Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel Reports – Tutorial

Last Updated: January 7, 2022

What are Multi-Channel Funnel Reports in Google Analytics?

In Google Analytics, you can carry out Attribution Modelling through the multi-channel funnel reports.

Through multi-channel funnel reports, you can determine:

  1. How marketing channels work together to create conversions.
  2. How much time elapsed between visitors’ initial interest and their purchase
  3. What role did prior website referrals, searches and ads played in a conversion?
  4. How to attribute conversions to a marketing channel.

Note: The multi-channel funnel reports are also known as MCF reports.

How to access Multi-Channel Funnel Reports in Google Analytics?

You can access these reports by navigating to Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels in your GA reporting view:

Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel Reports

Types of Multi-Channel Funnel reports in Google Analytics

There are 8 types of multi-channel funnel reports available in Google Analytics:

#1 Overview report– This report contains a ‘multi-channel funnel conversion visualizer’ through which you can visualize how different marketing channels are working together to create conversions:

multi channel conversion visualizer

The overlapped areas show the channels which worked together to create conversions.

#2 Assisted Conversions Report – This report shows the number of conversions each marketing channel initiated, assisted and completed. It also shows the value of assisted and last interaction conversions.

#3 Top Conversion Path ReportThis report shows all of the unique conversion paths that lead to conversions. It also shows the number of conversions from each path and the value of those conversions.

#4 Time Lag Report This report shows how long it took (in days) for users/visitors to convert. Through this report, you can get an insight into the length of your online sales cycle.

#5 Path Length Report – This report shows the number of interactions it took for your website visitors to convert.

#6 Model Comparison Tool report – This report is used to compare different attribution models to each other in Google Analytics. 

#7 ROI Analysis report – This report is used to do ROI Analysis in Google Analytics. This report is available only to GA360 customers.

#8 Model Explorer report – This report is used to explore the data-driven attribution model.

attribution modelling ebook

My Step-By-Step Blueprint For Getting Started With Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics

Get the FREE e-book on Google Analytics Attribution Modelling (52 Pages)

Yes I want the FREE ebook

Understanding Conversions in the context of Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel Reports

The definition of conversion is different in multi-channel funnel reports. It can be a goal conversion and/or an ecommerce transaction.

The total conversions in multi-channel funnel reports are the sum of the total number of goal conversions and the total number of ecommerce transactions.

conversions-multi-channel-funnel
conversion2

Following is a short video on understanding conversions in the context of Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel (MCF) reports:

For the remainder of this article, whenever I talk about conversions, I am referring to conversions in the context of multi-channel funnels. 

If I am referring to goal conversions, I will explicitly mention it. So remember that and don’t get confused later on.

Data discrepancy between Multi-Channel Funnel Reports and other reports in Google Analytics

In multi-channel funnel reports, a conversion can be a goal conversion or ecommerce transaction.

Whereas in non-multi channel funnel reports, conversion means a goal conversion. The ecommerce transactions are reported separately in non-multi-channel funnel reports.

So the total number of conversions in multi-channel funnel reports can be different than the total number of conversions in non-multi channel funnel reports.

Also, Multi-channel funnel data collection lags by up to two days. So their results are temporary out of sync with non-multi channel funnel reports.

What is a Conversion Path in Google Analytics?

A conversion path is the sequence of interactions (clicks, visits, impressions) with digital marketing channels during the 1 to 90 days period that leads to conversions.

The period of 1 to 90 days prior to conversions is known as the lookback window:

look back window

Note: The lookback window is available in all MCF reports, and you can change the setting by dragging the slider.

Now consider the following hypothetical conversion path of a user:

conversion-path
Fig.1

Here a visitor is exposed to 6 marketing channels before he made a purchase. Google Analytics will show this conversion path in the ‘top conversion path report’ as:

google analytics attribution modeling
Fig.2

Note(1): The conversion path is created for each conversion recorded by Google Analytics.

Note(2): The conversion paths are recorded via _ga cookie. 

To know more about Google Analytics cookies, check out the article: How Google Analytics uses cookies.

Note(3): There is no limit to the number of conversion paths Google Analytics can record.

What is Multi-Channel Funnel Data in Google Analytics?

The multi-channel funnel data is a combination of conversion data and conversion paths and is compiled from un-sampled data

Since the multi-channel funnel data collection lags by up to two days, you may not see this data for today or yesterday in your multi-channel funnel reports.

You also won’t see this data if not a single conversion has occurred on your website in the last 90 days or conversion tracking has not been set up in your GA view.

What is an Interaction in Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels?

Interaction is exposure to a marketing channel. An interaction is also known as a touch.

For example, in the chart below, the visitor is exposed to six different marketing channels before he made a purchase:

interaction

Each exposure is known as an interaction in multi-channel funnel reports.

To learn more about interactions, read this article: Multi Touch Attribution in Google Analytics

Conversion Path Analysis in Multi-Channel Funnels Reports

You can analyze a conversion path by changing its primary dimension in the ‘Top Conversion Paths’ report:

channel-path

You can switch to the following 17 primary dimensions to analyze your conversion paths:

  1. MCF channel grouping path
  2. Source/medium path
  3. Source path
  4. Medium path
  5. Campaign path
  6. Campaign (or source/medium) path
  7. Keyword path
  8. Keyword (or source/medium) path
  9. Adwords campaign path
  10. Ad group path
  11. Adwords keyword path
  12. Ad content path
  13. Matched search query path
  14. Placement domain path
  15. Placement URL path
  16. Display URL path
  17. Destination URL path

All of these dimensions are pretty self-explanatory, and if you play with them, you can get a pretty good idea of how they can be used to analyze a conversion path.

You can access the last 13 dimensions by clicking on the ‘Other’ drop-down list in your Top Conversion Paths report:

others

Segmenting Conversion Paths in Multi-Channel Funnels Reports

You can segment conversion paths through conversion segments. They are just like the Google Analytics custom segments but are meant especially for multi-channel funnel data:

top conversion paths

So if you want to see all of those conversion paths where the first interaction was ‘paid search’, then select ‘First Interaction is Paid Advertising’ from the ‘Default Segments’ section and then click on the ‘Apply’ button.

Similarly,

If you want to see all of those conversion paths where the first interaction was ‘Facebook’, then create a new user-defined segment named ‘First Interaction is Facebook’ by clicking on the link ‘create new conversion segment’ and then click on the ‘Apply’ button.

Read this article to learn more about creating user-defined conversion segments: 8 Google Analytics Conversions Segments you Must use

Note: You should look at your multi-channel funnel reports in an unfiltered view. A filtered view can corrupt your conversion path data. Use ‘Conversion segments’ instead of filtered views.

  1. Using Assisted Conversions Report in Google Analytics
  2. How to use Top Conversion Paths Report in Google Analytics
  3. Time Lag Report vs Conversion Lag Report
  4. Path Length Report vs Conversion Path Length Report
  5. Model Comparison Tool in Google Analytics Explained
  6. Do ROI Analytics, Calculate ROAS in Google Analytics
  7. Data-Driven Attribution Model Explorer in Google Analytics

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."



Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.



   

My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and BeyondSECOND EDITION OUT NOW!
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder, OptimizeSmart.com
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade
error: Alert: Content is protected !!