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12 Sep 2011

Google introduces Multi-Channel Funnels

by Richard Lyne

At the end of August Google announced the introduction of Multi-Channel Funnels, with a promise to uncover “untapped opportunities in your conversion path”.  In real terms, what does this update actually mean for online marketers? Quite a lot really.

Digital marketing has always been more measurable than its offline counterparts, though it would be untrue to claim that we could attribute fully the source of a conversion or sale. This is because analytics packages like Google Analytics record a conversion based on the last interaction. However, there is often more than one interaction from more than one source before a sale/conversion is completed.

Multi-Channel Funnels remedy this problem by being able to distinguish between assisted and un-assisted conversions and by demonstrating the paths that users took on their way to converting:

Google Multi-Funnel

Based on the above, we can now understand how each channel or source typically supports the others and how many conversions is the result of an assist. Hugo Boss took part in the pilot for this feature, learning that nearly 2 out of 3 online sales involved multiple touch points.
One of the key features, however, is the ability to create custom channel groupings – from an SEO and PPC perspective, this will act as an additional measure to see how they may complement the other. It has long been known that PPC traffic often leads to organic visits and conversions (or how keyword searches have had brand-based secondary visits and conversions) – this feature should bring this to life.
One thing that Multi-Channel Funnels can’t remedy is the use of multiple devices – these days web users move from desktops to smart phones and back before they complete a transaction, so we will forever be in the dark on this one. However, this really is a welcome addition to Google Analytics and we at Wickedweb look forward to using it across our clients’ multi-channel campaigns. 

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