8 Google Analytics Conversions Segments you Must use

 

Of late on ‘LinkedIn’ I was asked this question “how I can determine the influence of display on organic search in Google analytics”. I think it is an excellent question and I am sure every marketer would like to know the answer to this question and much more like ‘how I can determine the influence of PPC on organic search or influence of organic search on PPC, so that I can justify the spend to the upper management/client.

 

I am going to answer the 8 most important questions for any marketer through Google Analytics Conversion Segments:

  1. Effect of Display on Organic search Traffic
  2. Effect of PPC on Organic Search Traffic
  3. Effect of Organic Search on PPC Traffic
  4. Effect of Social Media on Organic Search
  5. Effect of Organic search on Direct Traffic
  6. Effect of PPC on Direct Traffic
  7. Effect of Social Media on Direct Traffic
  8. Effect of Email on Direct Traffic

 

How to determine the effect of Display on Organic Search

Poor Display ads, no one like them. There are in fact the poorest of all marketing channels as they rarely complete conversions.  So it is really important to know what role Display ads are playing in the overall conversion process and whether it is worth investing in them.

Head towards the ‘Top Conversions Path’ Report (under ‘Multi Channel Funnel’ Reports) in Google Analytics.

Create a new user defined conversion segment ‘Effect of Display on organic search Traffic’ by clicking on the link ‘Create New Conversion Segment’ (as shown in the image above).  Now define the segment as shown in the image below:

Here I am telling Google Analytics to include all those conversion paths which contains ‘Display’ as interaction anywhere in the Basic Channel Grouping and ‘organic search’ as a last interaction.

 

Once you have created the segment then click on the ‘Save Segment’ button. This action will not only create a new conversion segment but also apply the segment to the ‘top conversions path’ report:

Note: Make sure that you sort the ‘conversion value’ column before you interpret this report.

From the report above, we can see that Display initiated 14 conversions in the first row, 7 conversions in the second row, 3 conversions in third row and so on.  Without ‘Display’, these conversions would not have occurred in the first place. You now need to decide how important are the 224 conversions (in which display played an important role) to your business model and advertising objectives.

 

You can similarly define and apply conversion segments to determine the influence of other marketing channels.

 

How to determine the Effect of PPC on Organic Search Traffic

Every marketer wants to know which marketing channel  has the bigger impact in their organization: SEO or PPC.  This conversion segment will tell you how PPC is helping the conversions completed by SEO.  Create and apply the conversion segment named ‘Effect of PPC on Organic Search Traffic’:

 

 

How to determine the Effect of Organic Search on PPC Traffic

Now it is the turn of SEOs to show their strength. This conversion segment will tell you how SEO is helping the PPC campaigns’ conversions.  Create and apply the conversion segment named ‘Effect of Organic Search on PPC Traffic’:

 

How to determine the Effect of Social Media on Organic Search

Social media is an underdog in the world of inbound marketing. Sure it brings lot of sharing and branding. But is it really impacting the bottom-line. This conversion segment will tell you how social media is helping the organic search campaigns’ conversions.  Create and apply the conversion segment named ‘Effect of Social Media on Organic Search’:

 

How to determine the Effect of Organic search on Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is a SEO killer. So i consider this segment very important. This conversion segment will tell you how organic traffic is helping direct traffic’s conversions.  Create and apply the conversion segment named ‘Effect of Organic search on Direct Traffic’:

Note how Direct traffic is destroying  your SEO efforts. You need to show this report to your client/boss.

 

How to determine the Effect of PPC on Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is also a PPC killer.  PPC guys will love this conversion segment.  Through this segment you can determine how PPC is impacting the conversions through direct traffic. Create and apply the conversion segment named ‘Effect of PPC on Direct Traffic’:

 

How to determine the Effect of Social Media on Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is really really bad. It also eats up lot of social media efforts. Through this segment you can determine how social media is impacting the conversions through direct traffic. Create and apply the conversion segment named ‘Effect of Social Media on Direct Traffic’:

 

How to determine the Effect of Email on Direct Traffic

Create and apply the conversion segment named ‘Effect of Email on Direct Traffic’:

Similarly you can create and measure the influence of any combination of marketing channels (like impact of facebook on organic search, impact of email on PPC etc) according to your business needs.  If you wish to know more about multi channel funnel reports and attribution modeling then check out this post: How to do Attribution Modeling in Google Analytics – Ultimate Guide. Also check out this case study to revolutionize the way you manage your PPC campaigns for good: Attribution Modeling Case Study – Introducing Effective Click Optimization.

 

Please share your views about how you use multi channel funnel reports in your analytics life.

Other Posts you may find useful:

 

 

Himanshu Sharma About the Author: is the founder of seotakeaways.com which provides SEO Consulting, PPC Management and Analytics Consulting services to medium and large size businesses. He holds a bachelors degree in ‘Internet Science’, is a member of 'Digital Analytics Association', a Google Analytics Certified Individual and a Certified Web Analyst. He is also the founder of EventEducation.com and EventPlanningForum.net.

My business thrives on referrals, so I really appreciate recommendations to people who would benefit from my help. Please feel free to endorse/forward my LinkedIn Profile to your clients, colleagues, friends and others you feel would benefit from SEO, PPC or Web Analytics.

 

 

  • http://www.i-vijay.com Vijay

    This is one super awesome post Himanshu. Just applied it to my clients profile and the results are just amazing.

    Thanks a lot for the post.

  • http://www.Streamcompanies.com Yuriy

    This is incredibly actionable and more importantly valuable. Thank you!

  • JasonGASA

    Holy Crap. This is fucking awesome. From where do you get all this knowledge Himanshu. I postponed the meeting with my client today because i want to use these conversion segments to re-evaluate the performance of our search campaigns. Thanks a ton. I owe you a beer.

  • http://www.google.com/analytics/ dernscitylana

    You are killing it Himanshu with each and every post. This is undoubtedly the best analytics post of this year.

  • http://meramail.indiatimes.com/hosting/index.jsp Anand Lakhani

    Himanshu i am a big fan of your analytics knowledge. The post on attribution modelling was awesome and this post is the best analytics post i have read so far. Definitely bookmarking it and would share it with others. Thanks.

  • odlasb

    Thanks for these wonderful tips. Will come handy in analyzing the search campaigns.

  • http://www.gempalacejaipur.com/ Mridul Sharma

    Excellent tips. I wanted to create something like this. Really it is the next level of analytics. Another Avinash in the making :)

  • Vijay

    Excellent tips you brought out in this post. This will help me in convincing my boss to allocate more budget to SEO. I agree with you, direct traffic is a SEO killer.

  • Amalia

    Thank you for the conversion segments Himanshu.Really helpful.

  • http://www.avis.co.in/ Jitender

    Fantastic post and great insight. I was looking for such functionality for a long time. You are the man.

  • SEO4Nerd

    Never thought of applying these conversions segments. Thanks a lot. I guess you have finally fully resolved the mystery of attribution.

  • Manish Sharma

    Hi Himanshu! Superb post. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  • http://www.gerardrathenau.nl Gerard Rathenau

    Nice post Himanshu. A suggestion to complete this attribution analysis:

    You can create a conversion segment with for example assisting interaction PPC and you excluse PPC from last interaction.

    Then you see the assisting conversions from PPC to Organic, Social, Display, E-mail etc…

    Then you can really determine how channels attributing with each other

    You agree with this segment?

    • http://www.seotakeaways.com/ Himanshu

      Absolutely. Excellent suggestion Gerard. Thanks.

  • http://fsu.com Mike T

    Nice post!

    When I look at the time lag report under Multi Channel, this report only shows you up to 30 days. Therefore, B2B clients are out of luck due to lengthy sales cycles – do I have that correct?

    • http://www.seotakeaways.com/ Himanshu

      Yes it is correct.

  • http://charliesaidthat.com/digital/ Charlie Southwell

    Okay, so this is some goddamn sexy stuff. Thanks for sharing dude!

    looking at some of this and wondering why I never though to do this ages ago.

  • http://www.imod.co.za Chris M

    Hi Himanshu,

    I feel like a bit of an idiot as this isn’t working for me for some reason. I’ve been using Analytics for many years and advanced segments and custom reports are not new to me at all, yet something isn’t working.

    Here are some screen shots:

    http://d.pr/i/NWd – The Conversion Segment

    Yet, when I apply it, Analytics shows absolutely no conversions: http://d.pr/i/J5fq

    There are AdWords campaigns running, my AdWords is linked to my Analytics, I have had organic and paid conversions and they’re appearing, so I can’t figure out what’s wrong.

    Here’s to hoping you can assist?

    • http://www.seotakeaways.com/ Himanshu

      Hi Chris! What type of conversion you selected while looking at this report. Make sure the conversion is selected to ‘All’. This drop down button is to the left of the ‘Path Length’ button.

  • Ravi Akella

    Hi Himanshu,

    I should say this is another super informative simplest of techniques you have shared. Very well appreciated.

    • http://www.seotakeaways.com/ Himanshu

      Thanks for the kind words Ravi.

  • Ranjanraji

    Thanks Himanshu. Though my data is not that accurate in GA, but glad to come across this feature in GA that I haven’t referred in the past. Should be playing more with this from now on, and also to share the same with the management