Don't Leave Data on the Table
If you haven’t already updated to the new version of Google Analytics, now available in beta, you probably should. One of the biggest upgrades available is the introduction of Multi-Channel Funnels, allowing users the ability to track conversions from a variety of unique marketing channels over the course of several days, weeks, or even months. This new-found insight paints a clearer picture of the pathways consumers take to make a purchase, often some combination of social networks, organic and paid search, and display ads.
Since accurate, up-to-date measurement is fundamental to increasing conversion rates and ROI, a more comprehensive view of how a visitor gets to that final click has been necessary for some time, if only because of the rapidly increasing influence of social media channels. Measuring conversions solely on the last channel that a customer touches before conversion only gives you the denouement of the story, thereby leaving out most of the setting, plot, and characters. In explaining their new tool, Google likens a conversion to a field goal in basketball: when a basket is scored, it is most likely the result of several passes that lead to the assist, and ultimately, to the field goal. And multi-channel funnels in your web analytics turn you into the coach poring over game tape in the locker room.
Multi-channel funnels has been available as a paid service with a number of web analytics platforms, but until now Google Analytics only credited the most recent link or ad clicked. After the prolonged pleadings of many long-time Analytics users, Google finally rolled out this new addition with the most recent updates. It’s easy to set up too:
Upgrade to the latest update of Google Analytics
Make sure your Adwords and Analytics accounts are linked
Click on the My Conversions tab
You can now get historic data back through January 2011
Recent studies have pointed out that today’s online consumers are pretty savvy, and tend to take their time to research and compare before making a purchase. This is even truer when they are planning on purchasing expensive items that are commonly associated with long buying cycles across many channels. By leveraging their vast stores of historical online visitor data, Google’s nascent multi-channel funnels tool may very well soon leap ahead of competitors that have offered a similar paid service for awhile now. And cracking the code of how consumers make their purchasing decisions will become that much closer to reality.