With banner ads it's easy, DART provides tracking that enables us to attribute conversions with specific placements.
Search enignes are a whole different matter. Is there anything out there that will produce a report that can associate conversion events with specific sources of traffic?
For example 18 people arrived on a site from google.yahoo.com, used the search term "left handed smoke shifter" and requested more infomation. Viewing the paths taken to get there would be great, but that may be asking too much.
WebTrends will count conversions via a confirmation page, but we can't tell where those visitors came from. Is there anything that can?
In concept this is an easy problem. Traffic arrives from Affiliates, Banners, EMails, Newsletters and Search Engines.
On the first page that the visitor sees, a database records the source of the visit and an unique session id. In the same session once a conversion is made ( a buy, subscription or opt-in) the conversion and type of conversion and unique session id is recorded.
Now you have the data needed to attribute the conversion to the source.
Several third-party services exist to track this for you.
NetTracker Pro will actually let you drill down to individual paths. It's a bit pricey, but it will let you analyze to whatever depth you need.
WebTrends provides nice summaries, but it's frustrating because you can't drill past them. For example, you see that Googlebot viewed 7 pages. If you want to know WHICH seven, you can't just click on the line item to see. You'll have to crate an entirely new WT report, filter out everything except Googlebot visits, and then look to see which pages were taken. Pretty tedious. This is one click on NT Pro.