At the Analytics blog Google has announced the new multi-channel feature of the currently beta new version of Google Analytics. This new multi-channel feature will allow marketers to how users first came to their site, rather than just how they last came to the site.
Here is an example of the kind of situation the new analytics will clarify:
A users searches for your product, and find your site and goes to your site, reads through it a bit, then leaves. That gets registered as an organic visit, but no sale was made. Then the user does some more research and comes back to your site, only this time he types in your URL, or uses a bookmark. He purchases the product. That is registered as a sale (a goal completion if you have them set up) but that sale is attributed to a direct visit, not an organic visit.
The new multi-channel feature will keep track of visitors for 30 days, and let you see how they first came to your site so that purchases can be credited toward the initial lead generation. It will also allow you to determine what keywords first brought your site to the users attention. Another common issue is someone searching for your product, viewing and leaving your site, then coming back via searching for your site name — this way you’ll know what original search led to the conversion.
Similarly multi-channels will give another way to evaluate the true impact of PPC campaigns, which is probably Google’s primary motivation behind the change. It also provides and excellent way to track Google’s display network advertising if you have it set up to stalk people who have abandoned a cart — find out just how many of those people the display network can rope back in.
The new multi-channel view is available now in the beta analytics, and has been backfilled with data dating from January (but only, of course, if you had your goals set up then — goals still do not backfill with data, annoyingly).