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How a Ministry Should Use Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics

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Google Multi Level FunnelA few months ago Google Analytics announced that Multi-Channel Funnels are now operational and open for all Analytics users. What does this mean to your ministry? It means that if you track goals or e-commerce conversions you now have a much better sense of how your supporters originally found your website. Previously the default settings on Google Analytics and most other analytical programs was to track the last click as the goal source. For example:

If you have an online bookstore that sells your christian resources, and it’s named Charlotte Christian Bookstore there’s an excellent chance that the majority of your organic search sales will be tracked back to branded searches for Charlotte Christian Bookstore. This happens because most people that are shopping online don’t purchase right away. Here’s how it works:

  1. Joe types into Google: Charlotte Christian Bookstore
  2. Joe ends up at New Creations Bookstore’s website.
  3. After visiting a few pages Joe clicks the back button back to Google and browses a few different sites.
  4. Later that day Joe decides to go back to New Creations Bookstore’s website, but he doesn’t remember the website address.
  5. Joe does remember the name of the bookstore so he types in New Creations Bookstore.
  6. Joe gets to the website and purchases resources. He buys a few Christian books
  7. Google Analytics now registers the “sale”. On the next days report it shows that somebody purchased Christian books and they found the website by typing in “New Creations Bookstore”.

Do you see the problem? Joe had never heard about this website before typing in “Charlotte Christian Bookstore”. When you look at it, “Charlotte Christian Bookstore” should get credit for the conversion / goal and not “New Creations Bookstore”. Right? Do you see the issue here? I would guess the majority of ministries track their donations / gifts on the last click. (If they track their goals at all.) The search for “Charlotte Christian Bookstore” should get the credit for this sale.

Enter Multi-Channel Funnels!

Now when tracking the data we can look at “first click”, “second click”, etc. We can look at all the visits over the last month. In fact, we now can view the relationship between social, email newsletters, referral visits, paid visits, organic visits and direct visits. This will change the way you look at your data and your online sales. You now have “real data” that is much more actionable than before.

This update changed the game as far as determining what channels are working and how they are working together. Instead of branded search having a much higher conversion rate we are finding that the branded search is just the last click. The first click was an unbranded organic search. Interested and want to learn more? To learn more about this watch Google’s Video Post.

This blog post was written by Eric Fransen. Eric has been involved with the Internet Marketing industry since the late 1990’s and is the owner and a “Trusted Advisor” for Klik Marketing, an online marketing firm based in Charlotte, NC.

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