How to Use the Assisted Conversions Report in Google Analytics

When a user converts on your website, they often go through a journey of channels—and as a marketer, your job is to track this journey accurately.

Assisted conversions are a great way to understand the channels that support user conversions, even if those channels don’t directly participate in the final interaction. 

In this guide, we’ll learn how to use the assisted conversions report in Google Analytics to leverage our marketing efforts. 

An overview of what we’ll cover: 

So let’s dive in!

What Are Assisted Conversions, and Why Use Them?

Assisted conversions are interactions that lead to the conversion but aren’t the main source or conversion point for the audience.

Thus, all interactions on a conversion path (except the last interaction) are assisted conversions. 

Google Analytics provides a report on assisted conversions. To access it, you can go to Conversions → Multi-Channel Funnels → Top Conversion Paths in your account.

You can select the Path Length and type of transaction in this report. For our report, let’s select the Path Length of 6 and select Transaction under E-commerce. 

Accessing the Top Conversions Paths report in Google Analytics

The results of this report show the path of the channels a user visited before converting.

Multi-channel funnel in Google Analytics shows the path visited by a user before converting 

To get a more granular view of these reports, we’ll shift our Primary dimension from the multi-channel funnel—the MCF Channel Grouping Path—to the Source Medium Path

This will give a path of all the channels visited by the user before converting. 

Analyzing the conversion path of the user on Google Analytics

Note that all the reports of Google Analytics relating to Acquisition apply a standard attribution model. As per this model, the report gives conversion credit only to the last channel on the path and ignores all the previous sources. 

This means, in our example, the credit for this conversion will be given to gdeals.googleplex.com, ignoring all the previous channels. 

Checking the last conversion channel of a converted user from Google Analytics

But for a marketer, the other sources that facilitated the user to the final conversion are still important for tracking purposes. We can track these sources in two ways—using an Attribution Model or Assisted Conversions

The Assisted Conversion model is quite old in Google Analytics. It counts every conversion that was not the last conversion as an assisted conversion. 

Thus, in our example, all the other 5 channels out of the 6 will be considered assisted conversions. However, if a channel is occurring more than once, then it will only be counted once. 

In Short, Assisted Conversions Are Funnel Steps

To summarize, the last channel gets the credit for the conversion, whereas all the other unique channels before the last one get credit for the assisted conversion. Thus, every channel in the path gets some credit for the final conversion. 

Google Analytics has an entire report dedicated to assisted conversions. 

Let’s take a look!

The Assisted Conversions Report in Google Analytics

In your Google Analytics account, open the reports from Conversions → Multi-Channel Funnels → Assisted Conversions

Opening the Assisted Conversions report from Google Analytics

Next, filter the type of conversion. For our example, we’ll select E-commerce  Transaction. 

Checking the E-commerce and Transaction conversion type in Google Analytics report

And again, select the Primary Dimension as Source/Medium

Selecting Source/Medium as the primary dimension for the reports on Google Analytics

This report shows the number of  Assisted Conversions for each channel in the first data column. This includes any source that appeared at least once in a user’s conversion path.

The third column shows the volume of the Last Click or Direct Conversions. These are the sources that were at the end of a user’s conversion path. 

Our main focus, however, will not be the volumes of these two conversions, but rather the ratio of these conversions. 

The last column in this report shows this ratio of Assisted/Last Click or Direct Conversions

Analyzing the Assisted Conversions, the Last Click or Direct Conversions, and the Assisted/Last Click or Direct Conversions in Google Analytics

Let’s see how this ratio is significant for marketers!

The Assisted Conversions / Direct Conversions Ratio

The Assisted Conversions / Direct Conversions ratio tells us the position of the assisting channel in the conversion path.

We can classify this ratio into three categories—significantly less than 1, close to 1, and significantly more than 1

The first category (significantly less than 1) suggests that the assisting channel is towards the end of the conversion path. 

The Assisted Conversions / Direct Conversions ratio is significantly less than 1 for the assisting channel

The second category includes the ratio which is almost 1. This suggests that the channel is equally an assisting channel and the last channel of conversion. 

The Assisted Conversions / Direct Conversions ratio is almost equal to 1 for the assisting channel

The third category includes the ratio which is significantly more than 1. This suggests that the channel is mostly an assisting source for conversion and occurs at the beginning of the conversion path. 

The Assisted Conversions / Direct Conversions ratio is significantly more than 1 for the assisting channel

Clearly, the ratio suggests the effectiveness of the channel in converting the user. Thus, it can help you boost your conversions—if you use it wisely.

How to Use The Assisted Conversions / Direct Conversions Ratio

With this ratio, you can decide the type of communication you want to present to the user based on the position of the channel in the conversion path. 

For example, if you have an extensive email campaign running from your channel, you’d want the call to action to be towards the end of the conversion path. Thus, the selected channel should have a ratio significantly less than 1

On the other hand, if you know that a source is typically at the beginning of the conversion path, you might want to change the message you convey on that channel. 

You’d only try to persuade the user to move forward on the conversion path, rather than constantly sending a hard-selling message. Such sources will have a ratio significantly more than 1

You can also use the volume of assisted conversions to decide the marketing message. 

A higher volume of assisted conversions tells us that a particular channel is trying to bring a greater audience to our website for the first or second time.

This channel may not convert the audience, but it will help to increase our reach.

Analyzing the volume of Assisted Conversions from Google Analytics reports

Summary

So that’s everything you need to know about the assisted conversions report in Google Analytics!

Assisted conversions are the channels that facilitate user conversion. They are one of the important factors to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. The metrics on the Assisted Conversions report in Google Analytics tell us about the contribution of each channel in the final conversion.

Once you set this up, you can also learn some other tracking techniques in Google Analytics to measure the success of your campaigns. 

Were you able to track the assisted conversion channels on your website? Do you think they are as important as tracking the direct conversions? Let us know in the comments below! 

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