What is an Assisted Conversion?

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Interested in learning more about Assisted Conversions? How about the best method for finding these conversions within Google Analytics? In this article, we’ll take a quick look at what makes up an assisted conversion, why it’s important to understand them and how to navigate Google Analytics to find and report data.


Why should I care about Assisted Conversions?   

Before we jump into the why, let me first define the what. A conversion may be any number of actions you want to track on your website that have meaning. This can be anything from inbound calls, to filling out a contact form or making an online purchase from your website. Once a conversion takes place, it’s always helpful to know how that visitor found your site. Understanding the ad, post, search engine, social channel or email that led to the conversion can lead to better marketing decisions and investment allocations.

Often businesses and marketers give credit to the last touch point or, the last click, that led to the conversion. It’s true that some take place after one brand interaction, like clicking on a display ad and immediately making a purchase.


Display AD >> Online Purchase


An offline equivalent would be if you asked a neighbor where to get a carwash, they give you a recommendation and you immediately go to the vendor you were recommended. In the digital space, this could be characterized as a last-click conversion, with the “source” being your neighbor. 

If only the decision making process were always that easy. What’s more indicative of the real world is the process of visiting multiple websites from multiple sources that eventually leads to a conversion. I like to think of the decision-making process as the Customer’s Online Journey

A great way to explain a Customer’s Online Journey is by looking at the steps taken before booking a vacation. Maybe the customer starts by clicking on a hotel’s Facebook ad, then that leads to revisiting the website through a Google search. Finally, the customer visits the site for a third time by searching the URL directly in their browser where they ultimately book a hotel room or, complete a conversion.


Facebook Ad + Organic Search + Direct >> Booked Hotel


An offline example might be asking a few friends separately which local dog groomer they prefer and then they all recommend the same place. The last friend you asked is considered to be the last touch source and the others are now the assisted sources.

By attributing conversions to both the last click and assisted sources you can begin to map your customer’s journey and give credit where credit is due. With a clearer picture of all conversion sources you’ll be better equipped to make an informed marketing decision.


Where do I find Assisted Conversions in Google Analytics 

To see the source or specific channels attributed to conversions, you’ll want to navigate to Acquisition >> All Traffic >> Channels. This will give you a fairly clear picture of your conversions and the channel or source that brought the visitor to your website. To view the separate sources that roll up into the channel, simply click on the Source/Medium option.

To go beyond the last click, you’ll want to navigate to Conversions >> Multi-Channel Funnels >> Assisted Conversions. The below example suggests there were 12 last-click conversions from paid-search traffic but paid search also contributed to 53 additional conversions that weren’t attributed to the last click. By taking a closer look, you might see there is more value to the paid search than what was initially suspected.assisted-in-analytics

Another interesting view that can help you visualize the customer’s journey and the number of website visits before a conversion, is the Top Conversion Path view. Navigate to Conversions >> Multi-Channel Funnels >> Top Conversion Paths. This view starts to paint the picture with each source representing a visit that ultimately led to a conversion. Check out row eight that shows 10 visits before a conversion where the customer’s first source was a paid-search click.conversion-path

How can you begin tracking Assisted Conversions? 

First, it’s important you have conversions and goals properly set up on your website so they are represented in Google Analytics. This will require a bit of technical expertise that a digital agency can help with if they have access to your Google Analytics account and your website’s CMS. If you are a DIY kind of person, feel free to read about setting up Conversion Tracking here. Once conversions are flowing and represented accurately, you’ll want enough data to support any paid-media decisions or optimization recommendations. For businesses generating less than 5,000 website visits per month, you’ll likely want to base decisions off of several weeks or months worth of data vs. a few days. Once you have enough data then you should be in a good place to begin viewing which channels and sources are delivering both last-click conversions and assisting in the consumer’s path to purchase. Doesn’t every website visit and its click source deserve a little credit?