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Introducing Conversions, a new way to prove your content’s impact

Today, we’re excited to announce our first generally-available release of Parse.ly Conversions, which helps you prove content’s impact. This release includes a conversions report that shows which content converts the most readers, which content contributes to the most conversions (even if it’s not converting directly on the content itself), and which types of conversions content drives best.

“Content attribution shouldn’t be this hard.” That’s the title of a blog post we wrote earlier this year, when we first began our journey to make content conversion measurement simpler.

And, man, is it hard. We’ve spoken with customers who have entire teams of data scientists dedicated to building in-house tools to try to tackle content attribution. Some of them built a model they were happy with, but you know what? They still wanted to talk to Parse.ly about it.

We believe measuring content takes a different mindset, and we’ve applied that mindset to one of the most pressing questions asked by content marketers and media companies: is our content making an impact?

One of our early conversions users Michael B., who serves as a content marketing manager at an online retailer, told us: “With the use of Parse.ly Conversions, I’m able to prove to internal stakeholders that content marketing does more than create awareness. It also spurs our customers and readers to take action.”

If you want to show your boss proof that content is valuable, read on to learn how Parse.ly Conversions work. Or fill out the form at the bottom of this announcement to speak with a content analytics expert about adding this feature to your analytics subscription.

The conversions report
Attribution
Conversion types and labels
How to get started

The conversions report

The conversions report allows you to measure how your content influences conversions. It shows performance from the last week.

First, you’ll get a high-level overview of conversions for last week. The break down of when users convert (on landing, in the first session, or during a subsequent session) provides a baseline for conversion behavior on your site.

From there, check out what pages, sections, and tags were responsible for the most conversions from your content.

Finally, see where visitors came from before converting. It’s just as important as knowing what content on your site led to conversion. Visitors who arrived on your site via a newsletter might be more likely to convert than those who came from Twitter.

Attribution

Attribution is how credit is given for a conversion. Not every attribution model is going to work for every business, and that’s why this first release provides three options for assigning credit to their content: Last Touch, Linear, and Pages Before Conversion.

You can select one of these options in the Attribution dropdown when you’re setting up the conversions report.

Last Touch gives 100% of the credit to the page where conversion occurred. You should use this model when you’re trying to understand what content finally pushed someone to convert.

Linear (also known as “equal weighting”) gives equal credit to every page viewed in the converting session, including the page where conversion occurred. This allows you to see all pages that contributed to a conversion within that session.

Pages Before Conversion gives credit to every page except the page where conversion occurred. This allows you to see what pages were visited on the path to conversion.

We believe each of these attribution models offers a valuable perspective. No one attribution model is “right” for any given business. For instance, we learned that Parse.ly’s pricing page is a major influencing factor in users converting, even though it doesn’t convert many users immediately.

Using Last Touch, we can see that only two users converted on the pricing page itself.

But Pages Before Conversion reveals that 49 people visited the pricing page before converting.

We can take away a couple of learnings from this:

  1. People who see our own pricing page are more likely to convert later.
  2. Our pricing page could perhaps do a better job at converting people immediately. We might want to revisit the design of this page.

For more info on how Parse.ly’s attribution models work, check out this help doc.

Conversion actions, types, and labels

What conversion actions can you track? A conversion action is the unique combination of a conversion type and label.

Types

Since the conversions that matter will differ from company to company, Parse.ly supports five standard conversion types, as well as one custom type.

In the future, Parse.ly plans to benchmark the five standard events to give you insight into how your performance compares to Parse.ly’s network as a whole (e.g. how your newsletter signups compare to similarly-sized sites).

  1. Lead Capture – When a user provides identifying details (e.g. email, name) via a form to indicate product interest (i.e. a lead).
  2. Link Click – When a user clicks a link or button (e.g. an internal link or affiliate link).
  3. Newsletter Signup – When a user provides their email via a form in order to receive emails from a company, such as a newsletter or an email course.
  4. Subscription – When a user buys a subscription that will result in recurring revenue.
  5. Purchase – When a user completes the one-time purchase of a product.
  6. Custom – When a user completes an action not covered by the five standard types. Parse.ly will not be able to give you insight into how custom conversion events perform in comparison to Parse.ly’s network. For this reason, we discourage the use of custom events unless absolutely necessary.

Labels

You can categorize multiple conversion labels under one conversion type. If you have two newsletters—one covering politics, one covering parenting—you could house both of them under the Newsletter Signup type, but have different labels: “Parenting Newsletter” and “Politics Newsletter,” for example.

Once you’ve integrated conversions tracking, you’ll be able to select the type or label when you’re setting up a conversions report. For example, if you want to see all newsletter signups, select the Newsletter Signup type and the “All” label.

If you want to see just conversions to the parenting newsletter, select the “Newsletter Signup” type and the “Parenting Newsletter” label.

Read more about conversion types and labels.

How to get started

The conversions report is available to Parse.ly Enterprise customers. Please reach out to your account rep or fill out the form below to discuss possibilities and pricing.