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How to Set Up Conversion Funnels in Google Analytics (The Video)

Whether you sell items online or simply try to get people to sign up for an offer – you most likely have several steps in which your visitors must take in order to complete your online goal. These steps are typically known as conversion funnels.

In today’s video we’re going to walk you through the basics of setting up sales and conversion funnels in your Google Analytics account. We’ll go through how to add URLs for each step in your typical conversion funnel and explain what the settings do in your Google Analytics account.

Be sure to check out these other conversion funnel resources:

Video Transcriptions


Bryan: Hi. I’m Bryan, with Kissmetrics. I’m here to help you get the most out of your Google Analytics account. Today is all about funnels. Sales funnels, that is.

Today I’m going to walk you through the basics of setting up sales funnels in your Google Analytics account, show you the benefits of using them and give you a few key tips to help implement them.

Let’s get going.

One of the most insightful tools that Google Analytics has to offer gives you the ability to track your customers as they walk through your entire sales process. No matter what type of online product business you have, whether you’re trying to sell a product or you’re trying to get your customer to sign up for a service, there’s a certain number of steps that they have to go through in order to give you money.

As essential as goals are in Google Analytics, they serve a more rudimentary purpose when it comes to conversion optimization. Whether you have your goal set up on a signup page or confirmation page, a Thank You page, there’s a certain number of steps that your customer has go through in order to get to that singular goal. Sales funnels takes goals to whole another level.

If you have a four step process your customers are supposed to take to get to that Thank You page, the confirmation page, the newsletter signup page. Sales funnels will actually show your customers as they go through each one of those steps, show you points along the way where different customers drop off, and give you the ability to go back and optimize those pages to increase your conversion rates.

Let’s go through the process of setting up a sales funnel.

Any funnel you create in Google Analytics must be tied directly to a goal. We’ll start by creating a goal first. Log in to Google Analytics. Choose the profile which you want to add the sales funnel to. Click Admin in the top right corner.

Once you’re there, choose the Goals tab underneath the profile that you wish to add the sales funnel to. Click Create Goal. From here you’ll set the settings of the actual goal and sales funnel.

First, we’ll give the goal a name. Then we’ll choose the type of goal it is. For our purposes, we’re going to choose Destination.

Choose Next Step. From here, we actually fill in the goal and sales funnel details. The first field we’ll fill out is Destination. We’ll enter the URL of where we want the customer to end up at, or the last page in the sales funnel. If you want them to purchase a product, it would be the Thank You page or confirmation page or receipt page that the customer is sent to after they give you their payment information.

Next, you have Value. Value assigns a value, or monetary value, to each conversion. If you’re selling a product that costs five dollars, then your value would be five dollars.

Then you have the sales funnel. This is where you’ll set up the navigation of the sales funnel. At first, you want them to land on your home page. Then navigate to a product, add that product to a card and go to a checkout page.

You’ll enter the URL of each one of those pages into the Screen/Page form field. You can give them a name on the left side, underneath the Name column. Once you’ve completed this, click Create Goal, and your sales funnel is set up.

One tip. The Required button is something people oftentimes misunderstand. Required means that nobody can enter the sales funnel except through the page in step one.

If in step one you have your home page there. Somebody somehow finds the page in step two and enters the URL directly or is linked to it from another site and they wind up, they go into page two, or go into step two, and then wind up buying your product, none of that will be counted in the sales funnel. Only people that have visited the home page or whatever page in step one is will be entered into the sales funnel.

If you want to keep the sales funnel more restrictive and only track a certain customer behavior and a certain customer pattern, leave Required to Yes.

Now we’ve set up our funnel and our goal, we can navigate over to the funnel visualization report to look at the data that we’ve been collecting. Since we have just set up this funnel, there’s not a ton of data in there for us to look at. It’ll take time for this report to collect data as different people walk to the sales cycle.

Let’s jump over to another report. I’ll show you what it looks like and how you can use it to optimize your site.

The sales funnel visualization report that we’re looking at is for a bike touring company that offers personalized bicycle tours in the New England countryside. They don’t actually sell the tours online. Their primary call to action, their primary goal, is for website visitors to submit a lead generation form.

That’s the goal of the sales funnel. If you look at the very bottom of the funnel, we have Bike Tour Lead and Inquiry form. That’s what they’re trying to get them to do.

First we had 5,056 people actually come to the website. Of those 5,056 people. 54 percent of them went from the Tour Description page.

2,746 people converted from the catalog to the Description page. Just over 2,000 people left the page or went somewhere else, navigated to a different page of the website.

Once they hit the Tour Description page, 97.5 percent of people went to the Inquiry form, and 84 percent of those people submitted the Inquiry forum that they were then able to take and call them and set up a bike tour with.

On the right side, you see a red triangle. This is the number of people that left the website or went somewhere other than where we were wanting them to go. To the right of this table, they’ll give you a breakdown of where they went, whether they exited the website completely or navigated to another page on the same website.

That’s the basic gist of the visualization report. Let’s look at a few key factors on how this data is actually compiled.

After you’ve set up your goal and funnel and your profile had some time to collect data, the funnel visualization report will display the single most definitive performance metric in Google Analytics; the funnel conversion rate.

The funnel conversion rate indicates the percentage of visits that included at least one page view for the first step before at least one page view of the goal page.

In addition to the overall funnel conversion rate, you can use the report to assess step by step drop off. In our example, we had four steps along the way: we had the Catalog page, the Description page, the Inquiry page, and then, once they submitted that inquiry, a Thank You page.

We can look at each step of the funnel, analyze the number of visitors to the first step versus the number of visitors to the second step. Wherever we lost a drastic number of people, we can go back to that page and optimize it to increase that conversion rate percentage.

A few things to consider about the report.

Multiple page views are consolidated into unique page views. Funnel visualization report consolidates multiple page views that occur for the same page during a single visit into a unique page view. Next, Page views can occur non sequentially for a funnel match.

In our example, the funnel went like; Catalog, Description, Inquiry, Thank You. If the customer would have went to the Description page, then the Catalog page, then the Inquiry page, and then the Thank You page, they still would have registered inside of the funnel as a unique visitor for each one of those steps.

Middle page views don’t have to occur for a funnel match. The only thing it’s looking for, is the very first hit and the very last hit. As long as they visited the Catalog page at some point and they visited the Thank You page at some point, they match.

Next, higher funnel steps are backfilled as needed.

For example, if there were 2,579 page views for the Description page, 2,679 page views for the Inquiry page, the funnel visualization report will show 2,679 page views for Description as well. Even though the page was bypassed by nearly 100 people, it’ll still show 2,679 page views displayed.

Congratulations. Now you know the basics of how sales funnels work in Google Analytics. We talked about how to set up sales funnels. We talked about how Google actually compiles those reports. We looked at how to analyze the report to see key drop off areas, we go back to our website in our business and optimize those paying points.

As a final note, Google Analytics does not retroactively analyze our website data. It will only start populating these sales funnels once we have set them up inside of our account.

Get those babies installed immediately, so you can start analyzing your business and seeing where customers are having problems and dropping off, so you can increase the number of people that convert.

That’s it for this week. Happy analyticking.


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