Today Google Analytics announced that Multi-Channel Funnels are now operational and open for all Analytics users. What does this mean? It means that if you track goals or e-commerce conversions you now have a much better sense of how your buyer originally found your website. Previously the default settings on Google Analytics and most other analytical programs was to track the last click as the goal source. For example:
If you have an online store that sells shoes and it’s named Tom’s Finest Shoes there’s an excellent chance that the majority of your organic search sales will be tracked back to branded searches for Tom’s Finest Shoes. This happens because most people that are shopping online don’t purchase right away. Here’s how it works.
- Joe types into Google: discount Shoes
- Joe ends up at Tom’s Finest Shoes website
- After visiting a few pages Joe clicks the back button back to Google and browses a few different sites.
- Later that day Joe decides to go back to Tom’s Finest Shoes website, but he doesn’t remember the website address.
- Joe does remember the name of the business so he types in Tom’s Finest Shoes
- Joe gets to the website and makes the sale. He buys SHOES!
- Google Analytics now registers the “sale”. On the next days report it shows that somebody purchased shoes and they found the website by typing in “Tom’s Finest Shoes”.
Do you see the problem? Joe had never heard about this website before typing in “Discount Shoes”. When you look at it, “Discount Shoes” should get credit for the conversion / goal and not “Tom’s Finest Shoes”. Right? Do you see the issue here? I would guess the majority of small / mid-sized business websites track their sales on the last click. (If they track their goals at all.) The search for “Discount Shoes” should get the credit for this sale.
Enter Multi-Channel Funnels!
Now when tracking the data we can look at “first click”, “second click”, etc. We can look at all the visits over the last month. In fact, we now can view the relationship between social, email newsletters, referral visits, paid visits, organic visits and direct visits. This will change the way you look at your data and your online sales. You now have “real data” that is much more actionable before.
I’ve only had a few hours to study this new feature today, but it changes the game as far as determining what channels are working and how they are working together. Instead of branded search having a much higher conversion rate we are finding that the branded search is just the last click. The first click was an unbranded organic search.
This should be a very exciting development for the business or SEO firm that doesn’t have a talented programmer or expert google analytics person on staff or retainer. I say this because the Multi-Channel Funnel has been available for a few years “if” you were an advanced google analytics users. Most organizations don’t have this advanced person. This evens the playing field a bit. Interested and want to learn more? To learn more about this watch Google’s Video Post.