Path to Conversion reports

You can create Path to Conversion (P2C) reports in Report Builder, enabling you to understand how users were exposed to your advertising in the lead-up to a conversion. P2C reports can help you understand which of your ads, and which types of media, are best at driving conversions.

P2C reports differ from other conversion reports in showing you not just the final conversion and the click or impression to which it's attributed, but the longer path of exposures that led to the conversion. An exposure is an impression or a click on one of your ads.

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Run reports

To create a Path to Conversion report in Report Builder:

  1. Click the New Report button and select Path to Conversion.

  2. (Required) Select the Floodlight configuration Id for which you want to show data in this report, which automatically adds all advertisers associated with that configuration ID. You can only select one configuration at a time, although a Floodlight configuration may have multiple advertisers associated with it. You can search by name or configuration ID.

    The Floodlight configuration ID is the same as the advertiser ID, if the advertiser isn’t shared. Otherwise, the ID will be the same as that of the parent advertiser.

  3. Select the Floodlight activities to include in your report. If you select none, the report will automatically include all activities.

  4. Set a lookback window of up to 90 days for clicks and impressions. The system checks to see if an interaction occurred within the specified period of time before an associated conversion happened. You can either use the value set for Floodlight or manually enter a custom value.

    If you edit the reporting lookback window, the attribution data will be recalculated based on the new window and your conversion numbers won’t match up with other reports. Changing the lookback window can also cause the first or attributed interactions to fall outside the window and change which interaction receives credit for the conversion.

  5. Set a value for the maximum gap between interactions. This is the amount of time that has taken place in between interactions by the same user. If you select ‘Unlimited,’ the value entered for the lookback window will be used instead.

  6. Set a value for the maximum number of interactions for clicks and impressions. This is the maximum number of interactions you can include in the report. If you set this number to 0, no interaction information will be included. You can select up to 100 interactions each for clicks and impressions.

  7. Choose whether to include the following conversion types:

    • Unattributed cookie conversions: A conversion is unattributed when the user has a DoubleClick cookie but converted without an exposure. That means the user did not click or see an ad from the advertiser within the Floodlight group, or that the interaction happened outside the lookback window.

    Changes to lookback windows can affect whether a conversion is unattributed. Attribution based on adjusted lookback windows is shown as "Recalculated Attribution," while the original attribution, based on the lookback windows set for the Floodlight configuration, are preserved in the "Floodlight Attribution" column.

  8. Select conversion dimensions, per interaction dimensions, metrics, and Custom Floodlight variables to include in your report. Learn more about conversion dimensions/metrics

  9. (Optional) Schedule your report to run at a certain time.

  10. Click Run or Save.

Depending on the amount of data you include, it can take a long time to generate your report. We recommend limiting the size of your query to generate a smaller report. For instance, you can select a smaller date range or limit the number of Floodlight activities you include.

Pivot on interaction data

Depending on how you plan to use the data in the report, you might choose to pivot it based on interaction information. Pivoted and unpivoted reports show the same data, but in pivot tables the rows and columns are switched around. In the case of P2C reports, this means that each interaction is moved into its own columns, making it easier to compare data for several different interactions side by side.

To create a pivoted report, create your standard P2C report in Report Builder, but select the option to Pivot On Interaction Path.

Here are some examples of pivoted and unpivoted P2C reports.

Unpivoted

Each interaction gets its own row. Data for a single conversion will be spread across several rows. This view is best for uploading data into external systems.

Example:

The following table shows sample data for an unpivoted P2C report.

                                                           
Conversion Interaction level Site Interaction type Keyword Interaction time
06/12/12
10:32:57
1 Publisher 1 Display click -- 06/12/12
10:31:05
06/12/12
10:32:57
2 Publisher 2 Display impression -- 06/11/12
11:02:44
06/12/12
10:32:57
3 Publisher 3 Paid search click My Search 06/09/12
14:15:02
06/12/12
10:32:57
4 Publisher 2 Display click -- 06/09/12
13:59:52
06/12/12
10:32:57
5 Publisher 1 Display impression -- 06/02/12
17:31:00

Pivoted

If you choose to pivot the report instead, each conversion gets its own row and interactions are listed in separate columns, from left to right. More information about each interaction is included in its respective columns, allowing you to compare the data for several interactions side by side. This can make it easier for you to understand exactly how each conversion occurred.

Sample output: Common dimensions and metrics

Conversion dimensions and metrics

This table lists some of the possible values for the conversion dimensions and metrics that you might typically include in your report.

Dimension Name Example Data
Conversion ID 684550148142168782
Activity date/time 3/17/13 0:01 (12:01:05 AM)
Conversion URL src=3528935;type=frida880;cat=ire; qty=1;cost=99.99;ord=123456789
Path type Cookie
IP
Floodlight attribution type Click-through
View-through
Unattributed
Recalculated attribution type Click-through
View-through
Unattributed
Browser/Platform Chrome
Firefox
iPhone
iPod Touch
...
Campaign Manager activity details Activity
Group
Configuration
...
Designated Market Area (DMA) Not Metroized
No Metro
Interaction count 0
1
2
...
Channel mix Rich Media
Static Image
Click count 0
1
2
...
Impression count 0
1
2
...
Path length 0
1
2
...
Conversion referrer https://www.site.com/confirmationpage
ORD value 123456789
Days since attributed interaction

Days since first interaction
0
1
2
...
Hours since attributed interaction

Hours since first interaction
0
1
2
...
Custom Floodlight variables
(The title of the CFV field is in the header)
value

 

Interaction dimensions and metrics

The following table lists some of the possible values for the interaction dimensions and metrics that you might typically include in your report.

Dimension Name Example Data
Interaction number 1
2
3
...
Interaction date/time 3/17/13 13:12 (1:12:14 PM)
Interaction type Click
Impression
Interaction channel Rich Media
Click Tracker
Static Image
Natural Search
Floodlight attributed interaction TRUE
FALSE
Recalculated attributed interaction TRUE
FALSE
Within Floodlight lookback window TRUE
FALSE
Campaign Manager object names/IDs Campaign
Placement
Site
Ad
Creative
...
Natural search query "Search Term"
Natural search landing page https://www.site.com/landingpage
Rich Media metrics and dimensions Average expansion time
Interaction rate
Video companion clicks
Video length
...
Discrepancies with other reports

If you're seeing a discrepancy between your P2C numbers and other data in Reporting, consider the following:

  • If you edit the reporting lookback window, the attribution data will be recalculated and your conversion numbers won’t match up with other reports. Changing the lookback window can also cause the first or attributed interactions to fall outside the window and change which interaction receives credit for the conversion.

  • Unattributed conversions represent a large share of total conversions. While we don't have user path information for those, we do have custom Floodlight variables.

  • In P2C reports, you can always see all conversion paths. However, if advertiser or campaign filters are applied, data for campaigns that you do not have access to is redacted (replaced with “--”). In the Floodlight, MCF and Standard reports, users can only see details for conversions attributed to interactions that they are authorized to view, based on the campaign and advertiser filters that have been applied to their profile. As a result, you may notice some discrepancies in your conversion metrics because we can only display data for paths that you have access to view.

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