Do you remember the last time you ever clicked on an ad in Google Search and bought a product on the first visit to a website? No? You are not alone. Your customers are not visiting your website once and then purchasing, submitting an enquiry or booking your service either (a Conversion).
In fact, the majority of purchases or conversions are the result of several interactions, from multiple channels. Recent studies show that most people consult 10+ sources before making a decision.
A channel is where your traffic is coming from, for example;
So, someone searches for your product or service, they click on your Ad and they look around your website. They then, over the space of anywhere from a few minutes to a few months or longer, revisit your website before, hopefully, converting - buying your product, submitting an enquiry or booking your service. This conversion path (the steps a website visitor takes before converting) is incredibly varied.
For example, if I want to buy a pizza my Conversion Path may look like this
When thinking about your own Conversion Path, consider how many times you go back to a website and the process you take before deciding to convert. You may check out competitors, read reviews, check shipping costs and terms and conditions, educate yourself on the product or service, review social media pages etc etc. You may also use multiple devices such as mobile, tablet and desktop.
Using tools, we can gain insight to how a visitor interacts with each channel before converting. For example, in Google Analytics, the Top Conversion Paths report shows this very clearly and highlights just how complex a conversion process can be.
In the example below, 2 people visited the website through Paid Search (a Google Adwords ad) then visited the website 4 times directly before purchasing.