There’s a lot of information and insights that can be gained from Google Analytics. You can pull reports for days, pour over data until your eyes fall out and make charts galore. When you’re a PPC beginner, this interface can be intimidating and overwhelming. It can be sometimes even if you’re an intermediate. You might catch yourself thinking “There’s so many buttons – am I going to mess something up?” There’s a lot to learn, but there’s a group of reports that stand out to me as “very important” among the rest for PPC (and marketing in general): Those are the Multi-Channel Funnel Reports.
So What Are Multi-Channel Funnels, Anyway?
PPC isn’t always as cut and dry as someone clicked your ad and converted immediately. There’s often many balls in play – organic, social, and other channels that are running along with your PPC efforts. Because of all of these factors, Google Analytics offers multi-channel funnel reports as an answer to the question “what role did PPC play in these purchases/conversions?”. Many times, conversions are credited to the last action the customer took (also known as last click attribution), but as marketers, we know that one click is often not always the only channel they’ve interacted with.
These reports also help answer questions about your clients conversion paths, the time it takes for a customer to convert and how many channels a customer interacts with before converting. This report can help identify which of your channels lead to conversions, which is specifically important in big ticket purchases.
If you want to learn a little more about conversion paths, the consideration process, and how multi-channel reports can help, check out this video.
Putting MCF’s To Use
It’s important to note that in order to use this feature, you’ll need to have either Goals set up in your Google Analytics account or e-commerce tracking (or both). Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s jump into the reports themselves.
Assisted Conversions Report
This report tells you how many conversions your different channels assisted with during the conversion path. This report features several columns – one that tells how many conversions the channels assisted with and then how many times that channels was the final interaction.
- The first column, “Assisted Conversions”, shows how many times the channels assisted with a conversion. As you can see from the photo below, Paid Search assisted with 860 conversions.
- The third column, “Last Click or Direct Conversions”, includes a count of how many times the channel was the last or direct conversion channel (meaning that this was the only channel that the customer interacted with before converting).
- The final column, “Assisted/Last Click or Direct Conversion”, gives an indication of whether the channel acts primarily as an assist or as a final conversion interaction. A value under 1 indicates the the channel functioned primarily as a final conversion interaction. A value of or near 1 indicates that the channel functioned equally as an assist and as a final conversion interaction. If the value exceeds 1, the channel functioned as more of an assist role. As you can see from the chart above, for this client PPC is very valuable as an assist to a later conversion.
Top Conversion Path
This report shows the path to conversions so that you’re able to see the role that each channel plays in the conversion path. There’s several different “primary dimensions” at the top of this report that will let you see different views of this information (you can see the options in the photo above). In the Channel Groupings drop down, you can select to make your on custom channel grouping, as well, should none of the options be what you are needing.
It’s important to note that you’ll want to make sure you utilize the “path length” drop down at the top of the page. This will allow you to select what length of path you’re viewing. The photo above shows the default path length of 2 or more interactions.
This report has a lot of useful information in a couple quick-hitting columns. This report tells you how many days passed between the first interaction in the conversion path and the final interaction. As you can see below, a good portion of the conversions are immediate, but another good portion happens in the 61-90 day window. This report can be very useful when it comes to seeing just how many days your conversion path can take. A good reminder that slow and steady can help win the race.
This report shows the path length in interactions. This report is especially great when you take into account the trends you’ve seen with the Time Lag report. In the example below, it appears that a good majority of the conversions happen after one interaction (and most with 0 time lag as we learned from the report above), but an even larger majority takes more than 12 interactions. That’s useful information for the client to pass on to their sales teams and other team members.
The Multi Channel Funnel reports are useful for PPC, but also reinforce how important each and every channel is in your marketing. If you want some more great information about MCFs, check out Google’s Analytics Academy.
How do you use Multi-Channel Funnel reports? Share your strategies with us in the comments!