(Open a Glossary of Terms used in this article.)

In a perfect world, a user would type in the exact keyword that you targeted, and click on either a Paid or Organic search result. From there they would look at a couple of pages on your website, in a predictable order, and then convert. This could mean that they turn into a lead or a sale. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world.

Depending on what you’re offering on the site, qualified users could take several visits over several weeks – or even months, before converting. The general rule is that higher value conversions take longer from first touch to completion than lower value ones.

An example of this would be that you may be able to collect an email address by offering a “Free White Paper Download” without the user giving much consideration to giving up their contact information – while selling a product for $5,000+ would likely require more time and consideration before a user enters their credit card information.

The real path your customers take before converting

Google Analytics can give you a lot of insight into how your users behave before converting, including data on how they got there, how many times they visited the site and how long it took them from first visit to conversion.

Reports on this data can be found in the Conversions -> Multi-Channel Funnels section of Google Analytics. The “Top Conversion Paths” report (example below) shows a small variety of the different paths users on a particular site took before converting. While there are still other elements to consider when analyzing this data, this view quickly shows that many users are not taking a straight path, or converting on their first visit to the site.

Channel groups screenshot

Other reports from this section of Analytics, such as Assisted Conversions, Time Lag and Path Length can help to better understand user behavior on a larger scale as well. But there is a big part of the user path that Analytics data will not be able to show you.

Did a user check out Yelp reviews, follow you on social media, see your Google My Business listing, etc? When users are in the decision making process, deciding if they are going to eventually convert on your website or not, they are often doing other research that your Analytics account cannot track. So, how do you better control the user path from first touch to conversion?

Influencing decisions and increasing conversions

Through site data analysis and knowledge of actual business trends, there is a lot that you can do to influence first time site visitors to eventually become converting users. Is email generating the majority of your sales? Put a program in place to accelerate email collection. Is Paid Search driving the majority of first touch visitors? Drive more visitors via Google Ads

A full funnel approach to introduce your site to the right potential customer, followed by nurturing them through the conversion process can help to grow your business online. This is why we typically encourage clients to use PPC and SEO services together. By getting in front of, and then staying in front of the right audience, you can increase conversions from qualified site visitors over time.

Need help interpreting your Multi-Channel Conversion reports from Google Analytics? Our team can help you better understand the data and strategize on how to best use that information to increase conversions. Contact us today for a Free Quote.

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