Data & Analytics

Path Length Report in Google Analytics

The Path Length report in Google Analytics is going to help you understand how long it takes for someone to convert on your website.


Video Transcription Below. Enjoy and don’t forget to leave your comments below.


Good Morning.

My name is Duane and hello from beautiful Vancouver. You may remember me from such conference stages as MozCon, BrightonSEO, HeroConf and SMX.


Today I want to talk about the not so sexy but totally useful to know Path Length report in Google Analytics. This report pairs nicely with the Time Lag and Top Conversion Path reports, which we have written about in the past. After you tweak your report settings below, find out how we use this report in conjunction with every report under the Multi-Channel Funnel.


Setting Up The Path Length Report in Google Analytics

Even though you don’t have to setup any custom settings to use the report. There are some tweaks you should always make to the settings.

  1. Pick you conversion. By default Google will have all your goals selected. Unselect all the goals that doesn’t matter to you.
  2. Pick your Type, which should be All instead of Google Ads. I would only pick Google Ads if I was building remarketing lists that only had a Google ads traffic as a  source.
  3. Move your sliders to 60 days. We pick 60 days as all our conversion tracking for clients is set to 60 days as a standard. Google Analytics by defaults does 60 days out of the box. It’s good to have all your conversion tracking set to the a similar look back window.

Once you change those 3 settings, you are good to go. Just make sure you pick a date range for the data you want to look at. We might pick 30 or 60 days if you account does not have a data sampling issue.


How Can The Path Length Report Help You

If you know it takes 3 days or even 20 days for someone to convert and become a customer after looking at your Time Lag report. Then having a path length can help you understand how many times a customer needed to interact with your brand before converting.


Remember most people are going to visit your site multiple times and they are going to interact with your brand more than one before buying. Beyond those who many just need one click and one visit to buy a product on an ecommerce site. If you are a SaaS brand then you know it’s not unheard of to have someone visit your site 3 – 5 or even 12 times before they convert and make an annual or monthly purchase.


Your Time Lag and Path Length reports are usually going to show pretty similar trends. If 40%  of your customers convert within 3 days. Then you will usually see most people take 2 – 4 clicks to convert on your site. The opposite is also true. If you see 30% of your customers take 20 – 30 days to convert on your site. You could easily see path length report showing people take 10+ clicks before they convert. This always won’t be the case but it is good to know where you brand stands.


If we take the example above of 30% of your customers taking 20 – 30 days to convert on your site. If I’m launching a new campaign on Google Ads to test out new keywords or a  new display campaign, then I would want to run my campaign for at least 30 days to see if it’s working or not. Maybe it’s a campaign that has a lot of people who convert towards the end of the month and like we talked about in the Time Lag report, those could be your customers who also have a higher average order value (AOV). The worst thing you can do is cut a campaign short before you know it was working. That is it for this week. See you next time.

Author Info

Duane Brown

Food Nerd. Wanderluster: 40 countries. Marketer. [Report] #PaidMedia 2019 Salaries:

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