Monday, October 24, 2011 1:30 PM
Digital marketing has long been cursed with attributing conversion to the last action a user took. For example, if a customer arrives at your site via organic search and then makes a purchase, most platforms (including Google Analytics) attributed this credit solely to SEO success. While this does tell you that the person ended up converting because of your SEO strategy, it doesn’t show you the complete picture.
Instead the customer may have followed this trajectory to conversion:
- Clicked on one of your paid advertisements (“PPC”)
- Looked around your site, but didn’t buy
- Signed up for your newsletter
- Received a newsletter, and clicked through, but still didn’t purchase (“email”)
- Later, they decide to purchase, but cannot remember your URL, and so they…
- …type your company name into a search engine, and then make a purchase (“organic search”).
You may assume your PPC is not working because your analytics told you that the person converted from organic search, but in reality your PPC had a big impact on that conversion because that is how they found you. Ideally you want to see the entire path someone took on your site before they convert so you can see how all your marketing channels are working together.
Back at the end of August, Google Analytics introduced a new feature called multi-channel funnels. Like the name implies, this feature means that you are now able to see the multiple influences that drove your customers to make their final conversion.
In the future, this customer may type your URL directly into the browser (“direct search”) and you’ll be able to see that, too, in conjunction with their other brand engagements. With multi-channel funnels, you get a much more holistic view of how effective (or ineffective) your marketing strategies are, and you can adjust future plans accordingly.
Sound like something you’d like to do?
- Sign into Google Analytics. In order to use Multi-Channel Funnels, you’ll need to use the new version of Google Analytics (if you’re not doing so already, click “New Version” at the top right of your screen next to your email address).
- Select the account (website) you’d like to analyze.
- Click on “Conversions” in the left-hand menu
- Click on “Multi-Channel Funnels”.
- “Top Conversion Paths” will show you the sequential steps customers went through before they met one of your pre-defined goals (purchase, sign-up, etc). You can rearrange this section to show you which paths were most frequently used, which paths yielded the highest revenue, which had the fewest steps or the most…the possibilities are endless.
You also have many other options to explore customer engagement: view an overview of the multi-channel funnels, or take a closer look at assisted conversions, time lag, or path length.
Though Multi-Channel Funnels is a new feature still finding its place in the platform, it’s definitely worth checking out. Let us know what you find!