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Google Analytics Update: Multi-Channel Funnels

Posted on Thursday, August 25th, 2011 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Analytics, Featured

Google has introduced five new reports to its Google Analytics platform, called Multi-Channel Funnels. Rather than attributing a conversion solely to the last ad or linked clicked, the new reports seek to provide insight into the full conversion path over a 30-day period. As Google Analytics Product Manager Bill Kee explains, “When a customer buys or converts on your site, most conversion tracking tools credit the most recent link or ad clicked. In reality though, customers research, compare, and make purchase decisions via multiple touch points across multiple channels.”  The new set of reports will enable marketers to examine consumer interactions across a range of media channels, e.g., organic search, display ads, paid, social networks and affiliates.

Multi-Channel Funnels represent a significant upgrade to Google’s Analytics offering, one that will meaningfully impact a marketer’s ability to examine the value of their marketing efforts. As Richard Schneider, Manager, Web Analytics at The Search Agency explains, “These new reports are extremely valuable and further help marketers measure the true value of traffic channels and marketing campaigns beyond the last click. In the past, this type of attribution analysis has only been available to companies who could afford the tools, but with this new feature Google is allowing anyone with a free GA account to take the first steps toward properly attributing value to their online efforts.”

Equipped with a better understanding of the path consumers followed prior to a conversion is incredibly valuable. It enables marketers to make more informed decisions about where to invest in their online marketing strategies. As Charles Verhoeff, SEO Specialist, Architecture at The Search Agency, explains, “In the past most people tracked visitors to your site by looking at the referring link. What looks great to me is you will now have referring links (more than one referring link). In thinking in terms of SEO – this tool may be a great way to actually visualize how people move through your site to conversion as well – provided you set up your goals right: (i.e. Page 1 – 2 – Conversion), whereas prior to this tool you couldn’t.  This nifty tool can tell you where the TOP PATHS lie to your site rather than just a single click.”

Verhoeff suggest you “think of your website as a highway – what freeway do most of your competitors use to get to your site? What time is the heaviest traffic? What roads or turns do they make and what is the most traveled route.  Knowing this you can make awesome decisions such as placing billboards (online ads or PPC or even back-links) on that highway in multiple places, or hiring one of those ‘Sign Twirlers’ to sit there for a few hours at the exact location you want. I think this can be used for SEO and SEM both.”



How will Google’s new Multi-Channel Funnels reports affect your approach to attribution?

About Camille Canon

Outside of summer jobs and not-for-profit internships, The Search Agency is my first official place of employment. I recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where I studied Art History and German. I am an avid cook, baker, and destroyer of diets. My specialties are cream cheese brownies, biscotti cookies and lemon bars. I am also an Art enthusiast. Living in Berlin enables me to follow a young, emerging Art scene complete with “eccentric” performance pieces and temporarily converted butcher shop galleries. I also enjoy running, traveling, and handy work. Camille Canon +

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4 Responses to “Google Analytics Update: Multi-Channel Funnels”

  1. paul morris says:

    Hi camille nice article.

    As we know this release is still not ideal as it only allows for a 30 day cookie prior to the sale (hence poor for longer sales cycles such as big ticket items, mortgages, etc) however it is still a welcome improvement.

    view http://www.searchmuse.com/blog/2011/4/13/google-multi-channel-funnels.html on why i think this release will eventually completely shake up our industry. To summarise (and to save you leaving thesearchagents!): It will change the way, in particular, small-medium sized business think of sales/ tracking, certainly shake up the tracking industry e.g. the big tracking boys and the affiliate marketing channel as a whole and start to recognise the value that other channels play at the start of the customer life cycle e.g. clicks further up the sales funnel and social media.

  2. Kevin Hill says:

    I think multi channel measurements are really key. Finally visibility into this without the big spend.

    One thing to note – make sure that you choose the conversion that you are interested in, otherwise google will take ALL “goals” in as a conversion – which can mess with your head.

    Also – Is anyone else seeing quite a bit of “double” activity? I am seeing campaign -> campaign, and cpc->cpc alot.


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