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It can sometimes be hard for site owners to figure out if their Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click campaigns are worth while.

 The good news is that Google Analytics has a great report that will help you determine the true value of your investment if you know where to find it and how it works.

This incredibly useful report is buried at the bottom of the links on the left of your reporting dashboard under Conversions > Attribution > Model Comparison.

By default, the report will show Conversions attributed to the "Last Interaction".  That is where the shopper was immediately before they visited your site and made a purchase.  It will tell you if they came directly to your site, were on a search engine, social media, or a number of other channels.  This is great information but it does not tell the full story.

Using this method, most merchants will see that "Direct" is their most valuable channel.   This would seem to indicate that their shoppers were repeat customers, or found out about them offline either in stores, from magazine articles, word of mouth and such.

To get a better sense of the value of your online marketing efforts though you need compare "Last Interaction" to "First Interaction".   This looks at how your customers found you the first time.  When you compare against first interaction you will likely see that the most valuable channel is Organic.   You will also see an increased value for your PPC campaigns and Social Media. 

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Looking only at Last Interaction will always underestimate the ROI of your web marketing.  Businesses need new customers to grow and online marketing is the most effective and trackable way to get them.

Does your online marketing need some help? Not seeing the information you need in Google Analytics?


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