Behind the curtain of conversions: 5 things you should be looking at.

Behind the curtain of conversions: 5 things you should be looking at.


Being able to report conversions for any paid media campaign is gold. But conversions don’t tell the whole story. Below are five additional metrics to review the overall performance of your campaign and give insight into possible changes that could help improve the success of your campaign. These metrics are useful even if you have a strong number of conversions as there can always be room for improvement.

Average Session Duration

Average Session Duration is measured in Google Analytics by the total duration of all sessions (in seconds) divided by the number of sessions. While there are caveats in how this is measured, this is a great metric to look at to understand what users are doing once they get to your website. Are they taking their time to engage with your site or do they leave immediately? Spending a lot of time on your website could indicate they are gathering information, but are not ready to convert. This is when a retargeting campaign would come in handy. Shorter site visits could indicate the landing page or the whole website was not what they were expecting to find after clicking on the ad.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate indicates the rate at which users are only viewing a single page per session. Bounce rate is calculated by single-page sessions divided by all sessions. A high bounce rate when you have a single-page website is to be expected, as users will only be able to visit a single page. However, if you have a high bounce rate on a site that has multiple pages or on a landing page that is meant to drive users to another page, this indicates users are not following the expected flow.

Heat mapping

One of the most fun tools you can add to your website is heat mapping. In their most basic functions, heat maps can show where users are clicking or scrolling. Seeing how users engage with your webpage is key to knowing if the page layout is conducive to the conversion you are aiming for. Are users clicking the right buttons to get information? Do they scroll “below the fold” to find the form you want them to fill out?

Organic & Direct Traffic

Organic traffic is users that get to your website through a search engine, but not through a paid ad on the search engine.   Direct traffic consists of users that typed in your website’s address, leading them directly to your site. In a tale as old as time, you’ll hear marketers say it’s impossible to draw a direct line from high reach mediums like TV, radio and billboards to conversions. They aren’t wrong, but that doesn’t mean you can’t measure the overall effect your high reach mediums have against your website traffic and even against the overall conversions you’re seeing across the board. Many times you can see a spike in organic or direct traffic when you overlay the impressions you garnered through high-reach mediums. If you are not seeing that spike, we recommend reevaluating your targeting and messaging. Are you targeting the right audience?  Does your messaging clearly state the business name or website you want them to land on?

Assisted Conversions

Google Analytics states, “If the channel appears anywhere – except as the final interaction – on a conversion path it is considered an assist for that conversion.” Assisted Conversions are great for showing you how different mediums are working together. For example, a user may initially come to your website via display ad, but not convert. If later they come back through a paid search ad, you’ll be able to see that they are a return visitor. Their conversion will be attributed to paid search, even though they initially interacted with your website by way of the digital display campaign. In this situation, you wouldn’t be wrong to consider cutting digital display spend if you were only looking at last-click attribution, which is the default in Google Analytics. By reporting on Assisted Conversions, you can make more informed and strategic decisions about your paid media campaigns.

Whether you want to increase overall conversions or be more efficient with paid media spending, diving deeper in the metrics can help you turn up the volume and improve your campaign performance. Not sure what to do with the information you find when reviewing these metrics? Drop us a line, we’d love to help you. 

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