Google Analytics

Google Analytics Multi Channel Funnels – Complete Guide

Previously we have talked in brief about Google Analytics attribution modelling. In order to read and understand the conversion in more realistic way we are going to talk about Google Analytic multi channel funnels. 

After going through this article you will stop looking only into the final conversion source but you will start looking into the channels / source which has initiated the conversion or introduced the brand to the visitors.

But before diving into the multi channel funnels let’s quickly go through the acquisition Channel also known as “acquisition source”, “Marketing Channel”.  

Acquisition Channel

Referral, Direct, (Other), Paid Search, Organic Search, Social Display and Email are default acquisition channel available in Google Analytics.  Further you can create your own channel as well. We are not going to cover acquisition channel in detail in this article. I will write a separate article detailing Acquisition channel.

Google Analytics Acquisition Channel

Insights from Multi Channel Funnels

First let’s get through what insights you will get from Multi Channel Funnels:

  • You will get which all sources have contributed in the final conversion
  • Sources which have assisted in the conversion but not the final conversion source
  • You will get the user journey from brand introduction to the final conversion
  • You will also get the days taken by user to convert from their first visit to the website
  • Next you will get how many times a user interacted with your website before conversion. 

As you all must be aware that Google analytics completely works on the cookies so if user delete their cookies or access your website through different device or different system then this report may not be accurate. 

However this report will definitely give you a good idea about all the contribution of all channel in final conversion.

Understanding Multi Channel Reports

Multi Channel Reports have five sections:

#1 Overview: In the overview section you will get the Conversion and Assisted conversion count with Multi-Channel conversion visualizer.

Multi-Channel conversion visualizer

The overlap area in the graph show which all sources worked together to get the conversion.

#2 Assisted Conversion Report: Assisted conversion report will show you initiated conversion, assisted conversion and completed conversion against every MCF Channel. This report will also let you know Assisted Conversion Value, Direct Conversion Value.

#3 Top Conversion Path Report:  This report shows you all the sources which played their role in conversion. It will also show you the conversion count and conversion value against each channel. 

#4 Time Lag Report: This report shows you the number of times user took to convert on your website after they first interacted with your website. This report will also show you conversion count and conversion value. 

#4 Path Length: This report shows you the number of interaction a user took before conversion. Path Length & Time lag report may look similar to your but take care there are difference between two reports.

Lookback Window & Conversion Path

When referring to the MCF report it’s necessary to have good understanding of Lookback Window. You can set the lookback window between 1 to 90 days. By default it is set to 30 days.

For Example, if you set the lookback windows to 60 days it means you are instructing Google to show all the interaction (Clicks & Impression) happens  60 days prior to the conversion. 

Let’s see a hypothetical journey of a user prior to the conversion.

  • Alok visited a page through Google Ad
  • Visited the website again through referral 
  • Alok again clicked on Google Ad
  • Now Alok visited website through search engine
  • Alok have visited the page again through Google ad and purchased the product.

Here Alok has exposed to three different channel that is Google Ad, Referral & Organic before purchasing the product. So, here is how Google Analytics will show the conversion path of Alok.

There are no limit of conversion path and Google analytics can record “n” number of path prior to the conversion. 

Assisting Interactions Analysis

This analysis will help you to identify which channel / source / medium has functioned in Final conversion and which one has more role towards assisting the conversion. 

Let’s discuss about the each column shown in the above image:

  1. Primary Dimension: You can select the dimension against you want to see the metrics. By default Google analytics shows you this report for MCF channel grouping
  2. MCF Channel Grouping: This is the default channel grouping in the the Multi Channel Funnels report. You can also create custom channel grouping by clicking on channel grouping from  primary dimension.
  3. Assisted Conversion: Number of conversion against the channel appeared in the conversion path but this is not the final conversion channel / source.
  4. Assisted Conversion Value: The value of the conversion assisted by specific channel / source
  5. Last Click or Direct Conversion: The data shown in this column refer to the conversion conversion for which specific channel was the final covnersion path.
  6. Assisted / Last Click or Direct Conversion:  A value close to 0 indicates that this channel functioned primarily as the final conversion interaction. A value close to 1 indicates that this channel functioned equally in an assist role and as the final conversion interaction. The more this value exceeds 1, the more this channel functioned in an assist role.

First Interactions Analysis

Primary dimension can be used in the same way as shown in Assisting interaction analysis. 

  • First click conversions & value: Number of conversion for which specific channel functioned as the first interaction in the conversion path and the value of conversion
  • Last click or direct conversions & value: Number of conversion for which specific channel functioned as the last interaction in the conversion path and the value of conversion.
  • First / Last Click or Direct Conversion:  A value close to 0 indicates that this channel functioned primarily as the final conversion interaction. A value close to 1 indicates that this channel was as frequently the first interaction on the conversion path as it was the final conversion interaction. The more this value exceeds 1, the more this channel functioned as the first interaction on the conversion path.

Conclusion

This article will only guide you about the multi channel funnels report but not let you make you expert on the topic. You have to look into the data again and again and try to get insights from them. 

On the basis of your insight try to optimize the campaigns and see how it goes. It’s a bit complicated report but trust me once you master this report you will start optimizing your campaign the way you do it now.

Share your thoughts in the comment section.

I am a tech geek and love to read everything about technology. By profession I am a digital marketer with 8 years of industry exposure. In this tenure I have touched almost every part of digital marketing be it SEO, Paid Ads, Marketing Automation, Affiliate, Social Media Marketing, Tracking & Analytics.

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