- Those conversion rate percentages are calculated using sessions as the denominator.
- Those conversion rate percentage are calculated using bounced and non-bounced sessions in the denominator.
- Effective and actionable analysis requires a true conversion rate.
The Non-Bounced Users metric provides a view of the conversion rate based on visitors who are engaged with the client’s website/content. I call this metric a True Conversion Rate (TCR). The onus for increasing the number of these engaged visitors is on the advertising team. By developing the TCR you are providing the stakeholders and the advertising team with analysis which provides evidence of the landing page and the websites ability to convert when the right target audience clicks through from the advertising. When you combine the TCR with audience segments, behavior segments, and drill down by source/medium in your analysis, many key actionable insights unfold.
- Does the landing page convert when visited by the target audience?
- Is the call-to-action communicating effectively?
- Is the landing page the right message for this audience?
- Are you targeting the right audience?
- Which programmatic logic is working, which isn’t?
- How much different is the conversion rate: > 300%, 500%, etc.?
- What can organic engineering learn from the paid audience landers?
Log in to the View level of the client’s Google Analytics Admin tab. From here click on the calculated metric opportunity.
Of course we’ll need to click the New Calculated Metric button.
- Name the metric
- This is a system completed naming convention.
- There are five formats to set. In this case we are creating a percentage.
- Write the formula.
Make absolutely certain to set the formatting to be a percentage. The data management system will add the variables as you begin to type in the formula box. Use the goal completions in the numerator and make sure to use parenthesis to surround the denominator. Remember the rule of operators, PEMDAS?
As shown in the image above I’ve set the denominator for the true conversion rate to subtract Bounces from the total number of Entrances.
Now that you have the TCR defined you will need to create a custom report to use it in analysis. I typically create a single custom report and add a new tab for each goal that I have a TCR for. If you’ve never created a custom chart before… shame! But, you’ll see that it is fairly simple process and far more powerful for discovering insights.
Here’s my system for creating a True Conversion Rate report.
The first step is to navigate over to the Customization section in the client’s Google Analytics Admin. And, of course, create a new custom report.
Then you’ll need to build the report to include the metrics, dimensions, and any filters you require.
- Name the report, True Conversion Rate
- Add the Tabs, one for each calculated TCR
- Set the Metric. First metric is the TCR and the second metric is the conversion rate for the same goal. This gives you a side-by-side comparison of the two conversion rates for the same goal.
- The dimensions are a drill down function where the first position is the default and each dimension below it provides you with a deeper view. In my case I like to see the TCR by source. When I click on the source I want to next see the breakdown by medium. Drilling down again I’ll click a medium to see the landing page. Finally I can drill down on a landing page to discover the city the user was in when they completed the conversion engagement.
- Select the tab you want to analyse the TCR for.
- Compare the standard Google Analytics CR to the calculated metric for TCR
One last idea on the dimensions to drill down on is to add a Device Category option. There you can see what device is used more frequently for conversions.
In this case from the image above, I’m looking at phone calls to a call center from a website. The custom report identified there are more conversions from desktop devices then from mobile devices.
Interesting… and true conversion rate is 312% higher.
While Google still provides the analyst with no metrics that provide the actual number of visitors to the website or the webpage, we have to innovate and define as closely as possible. Entrances are a far better means to calculating conversion rate than sessions, but clearly we cannot truly provide the client with 100% data integrity. Using the entrances in this calculation of true conversion rate is a giant step closer to mastering optimization.