Multi-Channel Funnels: Which Clicks Really Lead to Conversions?

Search marketing is a data driven field and that’s why I’m very excited about a new feature added to Google Analytics. Last week, Google announced that multi-channel funnels will be now available to all users through the new version of Google Analytics. Traditionally in Google Analytics, the last touch was given credit for a conversion. For example, consider the following: On day one I find your site by clicking on a paid search ad. A week later, while conducting some research, I visit your site a second time through an organic listing. Finally, 20 days after my initial visit to your site, I type in your URL directly and proceed to make a purchase. In the past, only this final click would be given credit for the conversion. A scenario like this is not uncommon, but there hasn’t been too much insight into what happens behind the scenes until now. To access these new reports, you must be using the new version of Google Analytics and you’ll need to create goals or have ecommerce tracking enabled. Once you log in, navigate to the “My Conversions” tab and select “Multi-Channel Funnels”. On the left bar navigation, you’ll now have access to 5 new reports to help you analyze how visitors are converting on your website across all of your tracked channels. The new reports include an Overview which gives you an executive level view of the action.

Multi-Channel Funnels Overview

In this case, we are looking at of 254 conversions. 178 of which required more than one visit before the conversion occurred. In this case, a majority of our goal conversions required multiple visits to the site in order to complete the desired action. The Assisted Conversions report reveals which sources have created assisted conversions vs. last touch conversions.

Assisted Conversions report

This report can help you better analyze how much each channel is really impacting your overall conversion figures. In this case, paid search is the top converter, but it’s also lending a hand in bringing traffic that eventually converts to the website. The Top Conversion Paths report shows us which channels are assisting in conversions behind the scenes.

Top Conversions path  

Here we can see that it sometimes takes many visits form different channels to lead to the final sale! Beyond that, you better understand how people are interacting with your site across many mediums. The Time Lag report shows you how many days it takes from the initial visit until the final conversion.

Time Lag

According to our report, most purchases are happening same day, but it’s pretty interesting to see that there are a few customers who wait 12 or more days before completing the transaction. Finally, the Path Length report provides insight on how many interactions with your site it takes before the conversion was completed.

Path length

This report shows that in this case, most conversions are actually occurring after 2 or more interactions with the site. “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.” Most people in business and everyone in advertising has come across this quote, or some variation on it, at one time or another. Most attributed to classic forms of advertising such as print, television and billboards, this quote has at least been partially put to rest with the revolution of internet marketing. Never has there been an advertising medium which can be so completely accounted for from clicks and visitors to time on site and visitor loyalty. Multi-Channel Funnels should help raise the bar a bit higher and help marketers make better value-based decisions. To better understand the value of all your online marketing efforts, it’s now more important to track all forms of online advertising – from PPC to comparison shopping engines, from banner ads to email marketing campaigns – and to create valuable Google Analtyics goals. By leveraging the Google URL Builder to tag your destination URLs, you will now be able to receive a more holistic view of how much value each marketing channel really provides in terms of the goals you designate.