywords as the final interaction, and filter your data from there to see where the spark may have started.
A final important step is knowing your PPC sales cycle and the average length of time it takes from the initial visit to the actual conversion. When you run your reports, consider  that a month-to-month comparison may not be the most accurate approach to analyzing your performance. Analyze larger chunks of time to form a better understanding of how your PPC campaigns are interacting with other marketing channels.