8 Google Analytics Conversions Segments You Must Use

Of late on LinkedIn I was asked this question

How I can measure the influence of PPC 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 Organic Search on PPC, email, social media, direct traffic etc.

The answers to such questions can help you a lot  in justifying the ad spend to the senior management /client.

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

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

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Measuring the impact of PPC on Organic Search Traffic

Every marketer wants to know which marketing channel has the bigger impact in their organization: SEO or PPC.

The following conversion segment will tell you how PPC is helping the conversions completed/closed by SEO.

Step-1: Navigate to ‘Top Conversions Path’ Report (under Conversions > ‘Multi Channel Funnel’ Report) in Google Analytics.

Step-2: Click on ‘Conversion Segments’ button:

 

Step-3: Click on the link ‘Create New Conversion Segment‘ as shown below:

Step-4: Name the new conversion segment as ‘Effect of PPC on organic search Traffic’ and then define the segment as shown in the screenshot below:

effect of ppc on organic search traffic

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

Step-5: Once you have defined the segment then click on the ‘Save Segment’ button. This action will not only create a new conversion segment but also apply the conversion segment to the ‘top conversions path’ report:

impact of PPC on organic search traffic

impact of display on organic search traffic 2

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

From the report above, we can conclude that Paid Search assisted 1,344 conversions in the first row, 304 conversions in the second row, 308 conversions in third row and so on.

In total, Paid search assisted in 4,589 conversions of worth $272k

Without the assistance of ‘Paid Search’, these conversions would not have occurred in the first place.

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

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Measuring the impact 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’:

effect of organic search on ppc traffic

effect of organic search on ppc 3

 

effect of organic search on ppc 2

Measuring the impact of Organic search on Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is a SEO killer.

So this segment is 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’:

effect of organic search on direct traffic

effect of organic search on direct traffic 2

 

effect of organic search on direct traffic 3

Note how Direct traffic is stealing your SEO efforts.

You need to show this report to your client/boss.

 

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Measuring the impact of Display Ads Campaigns on Organic Search Traffic

Poor Display ads, no one like them.

There are in fact the poorest of all marketing channels as they rarely complete conversions or close sales.

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.

Create a new conversion segment: ‘Effect of Display on organic search Traffic’ and then define the segment as shown in the screenshot below:

effect of display on organic search traffic

impact of display on organic search traffic

Measuring the impact 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 bottomline?

Following conversion segment can 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’:

effect of social media on organic search

Measuring the impact 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’:

effect-of-ppc

Measuring the impact of Social Media on Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is really really bad.

It also eats up lot of social media efforts.

Following segment can tell you how social media is impacting the conversions through direct traffic.

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

effect of social media on direct traffic

Measuring the impact of Email on Direct Traffic

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

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.

Other articles on Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics

  1. Touch Point Analysis in Google Analytics Attribution Modelling
  2. 8 Google Analytics Conversions Segments You Must Use
  3. Default and Custom Attribution Models in Google Analytics
  4. Attribution Model Comparison Tool in Google Analytics
  5. Which Attribution Model to use in Google Analytics?
  6. How to create Custom Attribution Model in Google Analytics

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  2. Google Analytics Attribution Modelling – Complete Guide
  3. Guide to Data Driven Attribution Model in Google Analytics
  4. Conversion Credit distribution for Attribution Models in Google Analytics
  5. You are doing Google Analytics all wrong. Here is why

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  5. 6 Keys to Digital Success in Attribution Modelling

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  5. What You Should Know about Historical Data in Web Analytics

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Himanshu Sharma

Certified web analyst and founder of OptimizeSmart.com

My name is Himanshu Sharma and I help businesses find and fix their Google Analytics and conversion issues. If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

  • Over twelve years' experience in SEO, PPC and web analytics
  • Google Analytics certified
  • Google AdWords certified
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Award for Excellence
  • Bachelors degree in Internet Science
  • Founder of OptimizeSmart.com and EventEducation.com

I am also the author of four books:

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