One of our most confident predictions for social media in 2013 is that the demand for measuring the return on investment of social media activity will increase. This and the increasing integration that we have seen of all the digital marketing disciplines have lead me to find out more about multi-channel funnels in Google Analytics.
What are Multi-Channel Funnels and why should I care?
It seems to be catching on that the last-click attribution measurement may not give you the whole picture when you are looking at your web analytics. The decision as to which channels and devices to invest in is an important one and ought to be made on the most complete information available. Last-click attribution means that analytics will show you what your customer/user clicked on last before they converted (For example, the user saw one of your paid adverts, clicked through it onto your website and bought something. Google will attribute this conversion to paid advertising). However, this doesn’t take into account all the other times they have been on your website, which may well have been a factor in them converting that final time. They could have found you on Google, looked you up on Facebook and then clicked on your advert. Multi-Channel Funnels will be able to tell you if this is the case.
Universal Analytics, the new version of Google Analytics, is still in beta phase, but it promises to change how we use attribution. As you can see from the image, UA will let us compare conversion results from different attribution models using the ‘Attribution Modelling Tool’. This lets you compare last interaction to first interaction, position based or time decay attribution, to name 3 of 7 current possible models. You can also customise your models. UA will track the Customer ID from their first visit, even if they change device.
This is all very exciting, but I think it is still important to remember that your customer is the most important asset to your business. To get the most out of MCF, you need to look into how and where you can reach new and returning customers in the most efficient way. Do not just rely on attribution modelling.
How do I find MCFs?
The Multi-Channel Funnels (MCF) tab is under the Conversions section of Google Analytics. There is some prerequisite work that you will need to do to be able to see this information. You will need to have goals/conversion tracking and campaign tagging set up on all your campaigns, regardless of whether they are social media or paid advertising campaigns. . The user who visits your website will then be tracked for 30 days, so no matter which way they reach your website, you’ll know about it.
Other than the overview (image above), the different sections of the MCFs are:
- Assisted Conversions (How many conversions were influenced by each traffic source group)
- Top Conversion Paths (How many times and by which source each converter has reached your website)
- Time Lag (How many days since the user’s first visit and conversion)
- Path Length (How many times each converter visited your website before they converted.)
- Attribution Modelling Tool (Outlined above)
Want to know more?