Anatomy of Conversion

When asked what we do I typically don’t answer advertising, marketing or websites. Our business is all about customer acquisition. Our role is to affect that conversion from an anonymous person visiting the site to a contact, sale or lead. Its all about conversion. Websites, Facebook pages, blogs and other measures are tactics employed to affect that result.In digital marketing conversions and ecommerce transactions are credited to the last campaign, search, or ad that referred the visitor when he or she converted. But what role did prior website referrals, searches and ads play in that conversion? How much time passed between the visitor’s initial interest and his or her purchase?

The Multi-Channel Funnel

The Multi-Channel Funnel is the data related to how your marketing channels (i.e. sources of traffic to your website) work together to create sales and conversions.
For example, many people may purchase on your site after searching for your brand on Google. However, they may have been introduced to your brand via a blog or while searching for specific products and services. The Multi-Channel Funnels reports show how previous referrals, searches, and exposure to other channels contributed to your sales.

Conversion Paths

Conversion paths are the sequences of interactions (i.e. clicks/referrals from channels) during the 30 days that led up to each conversion and transaction. Conversion path data include interactions with virtually all digital channels. These channels include, but are not limited to:
  • paid and organic search (on all search engines along with the specific keywords searched)
  • referral sites
  • affiliates
  • social networks
  • email newsletters
  • display ads
  • custom campaigns that you’ve created, including offline campaigns that send traffic to vanity URLs

Multi-Channel Funnel Reports

For your digital campaign you should maintain regular multi-channel funnels to observe how your traffic sources work together to create sales and conversions. A conversion happens when a visitor completes an online purchase or an activity that you’ve defined as a goal.
  • See how search phrases progress towards conversions.
  • Know each traffic source’s role in driving conversions.
  • See each interaction in your sales cycle.
In the reports, channels are credited according to the roles they play in conversions– how often they assisted and/or completed sales and conversions. The report also shows how many sales and conversions each channel initiated, assisted and completed, and the value of those conversions and sales.
You will be able to identify the top conversion paths that your customers took on their way to purchase. You can also begin identify how long (in days and in interactions) it took for visitors to ultimately become customers.


To make the best decisions its important to have good data. Analytics data when understood can help us make better investments in our customer acquisition efforts. The best way to steadily improve the growth of your business is to make lots of good decisions and the more insight the better our chances for success.
Source: Dean Whitney

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