How to Use the Assisted Conversions Report in Google Analytics to Develop Your Marketing Strategy

Author's avatar Analytics UPDATED Jul 30, 2021 PUBLISHED Jan 13, 2021 8 minutes read

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    One of the most underrated Google Analytics features is the Assisted Conversions Report — especially if you have a product or service with a higher price point (i.e. $100 or above) or have a longer sales cycle. 

    That’s because of The Rule of 7. This rule states it takes an average of 7 mentions before someone will buy your product or service. 

    Tracking assisted conversions allows you to see all of the channels that indirectly contribute to a purchase.

    In this post, we’re looking at many of the ways you can use the assisted conversions report, including:  

    Google Analytics Website Engagement Dashboard Template by Databox

    What are Assisted Conversions in Google Analytics?

    An assisted conversion is any interaction that a customer has with your website before they make a purchase. 

    This is relevant for any product that isn’t an impulse purchase. 

    This is different then first-click or last-click conversions.

    As a refresher, first-click conversion is the first interaction that a customer has with your brand. 

    And, last-click or direct conversions is the last interaction that a customer had with your brand before they bought your product/service. This is what gets credited as the source for the sale. 

    For example, let’s say you run an eCommerce store selling pet supplies. You posted about your newest brand of dog leashes on your Instagram Story.  One of your followers clicked on the link and started browsing all of the new leashes, but they didn’t purchase any.

    As a savvy marketer, you have retargeting pixels set up. This visitor is now seeing the dog leashes they were browsing via Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads.  They end up clicking on one of the Facebook ads a few days later and buy a leash.

    Facebook ads will show up as the direct or last-click conversion.

    However, Instagram was how they originally heard about your brand and is an assisted conversion. 

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    How Do I Find Assisted Conversions in Google Analytics?

    Seeing your assisted conversions in Google Analytics is simple. However, in order for this to work, you need to have at least one Google Analytics Goal configured and eCommerce tracking set up.

    The first step is to go to Conversions → Assisted Conversions. 

    Assisted Conversions in google analytics step 1

    Then, you can see all of your assisted conversions and drill down by various Google Analytics goals, filters, and custom dimensions. 

    Assisted conversions graph

    8 Ways to Use Assisted Conversions Report to Make Better Marketing Strategies

    Assisted conversions help you gain clarity around your marketing strategies. Here are 8 use cases for monitoring assisted conversions. 

    1. Map all channels that contribute to a purchase
    2. Monitor all contributing sources for marketing campaigns
    3. Gain location-based insights
    4. Identify the real source/medium from Paypal purchases
    5. Gain clarity around eCommerce ad campaigns
    6. Track customer lifetime value
    7. Analyze your content effectiveness
    8. Drill down on social media marketing activities

    1. Map all channels that contribute to a purchase 

    “The Multi-Channel Funnels report in Google Analytics can be an invaluable tool to improve your multi-channel marketing strategy,” says Brian Jensen of Congruent Digital. “First, use the report to understand what role your marketing channels play in your customer’s online path-to-purchase. If you rely on last-touch when evaluating channel performance, you risk not giving credit to channels and campaigns that could be assisting a top conversion path. 

    Second, the default, system-defined Channel Grouping in Google Analytics is broad and lacks definition. Gain deeper insights by creating a custom Channel Grouping where you can further define platforms, ad content, source, campaigns, and mediums so you know exactly which marketing efforts are driving and or assisting conversions.”

    Jon Elordi of Principal Investments adds, “The assisted conversion report is one of the trickier reports in Google Analytics. The data in the assisted conversion report is gathered using cookies, so there are the usual pitfalls with that method of data collection. There’s no cross-device tracking and if the user clears their cookies they’re previous visits won’t be associated with their current visits.

    All those caveats aside, there are some useful ways to use the assisted conversion report. The first is it can help you define and understand your funnel. A channel that has a high amount of assisted conversions is far more useful to your marketing funnel and strategy than one with fewer assisted conversions. The report can help you find the key tactics and creatives that lead to the most conversions.

    You can also use the report to optimize campaigns. Because the report can tell you important tactics it can also tell you inefficient tactics. Tactics that do not get as many assisted conversions are less important to your checkout funnel and are making your campaign inefficient. You can then shift budgets to correct for this.”

    2. Monitor all contributing sources for marketing campaigns 

    “We use assisted conversions to get accurate insights into our marketing campaign,” says Shannon Denton of Total Girl Boss. “It helps my team to monitor the performance of every channel and tweak the strategy or modify the budget accordingly. I believe without this data, it becomes challenging to get accurate information about the ongoing campaigns.” 

    3. Gain location-based insights 

    “The Assisted Conversions tab in Google Analytics can be incredibly helpful in painting a picture of location-based conversions for landing page data,” says Matthew Howard of TopSpot Internet Marketing.

    “Using the Primary and Secondary Dimensions with these options mentioned can help reinforce assumptions that you might be seeing in the data. Maybe your business sells metal roofing products, but there is one product line in particular that has specs that meet wind load requirements for a couple of different states. With this metric view, you can gauge if this product line’s landing page is producing the assumed value in those locations by reviewing the assisted conversions metric.” 

    4. Identify the real source/medium from Paypal purchases 

    “We look at assisted conversion within GA when referral exclusions have not been applied retrospectively,” says Hasan Khan of Eastside Co.

    “For example, Paypal can generate a new window for users to input their details during checkout, however, this will create a new session, therefore this transaction will be attributed to Paypal. We look at assisted conversions to see which source or medium led to this Paypal conversion so that we determine more accurately how well a certain channel is performing.” 

    5. Gain clarity around eCommerce ad campaigns 

    “For conversions online, especially eCommerce, it’s very difficult to track a conversion solely based on one channel’s attribution feature because that ad platform will try to take 100% credit for the conversion,”  says Jonathan Ng of OXG Media.

    “We use assisted conversions in GA to better understand whether Facebook, Google or other channels such as inbound is the channel responsible for the conversion. Although not perfect, it does paint a better picture of how each customer touchpoint contributes to the eventual purchase.”

    6. Track customer lifetime value 

    “Assisted conversions are extremely powerful,” says David Reichmann of Rawrycat Pet Products. “My favorite use of these in GA is to have all my segments separated out with UTM links so I can track the lifetime of a customer. I found some customers would visit and then return more than a month later and purchase!”  

    7. Analyze your content effectiveness 

    “We use the assisted conversion report to track and understand content effectiveness,” says Mike Grinberg of Proofpoint Marketing. “This gives us a way to show impact on pipeline, without gating everything behind a form.

    For example, we will use paid media to drive top funnel traffic to ungated thought leadership pieces, and then we will use retargeting to get case studies in front of them, followed by CTA for a demo.

    The assisted conversions report allows us to see the impact that our thought leadership campaign is having on revenue generation.

    Many businesses still make this mistake of gating all content because they feel then need to collect contact data for tracking and attribution.” 

    8. Drill down on social media marketing activities 

    “Google Analytics’s Assisted Conversions report upped CarVertical’s social media game — it’s been used as our marketing moral compass by enabling us to see drill down which social media channels we have works best,” says Arnas Vasiliauskas of carVertical.

    “What social media content gains more attention; which marketing techniques are more appealing to our audience?  It’s most beneficial in determining traffic sources thereby allowing us to focus more on our effective channels and redefine our marketing techniques on the ones that don’t perform just as well.

    We use it to have a clearer idea of what content audiences from various social platforms want to see in their respective channels. Moreover, Google Analytics’s assisted conversions reports remind us of our previous content that might be worth revisiting for quality improvement.

    All in all, it’s a very powerful feature that elevates our whole marketing strategy by giving us direct insights into our market’s interests, albeit in the form of data and numbers.” 

    Google Analytics 4 Website Engagement Dashboard Template by Databox

    In sum, assisted conversions help you gain clarity around all of the marketing channels that contribute to a purchase. When you have this data, you can make better data-driven decisions and optimize your budget more effectively since you are seeing the entire funnel and not just the source that gets credited with the direct conversion. 

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    Article by
    Jessica Malnik

    Jessica Malnik is a content strategist and copywriter for SaaS and productized service businesses. Her writing has appeared on The Next Web, Social Media Examiner, SEMRush, CMX, Help Scout, Convince & Convert, and many other sites.

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