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Reliable measuring the first visit of a goal completing visitor?

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# 1
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Hi,

Please some advice on the following:

 

I like to measure how and when a visitor first visit my website when it completes a goal?

 

Example: Some visitor is send to my website through website bla.com as referral. I then comes back after 2 months through Direct/Organisch-Search and completes a goal (like buying something). 

How can I see how it first visit my website in the past?

I am familiar with the GA multi-channel reports (like assisted conversion report), but that is only per source/medium not on User level (as far as I know). And if it is possible, can I still use this info after 1 month as I think that is the default timeout of the GA referral cookie info?

 

Can I maybe change the GA settings (or some own JS GA call) that can result in a better measurement?

 

Please some more insight in this.

Thanks,

- Ed Bras

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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
August 2016

Re: Reliable measuring the first visit of a goal completing visitor?

[ Edited ]
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# 2
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Hi Ed,

 

Check out the User Explorer feature in Google Analytics:

 

user explorer.png

 

It lets you isolate and examine individual rather than aggregate user behavior. Individual user behavior is associated with either Client-ID or User-ID.

 

Another thing that I recommend you thinking about is User ID tracking. Here you can read more about it: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/3123662?hl=en

 

Google Analytics default campaign timeout is 6 months if you haven't changed it in the past. Smiley Happy

 

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any further questions.

Taavi

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
August 2016

Re: Reliable measuring the first visit of a goal completing visitor?

[ Edited ]
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# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Ed,

 

Check out the User Explorer feature in Google Analytics:

 

user explorer.png

 

It lets you isolate and examine individual rather than aggregate user behavior. Individual user behavior is associated with either Client-ID or User-ID.

 

Another thing that I recommend you thinking about is User ID tracking. Here you can read more about it: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/3123662?hl=en

 

Google Analytics default campaign timeout is 6 months if you haven't changed it in the past. Smiley Happy

 

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any further questions.

Taavi

Re: Reliable measuring the first visit of a goal completing visitor?

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# 3
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Taavi,
Thanks for your advice.
1) How can I use the User explorer to answer my question? (when/how of first visit: source/medium, date...)
2) I know the User-ID view, I am using it on another project, but this client isn't using it, and don't see any change in that soon.
3) What do you mean by "default campaign timeout of 6 months"?
Do you mean the GA data that is received through UTM parameters or/and Adwords?
Or the GA cookie containing the Client-ID
(I know the referral info in the GA cookie has a timeout of 1 month, but didn't know this one)

Thanks,
- Ed

Re: Reliable measuring the first visit of a goal completing visitor?

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# 4
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Hi Ed,

 

You can drill down to the first session of a particular user and see what was the acquisition channel in the User Explorer reports. Take a look at it. Here you can read more that: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6339208?hl=en#data

 

The campaign timeout setting determines how long a returning direct visit is recorded with a more specific source / medium from a previous visit. The default value is 6 months.

 

timeout.png

 

You can change it to whichever duration would be most suitable to your organization, but it is common to keep the default six-month timeout. 

 

Google Analytics cookies last longer. 

 

 _ga cookie which is used to identify unique users expires after 2 years by default

_gat cookie which is used to throttle the request rate expires after 10 minutes by default.

 

Please note, this is not the same as configuring the timeout period.

 

Recommend reading those developer guides to learn more:

1) https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/cookie-usage

2) https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/cookies-user-id

 

Hope this helps.
Taavi