Google Analytics is a powerful tool used by organizations to track their website traffic. Introduced in 2005, Google Analytics is a part of the Google Marketing platform. The tool can generate simple as well as in-depth reports. Google Analytics lets users define goals and funnels for their website. Before we get any further let’s understand what are goals and funnels in Google Analytics.
Goals: A goal can be any action that you expect your website visitors to complete. For example you might want your visitors to reach your order status page once they checkout.
Funnels: A funnel is a path in the form of URLs defined by the website owner that they expect their website visitors to follow. Every funnel includes a number of goals. Funnels are usually set up to determine the website’s performance. It reveals bottlenecks that impact the conversion process. In Google Analytics, there are four types of funnels.
Sales funnel: Sales funnel is a path or collection of webpages that your website users must visit to complete a sales transaction such as placing an order.
Multi-channel sales funnel: Multi-channel goal funnel are set up to study the role played by different marketing channels in the conversion process.
Goal funnel: Goal funnel is a series of webpages that website users are expected to follow when completing a non-sales transaction such as subscribing to a newsletter.
Multi-channel goal funnel: Multi-channel goal funnel studies the role that different marketing channels play in the conversion path.
In order to get the most out of your funnels and goals, you must
a)-Set the right funnels and goals.
b)-Learn to study funnel visualization reports accurately.
*Funnel visualization reports: Are reports generated to study the entire conversion process right from lead generation to after sales support.
c)-Come up with ways to optimize goals and funnels.
Some common errors administrators commit while setting up funnels
1. Taking the wrong path: When creating a funnel, use your most viewed pages as funnel pages. Take a well defined path. Setting a goal that can be achieved via different paths won’t provide any insights into the way different traffic segments convert.
2. Incorrect capitalization: The case of your goal page URL and funnel page URL must match that of the visited URL. A mismatch in the capitalization can generate erroneous data.
3. Assiging monetary value to non-monetary (transactional) goals: Avoid assigning monetary value to transactional goals as it may inflate your revenue metrics and mislead you into taking wrong decisions.
4. Using the same goal page URL when setting up funnels for the same goal: If you want to set up different funnels for a single goal use unique goal URLs. If one goal URL is used for the goals, Google Analytics will report the same goal conversion rate for both the goals.
5. Feeding incorrect information while defining pages: An important thing to keep in mind while defining goal and funnel pages is that only the tail end(request URL) of the URL should be mentioned in the details.
*In the URL www.abc/flowers.jpg ; flowers.jpg is the request URL.
6.Failing to test the funnel setup: An empty funnel would mean lost data. Once you fix the funnel reports will be generated in the funnel visualization report going forward, however, you will still lose historical data. To avoid this always check the funnel setup by testing the goal and funnel page URLs.
A common error many managers commit while studying funnel visualization reports: When studying funnel visualization reports, many managers consider unique pageviews as the number of people that visited the business’s website. In reality, however, no matter how many times a user visits the homepage or any other page during a session, the unique pageview will be considered as 1 in a single session. Let’s consider an example to understand this in detail.
Suppose a user visited your homepage 4 and 5 times during their first and second session respectively. The unique pageview would still be 2(1 from each session) and the number of users will be 1.
An important thing to keep in mind while studying funnel visualization reports: Funnel visualization reports cannot go back to the previous step in the funnel. The limitation means that a funnel visualization report can’t show the funnel steps in the order they were viewed.
Some e-commerce metrices in Google Analytics to help optimize your sales funnel
1. Buy to detail rate: Buy to detail rate is arrived at by dividing the number of purchases by the number of product views.
2. Product adds to cart: the total number of times a given product is added by website visitors to their shopping cart.
3. Product removes from the cart: The metric is setup to study the number of times a given product is removed from shopping carts. Keep a look out for products that are removed more often than others.
4. Repeat purchase rate: Can be defined as the ratio between the number of repeat purchases and the total number of purchases.
Sales visualization reports can generate useful data that you can use to streamline your sales strategy. These reports also provide insights into consumer trends that you can use to make your sales process more agile and responsive.