Liveblog From SMX Toronto

April 9, 2010

Measuring Online and Offline Conversions from Search.


Andy Fisher
Ezra Silverton
Scott Duncan

Andy Fisher:
It’s almost impossible to map everything that people do before they get to your site. Most solutions don’t work.

There are many cases where being able to track site-side behavior is incredibly important. For instance deciding what kinds of products to sell.

Do you have a good SEM strategy? Do you have a good SEO strategy? Does everyone in your company agree on what a “conversion” is? Once you know these things, you’ll be able to start.

When you actually start to look at search sequences, you find that they’re more complicated, random and interesting than you thought.

Find out which offline/online things you can attribute sales to. Look at search sequences: i.e.

  • saw and ad and typed search term in search bar
  • get to site

It’s easy to attribute the sale to search even though it was the ad that originally triggered the search.

Some tools make attribution hard to judge attributions.
On site analytics are usually last click. Some are first click.

Conversion Attribution models:

  • Last Click, Last view gets credit.
  • First click gets credit.
  • Equal Touch

Do search network attribution only.

TV had an effect on search traffic. In each silo, TV silo, network silo, ad silo, every click look like it should be attributed to them.

Ezra Silverton and Scott Duncan:

Ad campaign goes out across all media: Print, Radio, TV, Onilne. They’re pointed at

  • Inbound calls (unique number)
  • Website (unique url)
  • Email (unique email address)

Every action online can be tracked, but what happens when someone calls you to convert?

ref:Code Analytics Product: Provides information on user’s online behavior including referral source, paths, keywords searched, pages viseted etc. in real time.

Case Study: George Brown College

They sell online technical training programs.
Multiple domains, print ads, SEO, SEM, Youtube TV Radio
Front door is lead generation which gets fed into the CRM tool MAximizer

Approximately 70% of people visit the website before contacting (calling, emailing or filling out web form.)

Campaigns push prospects to website address or phone to obtain info package or discuss with advisor.

Offline methods go to specific web pages on the site and a set of different 800#  in order to track who comes in through which on or offline method.

Google Web Analytics to track website traffic.
Online ads are tracked through normal ways: Google Analytics tags email software tracking tags.

Hard to get a good idea of attribution from asking the clients how they got to the site because half the time they don’t know how they REALLY got there.

The sum of the ad tactics is more than the total. If they kill the TV line, other parts will suffer etc.

Andrea Hadley chimes in:
She overlaid GA paid search trending with her call center trending. She knew that people who bought the clients product after calling, so it was important that these trends matched.

Great panel discussion!