Google Analytics un Tuesday, October 11 hosted a webinar about “Multi-Channel Funnels.” During the presentation Goolge fielded a lots of questions from participants; below you’ll find responses to some top questions — as well as a video recording of the webinar embedded below:
“In Analytics, conversions and ecommerce transactions are credited to the last campaign, search, or ad that referred the visitor when he or she converted. But what role did prior website referrals, searches and ads play in that conversion? How much time passed between the visitor’s initial interest and his or her purchase?
The Multi-Channel Funnels reports answer these questions and others by showing how your marketing channels (i.e. sources of traffic to your website) work together to create sales and conversions.”
Here are the questions asked during the webinar — Per Google’s blog post:
How do I access the Multi-Channel Funnels reports?
Multi-Channel Funnels (MCF) reports are available in all Google Analytics (GA) accounts and can be found in the standard reporting tab: click on Conversions at the left-hand side of the user interface, then click Multi-Channel Funnels. To access the MCF reports, you must be using the new version of GA, (check the link at the top right of your user interface). In order to have data populated, the profile must have at least one active goal or have ecommerce tracking. (Also note that if you have filters on your profiles, MCF reports may not give accurate results because filtered profiles include only a subset of your traffic and can therefore cause certain interactions from users prior to conversion to be excluded.)
Are special tags required for Multi-Channel Funnels? What about for paid or social campaigns?
Multi-Channel Funnels uses the same Google Analytics site and campaign tagging that other reports in GA use, so there is no additional site tagging required. All types of campaigns, including paid campaigns on social networks, can be manually tagged using Google Analytics URL parameters. The help center has more details on campaign tagging.
How do you recommend tracking conversions for both ecommerce and non-ecommerce sites?
Conversions are measured based on the goals or ecommerce tracking you have set up in Google Analytics. You can create goals for many different kinds of events on your site, not just ecommerce transactions. For instance, you could create a goal to track when a lead form is submitted, or when a PDF is downloaded. Once you’ve created goals, you can view MCF reports in aggregate, or you can select the specific goal you’d like to analyze from the “Conversions” drop down at the top of the reports.
How are conversions measured if a user has purchased two different times in the same month?
Each conversion path is treated separately, so there would be a unique conversion path for each of the two conversions, even if by the same user. Note that MCF reports look only at the paths of visitors who converted, not those who did not convert; conversion rate metrics are not included in these reports.
Can you manually change the Time Lag lookback window?
The Time Lag window is currently set to 30 days. We’ve found that this time period covers a wide range of use cases and provides rich data for most users. User objectives may vary, so we are exploring ways to provide different lookback options. At this time we have nothing to announce.
Is Multi-Channel Funnel data retroactive? How far back does it go?
Yes, it is retroactive until the beginning of this year (January 2011).
How do Multi-Channel Funnels reports handle display interactions?
A display interaction is a click to your site from a display ad. To track these interactions as “display,” you can create a custom channel grouping and specify parameters for display. For clicks from the Google Display Network, you can group these by setting the Ad Distribution Network to Content. Note that display impressions are not included in Multi-Channel funnels data. Only clicks and visits to the site are tracked at this time. This is an area of interest, but we have nothing to announce at this time.
How do I define certain pages as “Social” for the Multi-Channel Reports?
The Basic Channel Grouping in Multi-Channel Funnels assesses the traffic source and automatically classifies referrals from about 150 domains as Social Networks. The help center includes a description of the basic channel groupings. You can see the list by creating a copy of the basic channel grouping and editing the Social Network channel grouping.
What are best practices for using Channel Groupings in Multi-Channel Funnels?
The rules used to create the basic channel groupings are described in the help center, which also includes further information on using channel groupings. Note that channel groupings are only available in MCF reports and cannot be used in other GA reports at this time.
Why are there discrepancies between Multi-Channel reports and My Site reports for ecommerce stats of AdWords traffic?
As mentioned during the webinar, the data in the Multi-Channel Funnel reports can currently be 24-36 hours delayed beyond the data shown in other Google Analytics reports. As such, if the date range selected includes the most recent 2-3 days, there can be differences between the two reports. For older date ranges, the conversion counts and ecommerce totals should match.
Is remarketing counted as display activity?
Any campaign can be tracked by following GA parameters. You can define how remarketing is included or not included in channel groupings and with custom campaigns.
How is the value of first interactions, last interactions, and assist interactions calculated?
Any click from a channel to your website is counted as an interaction. When a user converts, Multi-Channel Funnel reports combine these different interactions into a full conversion path. You can read more about interactions and channel contributions here. Note that assist interactions exclude the last interaction.
Can Multi-Channel Funnel data be exported through the API?
No, Multi-Channel Funnel data is not yet available through the API, but this functionality is planned.
Please also check our help center for further details on all of your questions!