Conversion tracking is a simple concept. Marketers designate a web page at the end of the funnel, often a "thank you" or "confirmation" page, to signify a completed action. Be it a lead-generated, e-commerce sale tallied, free application downloaded or any other desired event, conversions are notched when a user meets certain criteria and then hits the trigger.
Even using sophisticated attribution tracking systems, marketers still need to track conversion to the final touch, which results in a desired action.
The Awesome Power Of One
The Google Analytics Advanced Segments checkbox tool allows us to deselect the "All Traffic" option and choose a single Custom Segment to study on its own, isolated from all other metrics. The premise of this post is clarity gained after deselecting everything but a single conversion segment.
The power of surfing Google Analytics by stream of consciousness, focused solely on a single conversion trigger segment, can yield fascinating clarity. For one thing, it makes a huge difference to me not to have to separate my last touch conversion data from the muck of all other traffic. Usually conversion is a small enough percentage of overall site activity that it can be hard to glean much of anything visually from Google Analytics' infographics.
See how the conversion graph's line, squished along the bottom of the infographic, reveals little about trends?
OK, now have a look with newly added clarity by examining the same report viewing only the conversion segment. Note the upper right, where I've selected only the conversion Advanced Segment.
Not only are the subtleties of trending revealed, but there's also little junk to wade though. All of our favorite Google Analytic infographics and statistics (traffic sources, sources, keywords, etc.) are laid out only as pertain to the conversion segment. It's like putting on a new pair of glasses.
Have some fun with this technique to create useful reports, ranging from mild to wild. Let's try a few on for size.
Conversion Improvement From SEO
Wondering if all that expensive SEO work paid off with sales? This report says it all. Note the time on page, pages viewed, and bounce rate engagement metrics. It's really cool to note out all the little corners of pretty much any Google Analytics report applied only to conversion.
Conversion Improvement From PPC
Apply the same thinking to paid search for no-bull clarity surrounding keywords and engines. Drill into individual keywords if you like, for conversion only trending at the keyword level.
Unfortunately in this era of social media, "direct" traffic can mean more that typing the URL into the browser bar or using a local bookmark. For instance, a click from a Twitter App on your Mac or Android phone will show as direct. Sure, direct can be further segmented by mobile/non-mobile, geo, etc., but this report is the start.
Here's all the conversion, which will require further detective work.
Direct Conversion by Platform
This report is good because it starts to clarify that which we do not know: where the direct conversion sales come from. In this case we can pretty much rule out mobile. Still, it's cool to note that mobile users, who did buy, were engaged on their handsets.
Conversion By Time of Day
This report is an awesome tool for social media community managers because it could provide a roadmap for when engagement might yield fruit. Also, absent attribution concerns, there may well be insight for PPC day-parting. I used Custom Reporting to build this report.
There's no doubt that mobile is sending more traffic to our clients' sites. However, often times they just don't buy. Use this report to determine if mobile users convert or not.
Go ahead, get granular. Try segmenting conversion by specific mobile handsets.
In this report we also see the traffic source for iPhone conversion. Apply the same thinking to keywords, geographic location, etc., for any mobile handset type's conversion data.
An interesting Easter egg here is that we can see some of the actual YouTube user profiles that converted. Take note of these users for friending in YouTube later. For advanced users, associate YouTube users to sales via the API and ship the data to your community manager for social action.
New vs. Returning Conversion
We think this is priceless data and is self-explanatory.
New Visitor Conversion
Now get granular and explore the specifics of new visitor conversion. It's easy to study engagement metrics, referral sources, keywords, etc., for new or returning visitors, all as pertains to conversion!
Top Converting Landing Pages
In AdWords it's easy to see what landing pagers convert best. Use this report to check out how landing pages convert from all traffic sources.
There's awesome power in the simplicity of surfing Google Analytics, only studying a single conversion setting. The only limitation is your own imagination. After you stumble upon a clarifying report, don't forget to add it to your Analytics dashboard for easy reference later.
Happy single segment surfing!