A common misconception that I often come across is that pay per click (PPC) is standalone medium when it comes to generating results. If your campaigns, keywords or ads are generating what appears to be a low ROI, you may be thinking that PPC is a waste of money. The result of this is that many businesses are quick to hit the panic button, pausing or removing keywords and ads from their accounts, lowering bids below first page, reducing budgets or putting PPC on the back burner entirely.

The issue with this approach is that businesses are not looking at all the puzzle pieces and may in fact be removing a critical component of their marketing mix – which is more likely to harm your marketing profits in the long run.

It is important to not only analyse how PPC as a medium is interacting with all your marketing channels, both online and offline, but also how each of your keywords is moving your customers through the conversion funnel to the ultimate end goal (i.e. a purchase).

While there are a few reports that can provide you with this information, the Assisted Conversion Report in Google Analytics should help to uncover the additional value that your PPC campaigns are generating for your brand.

Assisted Conversion Report:

The assisted conversion report in analytics is not new, but it is extremely useful to see the quantifiable impact of PPC in other marketing channels. For those new to PPC, an assisted conversions occurs when a user clicks through from the medium in question, in this case PPC, at some stage during the purchase cycle before later returning through another medium to finally convert.

Let’s look at an example report. The below traffic report shows that PPC is currently the third highest source of revenue. Based on what is possibly being spent across the PPC account, this figure may not be initially perceived ‘profitable’ when compared to organic or direct traffic sources.

However, looking at the assisted conversion report reveals a different story. First, make sure that you are excluding the last interaction of the medium in question so that you are only looking at all clicks that occurred prior to the final click to conversion.

The actionable take away here is that you can see that PPC is contributing to sales later in the conversion funnel, generating more revenue than initially thought. In fact, PPC is creating an additional $88,393.30 in assisted revenue across a number of other marketing channels. As a result, you can begin to make a much more informed decision about whether you need to boost bids or increase budgets across your campaigns.

If you want to get even more specific, you can drill this down to a keyword level. Simply add a secondary dimension to include ‘keywords’ and filter by MCF Channel Groupings that include only ‘Paid Search’. This will allow you to see which specific keywords are generating the highest assisting conversions.

As a result, you can now go about calculating an adjusted conversion rate figure for each keyword by combining your last click/ direct conversions with a weighted total of your assisted click conversions. You may find a little wiggle room to raise CPC bids and keep under your cost per conversion goal.

In sum, don’t under estimate how your PPC campaigns are assisting in your overall marketing mix and the conversion process. Just because on the surface they may appear to not be ‘sealing the deal’ doesn’t necessarily reflect the true value that your campaigns may be generating. Be sure to analyse all available data before making rash decisions that may in fact negatively impact your marketing profits.