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Marketing With Google Analytics: 6 Defining Funnels

Sarah Jamieson - Sunday, April 06, 2014


A funnel is a series of steps, or pages, which you expect prospects to move through on their way to complete a conversion.

For each URL destination goal (a page viewed after a visitor completes a desired action), you can define a funnel.

For example, you could define each page of your sales process as a step in a funnel.

You would set the Thank You page displayed after the sale as the goal, indicating you’ve made a sale.

  • Funnel steps:

    Shipping information > Payment information > Review and submit order.
  • Goal page:

    Thank You page confirming sale (triggers conversion)

Why Define Funnels?

  • Discover entry and exit points in the conversion process
    For example, you may have a high level of exits on the page where prospects enter their credit card information.
  • Eliminate bottlenecks
    You can then look at possible problems with the credit card page.

    Is it encrypted for security? Is it clear how to complete the order?
  • Identify which site paths lead to the most conversions
    You may learn that many prospects enter the sales funnel after viewing the Features page, and facilitate this by adding a Buy Now button at the bottom of the Features page.
  • Use your findings to test changes on your site
    You can add a tutorial to your credit card page telling users how to complete the process and answering ordering FAQs.

Funnel Reports

GA provides the following funnel reports to help you analyze performance:

  • Goal Abandoned Funnels
    The number of times a visitor entered a conversion funnel but didn’t complete the goal.

    For example, shopping cart abandonment is a problem for many sites – visitors begin the order process but don’t complete it.

    You can minimize funnel abandonment by ensuring that each funnel step is easy to complete and clearly explained. Test some options to make your funnels easier to complete and track your results.

Funnel Visualization Reports: Overview


On the left, you can see how many visitors enter the funnel at each step and where they came from.

On the right, you can see how many visitors leave the funnel at each step and where they go.

In the middle, you can see how many visitors continue on through the funnel steps and complete the goal.

Let’s look at some detailed views of the report …

Funnel Entry Pages


On the left, you can see the pages that visitors entered each step of the funnel from.

In this example, the “View Product Categories” page is defined as the first step of the funnel.

(entrance) shows how many times the funnel page itself was the entry page.

Funnel Exit Pages


On the right, you can see the pages that visitors exited each step of the funnel from.

(exit) means that the visitor left your site from the funnel page.

The boxes on the right show where visitors went when they abandoned the funnel.
For each step, you can see the pages that visitors went to.

(exit) means that the person not only abandoned the funnel but also left your site.

Funnel Progress


You can use the Funnel Visualization report to see how many visitors progress from one step of the funnel to the next.

Using this information, you can see which funnel pages are “leaking” visitors out of the funnel and losing conversions.

Here you can see that 994 visitors, or 29%, on the “View Shopping Cart” step of the funnel progressed to the next step, the “Login” page.

The other 2,418 visitors in the funnel exited the “View Shopping Cart” page and went to the pages listed on the right.

You can use this information to point to pages that need to be improved and track the results of changes you make.

Interpreting the Numbers

Let’s put it all together and take a look at what each of the key numbers in this report means …


Next blog: Google Analytics and eCommerce.


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