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September 6 2011

Tutorial: Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics, Part 2: Conversion Segments


About a week and a half ago, we blogged about the new Multi-Channel Funnels reporting suite in the new version of Google Analytics. If you didn’t catch it last time, read that blog post first before continuing with this blog post.

Today, we’re going to kick it up a few notches and showcase one of the two powerful, advanced features of this amazing new functionality known as Conversion Segments. Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics, by itself, is fantastic. Therefore, what would you call Multi-Channel Funnels, given the fact that you can apply default or customize conversion segments for in-depth insights, analysis, and outcomes? Super-fantastic? Hyper-awesome?

Get ready to come up with some hyphenated-adjectives.

Applying Conversion Segments to your Multi-Channel Funnels Reports

In our last blog post, we showed you how Multi-Channel Funnels work, as well as what assists, paths, and time lag were and how they are incorporated into this new reporting section.

Like all data that you see in your Google Analytics account, you are viewing the entire set of collected conversion and Multi-Channel Funnel data when you log-in to your account and click over to this section. Just like you would apply an advanced segment in a standard Google Analytics report to extract valuable insights and perform great analysis, you can apply the equivalent of the Multi-Channel Funnels report section, which are known as Conversion Segments.

At the top of all reports in Multi-Channel Funnels, you’ll see the following Conversion Segments drop-down button as shown in this image:


Upon clicking on the Conversion Segments button, you’ll find nine default conversion segments and check boxes next to each one, which allow you to compare up to four conversion segments simultaneously (just like you can compare up to four advanced segments in the standard Google Analytics reports):


For those of you familiar with advanced segments, you’ll recognize the next screen-shot, which shows a comparison between three conversion segments (First Interaction is Paid Advertising; First Interaction is Direct; and First Interaction is Organic Search):


You can always “un-compare” the conversion segments and view conversion data for all traffic by re-tracing your steps and leaving only All Conversions selected (look at the screen-shot from two images ago).

Creating a New Conversion Segment

On the right-hand side of the drop-down table that appears when you click on the Conversion Segments button, you see a large space underneath a heading of User-Defined Segments. This will be the place where you can come to access and apply any Custom Conversion Segments that you’ve created. In this same area, notice the Create New Conversion Segment link, in blue. You’ll want to click on this link to do exactly what it says.


Again, if you’ve ever created a custom advanced segment, the following procedure should be very familiar to you. With a Custom Conversion Segment, you define the rules for what Google Analytics should show you, when applied within Multi-Channel Funnels.

First, give your Conversion Segment a name. Then, you’ll have to answer some questions about how you want your conversion data to appear. Before we cover that, refer to this next screen-shot to follow along:


After giving your Conversion Segment a name, indicate whether your segment will include (keep) or exclude (remove) the data based upon the rules that you’re going to create. Then select the conversion path type that this segment will be applied to (you can choose from types such as Any Interaction, First Interaction, Conversion Value, and more). After that, select the dimension that you’d like this conversion segment to be integrated with (several dimensions are available, like Source, Medium, Keyword, Campaign, Display URL, and others).

Following that, choose a criteria (Will this segment start with something? Will it end with something? Will it match a regular expression?). Next, select a frequency (Example: did this occur more than 1 time? Did this happen less than 5 times? Most of the time you’ll leave this to say “Greater Than 0 Times”, but you can get creative if you wish).

For the majority of the Custom Conversion Segments you create, you’ll stop here, but there will be times where you’ll want to add conditional “or / and” statements to add inclusion criteria to your new segment.

When you’re finished, hit Save Segment at the bottom of this table. You’ll see your new conversion segment in action, as it compares to all of your conversion traffic (Side Note: 13% of my conversions include keywords containing the word “the”. How insightful is that?).


That pretty much covers our tutorial on Conversion Segments within Multi-Channel Funnels, but keep checking our blog regularly, as we still have another great, in-depth tutorial of another feature built within Multi-Channel Funnels to review.

In the meantime, log-in to your Google Analytics account and start interacting with Conversion Segments today!

August 26 2011

Tutorial: Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics, Part 1: The Basics


The big news of the week came from the wonderful folks at Google Analytics, whom introduced the new Multi-Channel Funnels reporting section to the general public.

What is Multi-Channel Funnels?

Multi-Channel Funnels is more than just a new reporting section – it’s a new way of life for advertisers who live and die by customer acquisition (goal completions, outcomes, and sales). Google Analytics has clearly raised the bar and has taken outcome measurement to the next level by showing all visitor paths that led to a conversion or a sale in a 30-day time period, not just showing a visitor’s last click (path) that led to a conversion or a sale.

What Does Multi-Channel Funnels mean for advertisers?

This new “way of life” means that you will be able to associate value (credit) to visitor sessions that transpired before the session that included a visitor conversion. For example, let’s say that a visitor came to your website three different times and converted on the third time to your website. Let’s also say that this visitor came to your site on those three times via the following ways:

1. A non-paid Google Visit (Google Organic)
2. A paid Google Visit (Google AdWords)
3. An email marketing initiative.

Traditionally, Google Analytics would have assigned the conversion for this visitor to the last interaction that occurred before a conversion, namely the email marketing initiative in the above example. The two prior visits from Google, paid and organic, would not have received any credit or attribution for the conversion.

Now, with Multi-Channel Funnels, this visitor’s three interactions from three different traffic sources will all receive attribution for the conversion, which allows advertisers to see a clearer picture of not just one marketing initiative, but the effectiveness of advertiser’s entire marketing strategy.

What reports are available with Multi-Channel Funnels?

Currently, there are five separate reports in the new Multi-Channel Funnels reporting section. You can find Multi-Channel Funnels in your Google Analytics account by clicking on the My Conversions tab on the top navigation menu and clicking on the Multi-Channel Funnels menu item:


The five new reports in this section include:

  • Overview. A top-level view of your conversions and your assisted conversions (the conversions that included more than one session to conversion). It includes the following conversion visualizer, where you will begin to see the power and magnitude of this new feature set (broken down into two images below):



  • Assisted Conversions. This report will show you which channel grouping conversions included assists. It will also show you which channel groups recorded traditional “last-click” conversions and the value of your conversions. You can toggle this report to show you assists by source, medium, campaign, keyword, or any AdWords dimension by clicking on the appropriate link on the top of the reporting table.


  • Top Conversion Paths. This report will show you all of the different paths that visitors have taken in a 30-day time period to convert. This report can be toggled by path length (All paths, 2 or more paths, 3 paths, 4 paths, 5 paths, etc…). You can also toggle this by other traffic sources dimensions, like medium, keyword, or campaign.


  • Time Lag. This report gives you a sense of your conversion cycle. How many days, weeks, or months does it take your visitors to convert? What is the value of your visitor conversion cycle? This report aims at breaking this information down in a simple-to-use histogram:


  • Path Length. Similar to the Time Lag report, Path Length provides a summary of how many paths (sessions) it is taking visitors to convert on your website.


What else can I do with Multi-Channel Funnels?

A lot more! Not only can you extract rich, valuable insights from this data, you can create your own Conversion Segments, as well as your own Custom Channel Groupings.

Both of those actions are ones that we would consider “more advanced”, so we’ll reserve them for another blog post in the very near future.

Log-in to your Google Analytics today and start interacting with this powerful new report section that will help you see your entire marketing strategy across multiple visitor sessions.

August 19 2011

Don’t Forget About the Google Analytics Website!


As a Google Analytics Certified Partner, we obviously give a lot of love to the Google Analytics product suite. We constantly talk about new features, product updates, reporting sections, and share great insights into the ever-growing and ever-increasing-in-popularity world of web analytics.

Most of us that log-in to our Google Analytics accounts do so via their website – Others log-in through their AdWords accounts, and a few of you bypass the user-interfaces and log-in via the Google Analytics API. Regardless of how you access your account, one thing is for sure: most of us have forgotten about the actual Google Analytics website!

Why is this the case? Is that blue Access Analytics button on the right-hand side of the Google Analytics homepage too persuasive? Are we just not aware that there is a whole world of rich, shiny, resourceful objects right outside the window of our accounts? Whatever the reason is, we don’t know, but what we do know is that it’s time we put on our shoes and took a walk outside of our Google Analytics account homes to get some fresh air, smell the flowers, and get a taste of all of the great analytics resources Google has waiting for you.

Ready? Here we go:

1. The Google Analytics Blog.
That “Recent Blog Posts” table on the right-hand side of your account’s home page comes from the Google Analytics blog, an outstanding resource to keep yourself updated of any changes, new features, and guest blog posts, like the one I wrote over 2 years ago on the now defunct User-Defined Report.

2. Research Study by Forrester Research.
In Late 2009, Forrester Research was commissioned by Google to appraise the investment potential in enterprise-level analytics platforms, and how Google Analytics stacks up against that market segment. The link above opens a PDF file, and it’s accessible at the bottom of the Google Analytics homepage.

3. The Google Analytics App Gallery.
Want to enhance your measurement experience? Try out some of the great Google Analytics apps in the App Gallery, including apps for mobile, call tracking, and offline spreadsheet data management.

4. Analytics Set-Up Checklist.
A great stand-alone reference checklist that helps ensure you get the most out of your Google Analytics account. Each checklist item has a link for more information.

5. Google Analytics Help Center.
The full Google Analytics document library. Includes definitions, frequently asked questions, and metric / dimension overviews, as well as best practice guides for implementation and analysis.

6. Google Analytics User Forum.
A user-generated discussion forum on every aspect of Google Analytics that you can possibly imagine. Report issues, review other analytics user’s posts, and see feedback from Google and Top Contributors.

7. Google Code – Google Analytics.
Techies, webmasters, and implementation folks, this resource is tailor-made for you. All technical schematics, code examples, SDK libraries and management API documents are available here.

8. Google Analytics IQ.
Test your Google Analytics knowledge by studying for and passing the Google Analytics IQ exam. As Google Analytics Certified Partners, we regularly review the instructional videos and re-take our exams to stay on the cutting edge of all things Google Analytics.

9. The Google Analytics YouTube Channel.
There are some amazing series of videos on this YouTube channel – everything from basic tutorials, in-class presentations and the extremely popular Web Analytics TV episodes can be found here.

10. Google Analytics Status Dashboard
Okay, so this resource is very difficult to find off of the Google Analytics website. Nonetheless, you should bookmark it and check it whenever you notice a service interruption – your issue may have already been reported here.

And, of course, you can follow Google Analytics on Twitter (@googleanalytics).

We hope that the next time you’re in the mood to venture outside your Google Analytics account that you won’t forget about the many resources available on the Google Analytics website. It’s there for you!

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