“Is there a way to track how customers are engaging with my brand?”

“Is there a way to track how customers are engaging with my brand?” You might also pose the question like this: “What are my customers actually engaging with?” and “What marketing tactics are driving real customers?”

To answer the first version of the question, yes. There’s a way to track how customers are engaging with your brand, what customers are actually engaging with, and what marketing tactics are driving customers. It’s called Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels.

This tool is amazing when you’re looking to optimize your online sales or if you’re interested in increasing phone calls/emails. Really, if you’re interested in anything that falls between the lines of sales and marketing, Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel tool will be important to learn.

We emphasize customers because, in this exercise, we’re not just tracking traffic channels. Understanding where users are coming from is essential to every marketing strategy, but in this guide, we’re discussing where actual customers are hanging around so you can achieve these goals:

  • Dedicate your time to marketing channels that are actually driving sales
  • Lower your time/effort/spend on marketing activities that aren’t driving sales
  • Give your customers a better experience throughout

Need help? For small business owners, agencies, and readers who don’t have the tools or aren’t interested in diving into the data, connect with our team directly for help and support. In addition to answering your questions, Data Driven Marketers take care of these tasks for you:

  • Export Multi-Channel Funnel data into an easy-to-read report
  • Analyze this data to deliver actionable next steps
  • Prepare executive Multi-Channel Funnel reports for marketing teams, boards of directors, and other marketing executives
  • Configure and optimize Google Analytics

What are Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels?

Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel tracking is a mouthful, so we’re just going to call it MCF. MCFs describe the benchmarking of conversion data with the sequence of interactions captured in a tracking cookie. In simplified terms, MCF tracking is a report in Google Analytics. It’s looking at goals you set up in Google Analytics and the pages/channels your customers visited before buying anything. 

Note: To get this data, you’ll need to have Google Analytics installed, verified, and active for ~60+ days. You’ll also need to configure, test, and launch Google Analytics goals.

Where to find MCF in Google Analytics

  1. Login to Google Analytics.
    • Note: This is NOT GA4. GA4 is another type of analytics option with Google, but it doesn’t provide the same report.
  2. Navigate to your desired Account > Property > View.
    • If it’s not already set up, we recommend creating a view that excludes your company’s or agency’s IP address(es). This will filter out any test data with your goals.
  3. Locate “Conversions” in the left menu bar. Open the dropdown menu and navigate to Multi-Channel Funnels > Top Conversion Paths.
  4. Set your desired date range.
  5. Filter by MCF channel grouping path, Source, Medium, Source/Medium, acquisition or Google Ads, landing page link, or other.
  6. To download the report: Navigate to the top navigation bar. Open “Export” and select PDF or CSV.

The data in MCF tracking

Multi-Channel Funnel (MCF) tracking is looking at the journey of a customer who completed a goal. Here’s what it does more specifically:

  • MCF channel grouping path: MCF is looking at Channel visits.
    • Organic Search
    • Direct Visit
    • Paid Ad
    • Social Media
    • Referral Channel
  • MCF Source, Medium, Source/Medium: MCF is looking at traffic Source.
    • Search engine (Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, etc.)
    • Social media channel (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
    • Site referral (not specific or specific to popular source)
    • Email marketing newsletter
    • Paid search
    • Direct
    • Display
  • MCF Other
    • MCF can search by popular keywords. (It’s not the best tool, but it’s there! Ask us why.)
    • MCF can display data for a specific landing page URL.
    • MCF can pull data from Google Ad campaigns:
      • Destination URL
      • Display URL
      • Keyword path
      • And more

Looking at this long list, if you’re as excited as we are, it’s easy to get ahead of things. This list has infinite combinations and infinite data sets to analyze (specifically for large sites). It’s important to remember what data is relevant to your goals. Here are some goals you might have and how to get there:

Determine what page(s) on your site are driving the most goal completions

Sort (make your ‘primary dimension’) Other > Acquisition > Landing Page URL Path

In this example, we’re seeing how many goals were completed on each landing page. The top page with 75 goal completions (conversions) should be a landing page we model to increase sales.

Determine what social media channel is driving the most goal completions

Sort (make your ‘primary dimension’) Source/Medium Path > (use the search box if your list is expansive) Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

In this example, we’re seeing how many goals were completed though each social channel path. (We searched for “Facebook.”) Looking at the top conversion with 66 completions, we’ll want to continue running paid Facebook campaigns. Even though our Facebook ads may not drive conversions through Facebook, we counted 66 users who came back through a direct visit to complete our goal.

Determine how many channels (and what channels) your customers typically visit before completing a goal

Sort (make your ‘primary dimension’) MCF Channel Grouping Path > (make your ‘secondary dimension’) Acquisition > Source Path

In this example, we’re seeing a customer’s journey from first to last website visit. With 122 conversions, we can confidently say that users who see our display ads (specifically on Google), re-visit us directly to complete the deal. To increase goals, we should consider increasing display ad spend.

And more

We’ll continue to update this list to provide additional examples/scenarios.

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