Google Analytics is the Cat’s Pyjamas, Announces Multi-Channel Funnels

Most PPCers and SEOs (myself included) go crazy for analytics numbers.  After all, how else are we going to quantitatively justify the qualitative recommendations we make?  PPCers need to design proper ad copy, SEOs need to be able to execute on-site optimization strategies.  Often we find ourselves relying on Google Analytics.  It’s free; it’s winning.

And it’s about to get winninger.

Introducing Multi-Channel Funnels

Flowchart

Analyzing conversions is one of the most powerful uses for Google Analytics, especially in eCommerce or social sites.  By measuring where users drop out of the conversion funnel, the path to conversion can be optimized through user testing or other methods.  We know this as CRO, or Conversion Rate Optimization.

The problem is that Google Analytics currently allows for a linear funnel which attributes the value to the last element with which the user interacted.  If a user visited your site through organic search, then purchased something, organic visits would be credited with that sale.  But what if the visitor only made that organic search after clicking a link in a banner advertisement?  You would never know the full path your customer took.  In fact, we at Distilled have been concerned about this in the past and offered our own custom solution to the problem.

But Multi-Channel Funnels will change the game.  It will show the complete map of a user’s interactions over the past 30 days prior to their conversion.

Top Conversion Paths

This is the feature that best summarizes the value of the new Multi-Channel Funnel feature.  This report shows you exactly which paths produced the most and most valuable conversions.  In our example above I suggested a path where the user first discovered a site through a banner ad, and then made a purchase after an organic search.  The following Top Conversions Path report would reveal such activity if it were enabled on my site:

Top Conversion Paths

As you can see, this report covers all kinds of navigational alternatives.  And the report can even be customized by grouping various traffic sources together, such as branded searches.  Check this out:

Top Conversion Paths

This... is my kind of Analytics.

Path Lengths

Also included is the new Path Lengths feature, which breaks down the same data slightly differently:

Path Lengths

So that you can see, naturally, how long a user takes to convert, measured in interactions.

Assisted Conversions

Finally, another brilliant report that shows you the value of the transactions in which different sources played an intermediate role.  You can compare them at a glance to the value of the transactions where they were the last interaction from a user.

Assisted Conversions

There has always been a danger of mistaking or disregarding the value of intermediate steps in a funnel.  Now we are not limited to the last interaction or the path to the shopping cart.  All steps can be holistically analyzed.

Further Information

This is only a brief overview of the new functionality that has been announced; I’m sure there will be more posts to come in the future from Distilled and others about how to leverage the power of these reports most effectively.

To learn more about Multi-Channel Funnels, watch the promo video or the new tutorial video, from which all of the screenshots in this post are taken.  Google also has a help page up already.  And, if you want a chance at experiencing this new functionality before it is publicly live, be sure to sign up for a chance at access!

So, what do you all think?  Can you dig it?

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Benjamin Estes

Benjamin Estes

Benjamin is a senior consultant who joined Distilled in 2010. Having earned a BA in Mass Media, his intention is to continue studying the ways in which people interact with media and apply those lessons to his consulting. Ben-h264 // Born and...   read more

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10 Comments

  1. that's powerful stuff, love to see them digging deeper and providing more functionality to slice, dice and track value. Thank you for the brief.

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  2. Can't wait for this... should have been there ages ago, but glad its finally in!

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  3. goji

    too bad GA is so inaccurate about traffic sources

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  4. This is awesome! Finally Google is able to offer what the enterprise solutions have had for a long time. If they have done it right, this is a killer feature for keeping the advanced analysts on the platform.

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  5. This is seriously awesome. I really disliked this problem, but this not only addresses that problem but goes to a whole new level. I can't wait to give it a try.

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  6. This is long over due. I am extremely excited to start seeing this conversion data.

    I hoping to see more value get placed with non branded organic search influencing brand organic search conversions.

    Cha Ching!

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  7. FINALLY.

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  8. I just want to take this opportunity to create some duplicate content: AWESOME!

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  9. Great post. I am looking forward to testing multi-channel funnels. I have always wonder about how it is people come to a site from different places on different occasions and tracking when they buy. Often I find a product through a ad or blog post and come back later direct and buy.

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  10. Jaime

    What does this mean for distilled's first touch attribution addition to Google Analytics?

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