Phil Mui wrote a nice piece yesterday, introducing a new Google Analytics feature that links upper-funnel visits-from-social sites to downstream conversion events. They’re calling it “Assisted Conversions”, and it’s a good thing for Digital Analytics.

The new report, called social value, enables you to see assisted conversions. That is to say, conversion events that in some way started or intervened over the course of a consumer journey, on their way to a conversion.

If Google Analytics is set up properly, either by way of eCommerce pass through, or, assignment of a dollar value to a conversion event, Google Analytics will calculate a social value amount.


Say that you sell boardgames through your eCommerce store. Say you post something about a latest release on your G+, and Phil clicks on your URL. Phil checks out the game, but he’s interrupted by one of his product managers and he doesn’t buy. He shuts down his computer at the end of the day and doesn’t complete the sale (the horror!). He comes in the next day, and, from the same browser, he executes a Google Search, clicks on an organic link, visits your website, and completes the sale. Google Analytics will attribute that conversion as a socially assisted conversion. It won’t be a direct social conversion (the google search did intervene), but it was certainly assisted by social.

That’s pretty cool.

A digital analyst wins the lottery. The first thing she says is: “What, I have to buy a new wallet now?”


  • No, it isn’t perfect
  • No, it doesn’t capture every single social network, nor is it a substitute for social media marketing analysis
  • No, it isn’t immune from high duration consideration effects.


  • Yes, it is a [lagging] indicator.
  • Yes, it is a feature that wasn’t available before.
  • Yes, it is useful.

It is a feature that, for a subset of companies and analysts, will assist them in the optimization of some of their social campaigns. It’ll also start to shift some of the perceptions and biases against upper funnel events that are very common in digital analytics. It’s the middle of the beginning, and I’m most looking forward to that part.

It makes digital analysts smarter.

And that’s a really good thing.


I’m Christopher Berry.
I tweet about analytics @cjpberry
I write at

(If you don’t like Phil’s new black box, build your own!) 

3 thoughts on “What Assisted Conversion means and why it’s a good thing

  1. So, if I follow you correctly, we are still blind, but at least we can find our way using our hands.

  2. Jim Novo says:

    At least this appears to operate based on actual visits, rather than “exposures”, “touches” or any similar lame display-like metrics. That’s a good decision; just because a cookie was placed does not mean there was an effect.

    By requiring a visit, at least there’s a good chance some kind of momentum was created by the social interaction, right?

  3. @Jacques We’re in a dark room, and this is another pen light.

    @JimNovo Right, a cookie does not mean a delta in perception or attitude. A standard engagement, like a click, is more indicative of interest or receptivity. Doesn’t mean that the content after the link caused a delta. I think ‘momentum’ is the right word.

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