Using Google Analytics Multi Channel Funnels and Custom Segments

Posted on 13. Jul, 2011 by in Stats & Trends

”Note: The Google Analytics feature called Multi-Channel Funnels discussed in this blog post is in limited pilot. That means that Google Analytics is testing the feature and its usefulness to a small group of trusted testers, and have not made any plans or a timeline for a full launch.”

Multi-Channel Funnels from Google Analytics are a hugely welcome addition to the data portfolio we have for our clients. As a cross digital marketing agency it’s essential that we optimise the blend of digital channels and Multi Channel Funnel reports give insight into:

  • How visitors interact with different marketing channels
  • Campaign and keyword interaction en-route to conversion
  • Channel/Campaign assistance levels

From a marketing perspective this type of data is gold dust. It can be used to answer questions like:

Anyone working in internet marketing will be familiar with this question, and the challenges it brings. It’s vital that we understand how customers are interacting with different combinations of channels or keywords, and transitioning from one to another.

In this post I thought it would be useful to play around with customer segments to highlight how to extract this information from the Multi Channel Funnel reports. I picked the following question as an example:

Answering the question with the Top Conversion Paths Report

To get quick insight into this, look at the “Top Conversion Paths” report:

This allows you to see the various channel interactions en route to conversion, and highlight when key transitions are occurring:

The ‘Limitation’ to the Top Conversion Paths Report

However, in the initial stage we might not care about each and every path. What we need is a bottom line view of the impact of one channel or campaign on another. We can’t quite get that from the Top Conversion Paths Report as it breaks everything down to the path level.  We want to see the sum total regardless of the path variations.

Answering the Question Using a Conversion Segment

Luckily the Multi Channel Reports still allow you to answer this question by using a Conversion Segment. Conversion Segments are similar to the regular Google Analytics Custom Segments but apply to the data we are use in the Multi Channel Funnel reports.

To get our answer we can segment the Assisted Conversions report to show the number of last click conversions by any channel that involved an assist from the Paid Search channel.

To do this we create a “Paid Search Assists” segment like the one below:

We then apply this segment to the Assisted Conversion report and we check the total number of last click conversions for any channel that involved a paid search assist.

This gives us a great piece of easy insight into how Paid Search is driving sales or conversions via other channels and we can create other similar segments to get the same insight for other channels.

Look out for our next analytics post where we’ll look at how to combine Conversion Segments with Custom Channel groupings to analyse generic and brand interactions.

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  • Matthew Wood

    Thanks for the insight Luke, this looks like it’s going to be pretty powerful in terms of attribution.

  • D. (Web Analytics

    We’re using this already for a while now and it is really a great way to have new insights in campaigns. Hope this will be standard asap.