ppc effect on ecommerce: immediate or down the road?

In the PPC business you learn something new every day. Whether that new knowledge just rolled off the production floor or has been out there some time with you just finding out about it now, every tool and piece of data can ultimately help a client.

Something that has likely been around for awhile is the “Days to Purchase” report in the ecommerce section of Google Analytics.  We first heard about this report the other day while listening to a webinar discussion lead by Analytics guru Avinash Kaushik and have become fascinated by its potential ever since.

To get to this report, you simply login into your Google Analytics profile and look for the report as displayed below. Keep in mind, this report is only available in Analytics accounts that are currently tracking ecommerce data.

Analytics Nav

Click on the “Days to Purchase” link under ecommerce. This will take you to the report as displayed below.

Since this discussion is based solely around PPC data, we have segmented this report to show All Visits and Paid Traffic Visits.

Final PPC Report Final PPC Report2

What you see in this report is how many days a visit, both paid and unpaid, took to result in a transaction. Although it may seem somewhat irrelevant, this statistic is very important in answering a very large question:

is my PPC truly successful at capturing user attention, interest, and of course revenue?

For this specific Analytics account, PPC is delivering an immediate impact on transactions. For all purchases made on the first day a user visits this ecommerce site, 20% of those purchases were produced via PPC.  Think of this data in terms of 100 transactions were produced yesterday and 20 of those transactions were generated via PPC.

As you can see, the Percentage of All Purchases decreases drastically after the first day for Paid Traffic visits.  This is absolute, in your face evidence that PPC is delivering an immediate impact in regards to transactions for your ecommerce site.

Now you’re probably asking why some PPC visits took nearly a year to produce a transaction.

All Traffic Report

The graphic above is the same Google Analytics account and date range as displayed above. The only difference is that the report is no longer segmented into Paid Traffic but instead by All Visits, New Visitors and Returning Visitors.

You’ll see that all transactions produced after 30 days of the first visit were made by Returning Visitors.  This is clear evidence that your ecommerce company has built customer loyalty.

Compare the graphic above to the first graphic displaying just Paid Traffic, and you get further evidence that PPC is resulting in brand awareness and increasing customer loyalty.

Of course the main purpose of PPC is to have an immediate impact, but taking a look at this report in your Google Analytics will also reveal how your PPC is doing in terms of building loyalty.

Despite this great information and insight, it’s only available to Google Analytics currently tracking ecommerce data.

Our question to Google is what about other types of conversions currently being tracked in Google Analytics? Why isn’t there a report displaying how many days it took to submit a contact form or download a file or whatever else an account may be tracking as a goal?

This type of report is too valuable to only apply to ecommerce sites.

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