Data & Analytics

Using The Top Conversion Path Report For Data & Insights

Are you using Google Analytics’ Top Conversion Path report? You should be if you are running campaigns across Google, Facebook and other paid advertising channels. Today I’m going to show you 2 different ways we use the report with clients to understand our efforts in running their marketing campaigns.


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.


This is going to be a series of posts that look at the Multi-Channel Funnels section in Google Analytics. I’m going to cover the 3 main reports we look at for ecommerce clients: Top Conversion Path, Time Lag and Path Length. We won’t be touching on assisted conversions in this series as it’s a report that can divide an agency.

Today I want to talk about proving the value of your paid advertising spend when you don’t have tons of direct conversions in your advertising account. One of my favourite reports in Google Analytics is the Top Conversion Path report.


To find top conversion paths, you can navigate to Conversions » Multi-Channel Funnels » Top Conversion Paths.


This is one report that comes standard out of the box and does not require any setup. You only need to have enhanced ecommerce turned on and 30 – 60 days of data to look at. More data is always better but you can start using it at 30 days.

The goal of the Top Conversion Path report is to help you understand how people are coming to your site through different channels (i.e. Paid vs Organic). All these channels can help lead to someone buying an item on your site.


Setting Up The Top Conversion Path Report

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 path length. I always change this from 2 to 1
  3. Move the sliders to 60 days. We pick 60 days as all our conversion tracking for clients is set to 60 days as a standard and Google Analytics by defaults does 60 days. It’s always good to have all your conversion tracking set to the a similar look back window when possible.

That is it. The report is ready for you to use and prove the value of your media spend.


Using The Top Conversion Path Report

There are two ways we look at using this report with clients: account wide and campaign specific.


Account Wide

If you are looking to get a handle on how all your paid advertising spend is helping people convert, then this is the report you’d look at. I find the report is great for seeing which channel people are starting and ending their journey on to becoming a customer.

I’ll also use the search bar and just look at journey sequences that only has paid involved with at least one touch point. Then I’ll go step more and add in Landing Page URL as a Secondary Dimension to see what pages people are using on a client’s site. This is helpful to understand how people are going through the site


Campaign Specific

The other option is looking at the Top Conversion Path report and filter your report by campaign or source/media. You’ll need to add a Secondary Dimension Filters, but getting this granular will let you understand your traffic sources and which channels are helping you grow your revenue and business. By filtering and adding granularity to your Top Conversion Path report, you can see if ‘Paid’ and ‘Organic’ channels have overlap and start to understand where you can make effective changes to your channels.


One major point to keep in mind is that everyone takes a different path to convert on your website. That is it for this week. See you next time.

Author Info

Duane Brown

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

Leave a Reply