How to Find Conversion Paths in Google Analytics

How to Find Conversion Paths in Google Analytics

Did you know that an average consumer will visit your website 3 or 4 times before doing business with you? Most don’t convert on their first visit.

By default, Google Analytics credits a user’s last visit with their conversion. So for instance, if someone finds your website via Google search (organic), then comes back later by typing in your URL (direct) and completes a conversion, Analytics will tell you that the user completed a conversion via the direct channel. It won’t tell you that the user first found you via organic search.

You won’t know to credit organic with first bringing in that user.

UNLESS you use the conversion paths report.

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You can see a customer’s interactions with your website and find out how he got to a conversion by using the conversion paths report in Google Analytics.

The Google Analytics conversion paths report will tell you:

  • Which channel was attributed to a user’s first visit, even if he didn’t convert
  • Which channel was attributed to a user’s visit when he converted
  • The channel paths your visitors took to convert (Organic » Direct, for instance)

Let’s dive in for a closer look at conversion paths.

Why Use the Conversion Paths Report?

The conversion paths report is incredibly helpful when you’re planning out marketing campaigns and budgeting time or funds. Without using the report, you might miss something pretty big.

For example, let’s say you ran some ads on Facebook to try to get more people to read an important blog post and, inevitably, sign up for your newsletter. You had quite a few clicks, but not as many sign-up conversions as you were hoping for. So, you’re thinking about not running your planned second ad.

Then, you remember the conversion paths report. You open it to find that your Facebook ad didn’t drive a lot of conversions on users’ first visits, but a good number of them came back again via organic or direct, or even social a second time, and signed up.

It turns out your Facebook ad was actually pretty effective! If you hadn’t looked at the conversion paths report, you wouldn’t have known and you’d have lost out on a good, conversion-driving ad.

Find Conversion Paths in Google Analytics

The location and appearance of the conversion paths report is a little different depending on whether you’re using Universal Analytics or Google Analytics 4. We’ll take a quick look at both.

Universal Analytics (UA)

To find top conversion paths in Universal Analytics, navigate to Conversions » Multi-Channel Funnels » Top Conversion Paths.

Google Analytics Top Conversion Paths

In the above screenshot, the number one top conversion path is Paid Search x2, which means users visited your site twice via ad clicks before converting. The next one, Paid Search » Direct, means someone visited first by clicking an ad, left the site, and came back later via direct (bookmark or typing in the URL) to convert.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

To find top conversion paths in GA4, navigate to Advertising in the slide-out sidebar, then Conversion Paths.

How to find the conversion paths report in GA4

To find a report like the Universal Analytics one above, scroll down to the table:

GA4 Conversion Paths Report

Here you can see that when you get down to rows 6 and 7, there are conversion paths beyond just a single visit. In row 6, we can see that 753 conversions happened after a user visited via organic search twice. In row 7, they visited via organic 3 times before converting.

How to Get More eCommerce Reports

With ExactMetrics at the Pro level, you can easily set up Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce on your WordPress site (without editing code) and get awesome reports for your store.

ExactMetrics Google Analytics Plugin

ExactMetrics is the best premium WordPress Analytics plugin. It makes it incredibly easy to set up and use Google Analytics. You can track your revenue, top products, conversion sources, file downloads, outbound links, affiliate links, and more automatically.

Plus, ExactMetrics integrates with both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4. You can use either or both, but we recommend setting up a GA4 property if you haven’t yet.

Let’s take a look at some of the ecommerce reports you can access with ExactMetrics.

First, when you open the eCommerce tab, you’ll see an overview of your most important metrics and your top products.

ExactMetrics eCommerce Report

Next, you’ll see cart adds and removals:

Add to cart metrics

Then, there’ll be a top conversion sources report:

top conversion sources

Finally, you’ll be able to see two reports about how long it takes your customers to convert in both days and sessions:


Ready to simplify Google Analytics and get easy tracking of forms, ecommerce, outbound links, and much more, plus dual tracking with Universal Analytics and GA4? Get started with ExactMetrics today!

For some awesome ideas bout how to improve your online store, read 16 Simple Ways to Boost Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate.

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