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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.


Marketing With Google Analytics: 4. Content Metrics

Sarah Jamieson - Thursday, April 03, 2014


Here are some of the Content Metrics that are obtained from Google Analytics.

Top Content

You can discover the most-viewed pages on your site and information about how users interact with them. For example, a high:

  • ‘Time on Page’ may show content that is especially engaging to visitors.

  • bounce rate may indicate a landing page that needs to be more relevant to the ad that links to it.
  • number of exits from a funnel page may mean your process is not clear enough or the page is generating an error. (With this you can easily find and fix all your error pages by doing a Site Audit with Persuasionworks’ SEO Software.)

Content Drilldown

View your content by drilling down through your site folder / silo structure to view data for each page. See 'Top Content' above, for some examples of useful data.

Top Landing Pages

Discover the most popular pages that visitors use to enter your site (also called entry pages).

You can view effectiveness metrics like bounce rates and goal conversion rates. These indicate how successful your landing pages are at meeting visitors’ needs and leading them to complete your site goals.

You may need to better target your ads and landing pages to give your visitors what they want, and make sure you are telling visitors what you want them to do with a clear call to action.

Top Exit Pages

View the top pages that visitors exit your site from. The significance of this varies by page.

Exiting from a goal page, like a “thank you” page displayed after an order, means a goal conversion.

However, exiting from a non-goal page, especially a page within a funnel you’ve defined, means that page may be confusing to users, or generating an error.

Site Overlay

This is a cool intuitive feature that lets you browse through your site while viewing clicks, conversions, and revenue numbers for each link.

How could you make your most valuable links more eye-catching and effective?

Site Search

Gives you information about visitors who use your web site search. Visitors often use your site’s internal search tool as a form of navigation.

Site search reports provide information that you can use to improve results. For example:

  • New keywords to use in search marketing
  • Poor search results
  • Missing content.

Virtual Pageviews and Event Tracking

Use these methods to track the performance of technologies that don’t generate pageviews.

For example: Flash, video players, JavaScript, file downloads, and dynamically generated pages (e.g. PHP).

You can get useful information such as:

  • Number of times a video is viewed
  • Length of time to load video
  • Number of times a report is downloaded
  • Number of errors visitors get when completing a form.


  • You can link your AdSense account to GA for integrated reporting:

    Top AdSense Content – See details of your web pages’ performance and track ad performance.

    For example, if you discover that some of your pages have a high number of pageviews but aren’t very profitable, you can focus on improving these pages.

  • Top AdSense Referrers – Shows how different traffic sources contribute to your income.

  • AdSense Trending – Discover trends in revenue at different times of day and different days of the week.

  • View revenue by user visits as well as page impressions. This gives you a more complete view of what visitors are doing on your site before they click your ads.

  • Break down revenue by visitor location, browser, and traffic source to learn more about your users so you can better tailor your site for them.

  • View traffic by AdSense impressions, clicks, and earnings rather than just by pageviews.

Next Blog: Goals and Conversion


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