Friday, July 11, 2008

Yahoo! Assists Are Higher Than Conversions! Say What?!?!

I had a comment on one of my posts about the Assists report that I wanted to share because I think it's a good one to discuss. It read:

"I have a question, normally the assist counts are bigger than conversion, why is this happening?cause I bet assist would be counted in a case conversion happens, so the counts of conversion and assist would be same or conversion could be bigger."

For those asking the same thing when looking at your Yahoo! Analytics reports, here was my response:

Good question. Sometimes you might see 2 Assists and 0 Conversions for a campaign and wonder, "How can this be?"

This happens because the Assists are being attributed to other campaigns and not necessarily the campaign you are looking at.

For example, let's say I'm looking at the data for Campaign A. Over the past two days I see that it has received 0 Conversions (meaning visitors clicked on the ad for Campaign A, visited your site, and never converted). Campaign A does however show 2 Assists. This means that Campaign A was used in "assisting" one or more of your other campaigns in a conversion (it could have helped campaign B convert twice or maybe it helped covert campaign B once and also campaign C once).

In the next version of the Assist report we'll be adding a deeper layer of Assist detail so you be able to see exactly what campaigns the Assists attributed to. For example, let's say you see Campaign A had a total of 4 Assists. We plan to show you that of those 4 Assists, 3 conversions went Campaign B and 1 conversion went to Campaign C.

For e-commerce sites, we're looking to add value information for Assists also. For example, let's say that we find that Campaign A again had 4 Assists. Of the 4 Assists, we learn that 2 of those Assists went to helping convert Campaign B and the other 2 Assists went to helping convert Campaign C. While this deeper level of information is good, how do we know how valuable those Assists really are when both Camapigns B and C each received two Assists from Campaign A?

By passing us revenue information in the Yahoo Analytics conversion tag, we'll be able to show you the revenue output of Assists. For example, we'll be able to show you that while Campaign B and C both received two assisted conversions from Campaign A, Campaign B had a revenue output total of $100 while the two Assists that went to Campaign C only generated $50. Therefore, Campaign A assisted in driving more revenue for Campaign B than it did for Campaign C.

Just imagine not having the Assist report and dropping the bid for a keyword that had low conversions only to realize later that the keyword generated 25 Assists and it ended up driving $2500 in assisted revenue.

You'd probably bang your head against the wall a few times!