At SEO Inc. we measure success based on three factors: rankings, traffic and conversions – conversions of course being the most important indicator of success. I mean, it is the main thing you are trying to achieve online right?
Interestingly, seo in many cases delivers more conversions than it is given credit for, especially when a business has a long consumer purchase process. Let’s take a moment to consider why. We will create an example from the consumer perspective.
Image you are looking for a diamond ring. You begin your search for the perfect ring by utilizing Google. You perform a few searches such as:
Best Diamond Rings
The search results provide you with a variety of top brands that sell the product. Over the next couple weeks you browse these websites, perform a few more searches and then finally decide on the ring you want to buy.
Now when you started the search you weren’t ready to make the purchase. Because of this, months go by. But then you have enough money, go back to the website and purchase the ring. But how did you go back to the website? Well, this time you didn’t do a Google search for it. You already knew the website you wanted to buy from so you simply became a direct visit. Or maybe you did one last browse on site that rates diamond rings. Finally, you clicked a link back to the site you originally found through search.
The issue is, if it weren’t for the websites high search rankings for the non-branded term in the first place, you may have never became a customer.
Here are some things to consider on this from Google.
AdWords cookies expire 30 days after a customer’s click, while Analytics uses a cookie that lasts six months to two years. That means if a customer completed a conversion 31 days after clicking on an AdWords ad, the conversion wouldn’t be recorded in AdWords but would be in Analytics.
While this is true, keep in mind a user can always clear cookies in their browser. This would mean that the tracking method would be deleted and the goal would not be attributed to the first visit.
Referrals and organic searches can steal conversions from AdWords and vice-versa, as Analytics attributes the conversion to the last source.
I search for diamond rings and find your site and the ring I want. 6 months later I am browsing the internet and find a great review of the ring on another site. I click a link they have and visit the same site and convert. Google will attribute that conversion to the referring site. Where is the credit for search!