Google Analytics Adds Multi-Channel Funnels

Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels

Google has some exciting news for Google Analytics users, as they have just introduced (active immediately – and filled with your existing data) multi-channel funnels.

Traditionally, the only source which received credit for a sale was the last one through which a customer reached your site.

If, for instance, a user first found you through a paid ad, then later found your site through organic search, and finally converted after coming to you from your Facebook page – only Facebook would receive credit. With the new system, you can see the complex path that lead to a sale.

As Google says:

When a customer buys or converts on your site, most conversion tracking tools credit the most recent link or ad clicked. In reality though, customers research, compare and make purchase decisions via multiple touch points across multiple channels. So marketers that measure return solely on the last channel that a customer touches before conversion are getting an incomplete picture, and potentially missing out on important opportunities to reach their customers.

Finding Multi-Channel Funnels

To use multi-channel funnels, visit Google Analytics, and make sure you’re using the new interface (if any of this sounds confusing, check out my Google Analytics Guide). It’s located under the “My Conversions” menu:

Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels Location

Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels Location

Multi-Channel Funnels Data

I’ve just started to explore it, but there’s clearly a lot of neat data in your multi-channel funnels. For instance:

Multi-Channel Conversion Visualizer

This chart can show what percentage of your visitors came via a particular combination of sources. Here’s one showing that .74% of conversions came to my site through direct, organic search, and referral sources before converting:

Multi-Channel Conversion Visualizer

Multi-Channel Conversion Visualizer

Assisted Conversions

The assisted conversions report allows you to look at different sources, and see how many times they were the last source (traditional reported conversion), versus the first or intermediary source.

Top Conversion Paths

This easy-to-read report looks like:

Top Conversion Paths

Top Conversion Paths Report

You can see how many conversions came through each source combination.

Time Lag

Another fairly simple report is the time lag – you can see the time between the first source and the final conversion. It’s interesting how long these can stretch out:

Multi-Channel Conversion - Time Lag

Multi-Channel Conversion - Time Lag

Path Length

And one final report – the number of interactions before conversion:

Multi-Channel Conversion - Path Length

Multi-Channel Conversion - Path Length


Although I’m just getting started with the new Google Analytics Multi-Channel funnels – it’s definitely an exciting addition. Multi-channel capability was one of the few features present in more high-end analytics packages that Google Analytics has always lacked. In particular, it makes it easier to determine the value of your paid ad campaigns, which may be a frequent 1st source, not receiving full credit as a traditional conversion, because people revisit through organic search, email, or social channels before finally converting.

I suggest you visit Google Analytics and check out your multi-channel funnels report, or if you haven’t installed tracking on your site – read my guide to get started.

via Google Analytics Blog: Introducing Multi-Channel Funnels: discover untapped opportunities in your conversion path.

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11 Responses to “Google Analytics Adds Multi-Channel Funnels”

  1. Jo Shaer` September 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    I’m hoping this means there will no longer be any excuse for discrepancies between Adwords reporting and Analytics figures of site visits… And thank you for the guide, that will be very helpful 🙂

    • Chris Piepho September 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

      Thanks Jo, I’m glad you liked the guide. Adwords and Analytics do report on something fundamentally different (ie, clicks to your site, versus number of people that load up and run the Analytics tracking code) so I doubt they’ll ever be identical – although I think the difference right now may reflect even more than that issue.

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