You Ask, I Answer: Paid and Organic Traffic Evaluation in Google Analytics

Stephanie asks, “Is your paid traffic outperforming your organic traffic? Or vice versa?”

This is a bit of a misleading question, in the sense that it implies you want to focus on one more than the other. The real goal is to evaluate the synergy of paid and organic traffic working together. As the cliche goes, does 1 + 1 = 3? Watch the video to learn how.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Stephanie asks, in Google Analytics, how do you tell if your paid traffic is outperforming organic traffic or vice versa? How do you evaluate this?

This is this is a bit of a misleading question. That’s not misleading in the sense that of trying to mislead but in the sense of, it shows that the the mindset is an either or mindset paid doing better than organic, organic, doing better than paid. And what we actually want to ascertain is the to use a corporate buzzword, the synergy of different channels working together, what is the impact of channels working together, if you took that channel away? What would it impact or how would it impact your marketing? There’s an equally cliche term from business does one plus one equals three in the

sense that two channels working together, sort of the sum of the parts is, is greater.

How do we determine that? How do we make that determination? So in Google Analytics,

let’s go ahead and go into the interface here. So bring this up. In Google Analytics,

I’m going to use the Google demo account which by the way, if you have not

added to your own Google Analytics account, you shouldn’t the reason why this exists is Google shares publicly the data from their merchandise store, and it uses every channel paid organic, you name it, they throw the kitchen sink at it so that there’s good sample data that every possible feature in Google Analytics is turned on that way you get a chance to to experiment with stuff that wouldn’t necessarily be in your own Google Analytics installed. So I’m going to go to conversions here, I’m going to go to multi channel funnels assisted conversions. And let’s take a look at what Google is doing here. So we see these nine different channels here. eight different channels. Direct organic referral paid up.

They’re advertising social and then display,

display, other and paid search. Are there their paid channels organic referral and social or their unpaid interesting, there’s no email here.

So what we want to do is, can we ascertain which is working better? Well, there’s two types of conversions in Google Analytics assisted conversions are conversions in which this channel helped nudge the customer along that was not the last thing the customer did before making a purchase before in this case buying something your conversions may be different. Last click or direct conversions mean that was the last thing somebody did. So that was in this case, organic search, they would search something and then from that search result, they bought something. So it was the last thing somebody did was the channel the channel push them over the line into becoming a customer, a customer or at least a converter.

So what we see here are organic search assisted 5200 conversions.

And was the last thing somebody did for 11,000? referral 4400 5400

paid search 1081 1845.

So to answer Stephanie’s question,

you determine the number of last touches that a channel did. And then you determine the number of assisted conversions a channel did. And you make that determination, how what percentage of

assisted conversions to less conversions were there, if the channels helping out a lot, let’s start this year by that ratio, which you can see on the right hand side, in this case referral, help 4400 and was last touch or 5400 referrals helping a lot of other conversions significantly. So it’s a really important channel. If you were to take that away, you would lose the 5400 direct conversions, but you would also potentially lose these additional 4400. And that would be really, really bad. Conversely, if you look down here at social networks, you would if you pulled that out

You lose 544 conversions as last touches, but you could also potentially lose an additional 217. The ratio isn’t as significant there there, the social seems to be functioning, interestingly, as sort of a last touch mechanism in the sense that there aren’t that many assists compared to last touches, so it really is almost at the end of the customer journey, if you will, or as referral very much at the beginning. It’s something that happens a lot early on. This helps us understand

the impact of each channel. And it also helps us understand how the channels work together. If a channel has no assist, then it’s kind of standalone is kind of doing its own thing. And that rarely happens in in Modern Marketing, because the customer journey is kind of a meandering, wandering, confusing mess as customers interact with us in so many different ways. But if you do have a channel where you know that that ratio is almost zero, then that is clearly a channel that’s on its own.

is not benefiting from your other marketing and your other marketing is not benefiting from it. So something to think about fixing. On the other hand, if you have a channel that is highly participatory mean that ratio is close to one, or maybe even greater than one that is a channel that is fully integrated into your marketing and is participating and helping lots of other conversions along. Generally speaking, you want it you want a channel to convert at some point the customer has to convert, but

you want to see your channels that ratio be closer to one across the board because you want them all to be working together to be providing synergy to each other. The messaging you haven’t paid search should reflect the type of content that you’re that you have visible in organic search. Your display advertising should look a lot like your referral content and they you should be promoting your display ads on site to get referrals from. So this diagnosis that helps you diagnose how these channels do work together and how they could work together.

So think about how can you boost the ratio of the assisted conversions to have a channel participate more.

A company with very, very, very low assisted conversions across the board,

me typically means is like a messaging disconnect, where you’re, you’re doing one thing in one channel and not doing the same thing and other channels. I remember I was working for an auto company A while back, and they were promoting this brand new car that was really important. And it was a big launch that paid a lot of money, but didn’t go to their paid channels. And they’re promoting a minivan. Like, guys.

You’re spending a whole lot of money in both places, but you’re not reaping the benefit of that alignment in your messaging. So assisted conversions can help you make that determination. How aligned are we across channels? Now, it’s not very granular. So you’ll have to do some more digging and the the preferred method of digging but I like to use is a form of machine learning.

In this case, where we get to see how important is any one given time

This is my own website. In this case, 25% of my conversions are powered by organic search engine. See the others don’t do so well here. So this is clearly the case for me where I need to work on my own website to align

what’s going on with search with what other people are doing in other channels. So this is an example of things that are out of alignment I need to realign my messaging if this was a website that was a major driver of business. So you can use machine learning to help simplify your prioritization. Which channel should we focus on? Which channels do we aligned to in this case, I would want to align to my organic search strategy to help the other channels be as important as organic search is and get them all on the same page. So great question, Stephanie. We have we’ve covered a lot there’s a lot to unpack when it comes to assisted conversions and last touch conversions and and attribution modeling. But if you get it right, you can

Multiply the impact of your marketing without changing the money you’re already spending in order to get the most from your digital marketing. So really good question. As always, please subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter I’ll talk to you soon. want help solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems? This is trust insights.ai today and let us know how we can help you


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