How to Get Multi-Touch Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics

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If you are serious about your web marketing, you will have conversion tracking in place. This allows you to measure the return from your website in terms of leads, or sales or whatever metric works for you. It allows you to assess the contribution of various traffic sources to your efforts and measure your ROI. It is, in short, vital.

Conversion tracking has a problem because most analytics solutions are using last touch tracking. When a visitor buys from your site (or completes any goal you choose to measure), the credit is given to the most recent source. The reality is that purchases don’t always come in a single session and often involve multiple touch points from multiple channels. We spoke about this when we discussed how Last Touch Attribution Sucks in this post on your most valuable traffic sources.  The final referring source for your completed goals is important information but what about how the visitor first found your site?  What other referral sources contributed?  To get this information you need multi-touch conversion tracking or what Google calls Multi-Channel Funnels.

This used to be a lot more difficult than it is now.  A few months ago you’d have to find Google’s beta test of Multi-Channel Funnels and go ask to be added.  A few months before that you’d have had to code your own solution.  Basically, that means that you’d have had to guess.  Now it’s pretty easy.  In late August, Google announced that Multi-Channel Funnels would be available to all Google Analytics users.

Setting Up Multi-Touch Tracking

I am assuming here that you already have goal tracking and / or e-commerce tracking set up through your Google Analytics.

To get multi-touch tracking you need to switch to the new version of Google Analytics.  Click on  ”New Version” towards the top-right of the page:

Select the site that you want to look at then select “Conversions” from the left-hand menu column:

Now select “Multi-Channel Funnels”:

Multi-Channel Funnels is broken down into 5 sections.  The one that I’m interested in right now is Assisted Conversions, so click on that:

You should see a report breaking down your conversions according to the referring channel and giving data on both assisted conversions and “Last Interaction” conversions.  I’ve had to black out the data from the screenshot below in order to protect the innocent.  I feel a bit like the FBI.

I often have several different goals set up for one site and depending on how this is done, it might be important to look at them separately.   In these cases, you might need to choose only a single goal to analyse at once.

Also, really useful is the “First Interaction Analysis” which breaks down goals and goal value by the first source the visitor used to find your site.

The assisted conversion figures can be a bit confusing.  Another thing to note is that although Google is tracking interactions between the visitor and your site across multiple sessions, it is only doing so for a 30 day period.  If the first visit was more than 30 days prior to the conversion then it won’t be tracked in this report.

Multi-Channel Funnels may not be perfect but Google Analytics has taken a big step forward with the introduction of multi-touch conversion tracking.  You’ll still have more to do to fully understand and interpret your traffic and referral sources but at least now you have a measure for sources that contribute to conversions across multiple visits.

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One Response to “How to Get Multi-Touch Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics”

  1. says:

    How to Get Multi-Touch Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics…

    Conversion tracking has a problem. Most solutions are using last touch tracking. When someone buys from your site, credit is given to the last referrer. Purchases don’t always come in a single visit and you’d like a picture of all the channels that co…