GA conversion rate calculation should be by User, but isn’t.
The default way in which Google Analytics (GA) calculates conversion rates is by Session. A better way to see conversion rates in GA is by User. Read on to see why this is a problem and how to easily fix it.
Why look at GA conversion rate by User?
Google Analytics, by default, computes conversion rate as Transactions divided by Visits. This is a session-based calculation.
Transaction = a unique completed order
Visit = is triggered the moment you visit a site
Trouble is, unless if you are selling a low priced impulse item it’s likely your visitors are following this sequence:
Step 1: discovering you
Step 2: exploring the site
Step 3: few place their order at step 2. Most, return and order at a later time.
Let’s say a user is looking for a camping tent on Google:
They might visit your site today but that doesn’t mean they are going to make the purchase today.
For context, 96% of site visitors aren’t ready to buy on their first visit (stat explained here).
Let’s say this tent shopper visited today and returned after 4 days to place the order. How this behavior will be recorded in your GA:
Sessions = 2
By default, the tracking of a session resets after 30 minutes of inactivity. When this user returns after 4 days GA will count that as a new session, even though it’s the same person.
GA will compute the conversion as 50% (1 Transaction divided by 2 sessions).
User = 1
The true conversion rate actually is 100% (1 Transaction divided by 1 User).
The User-based conversion rate is a better metric for our tent example.
There is a simple way to see what your User-based conversion rate is in GA. It can be found here Audience –> Overview:
Note down the number of Users shown in the Overview report. Next, go to Conversions –> Ecommerce –> Overview and note down the Transactions count.
Divide Users by Transactions to get your real conversion rate..
Trivia: Guess how many sites use GA? 29.3 million. Source.
Ok, now that you have your GA conversion rate by User are you interested in learning how to increase online conversions and sales?