How To Set-Up Analytics Funnels & Use Them For Conversion Rate Optimization

By Amanda West-Bookwalter | @Amanda_WestBook | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

If you have more than one page in your check-out process, then you should be tracking user behavior through that process. Having data showing what people are doing in your check-out process can assist you in identifying where to focus your conversion rate optimization efforts. To demonstrate my point, I’ll be using a real life client example. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

So this client, let’s call them Mr. Good Health, sells health supplements. They have been having conversion rate problems, which has lead to a bad ROAS. My first stop is Google Analytics to set-up a conversion funnel. For those of you that have never done this before, here’s a quick guide on how to set them up:

1.  Hit the Admin button when you’re in the profile you’d like to set up the funnel in.

2.  Select the goals tab.

3. Go to a blank goal and select +goal

4. Select “URL Destination”. Input the backslash and text that signifies the page users get when they’ve totally finished your conversion process into the “goal URL” field. For Mr. Good Health, it’s /thankyou.html. In most instances, you’ll be selecting a head match, but click the “click here” link if you want more detail about the options.

5. Walk through the site’s checkout or conversion completion process. Write down every URL along the way and make note of what the page is. Here you can see Mr. Good Health has a cart page, a shipping selection page, a review of the shipping selection page, two pages of ads, one page thanking them for their order and offering a special offer, then one final page to review everything, and then the thank you page. Whew!!! That is just. so. many. pages.

Then you’re all set! You can just save it and wait for the data to accrue.

After you’ve got the data, what do you do with it?

Well, let me show you Mr. Good Health’s data:


I should mention the URLs I used in the set-up were just examples, so they don’t match exactly to these URL names. But, you can see we have 478 people in this time frame that got to a review of cart page. This means they’ve already said “take my money!” and given us their information. Then they’re hit with three pages of ads and special offers, which 124 soldier on to the last ad, but from there, only 2 people decide to see it all the way through. I saw this data and was like “WHAT?!?!” Obviously this is crazy town, USA. But the sales numbers are pretty close to what I see in AdWords (click attribution differences mean they’ll never be exactly the same *sigh*).

So, I go through the process looking for what I can do to increase conversion rates. Obviously we need to cut out the ads. Every extra page in the check-out process is more money flying out the window. But, I found the biggest thing happening on the last page where sooo many people dropped off was this: the last page of ads serves a message that says “thank you for your order.” You read correctly. This check-out process isn’t done yet, you haven’t actually paid anyone for anything, and after two pages of ads you get a “thank you for your order” message. Any normal person would think “oh, I’m done now. Great.” Right?! RIGHT?! Apparently two people thought to click-through.

So, this process was a big revelation for Mr. Good Health, but you probably won’t have such a big revelation. You’ll probably just see a bit of a higher drop-off rate somewhere along the funnel. You can test stripping navigation on these pages, cutting out pages, etc. to see if you can get your conversion rates up for that part of the funnel. With conversion funnels, you’ll be able to see specific interactions between pages in your check-out process! So, get to testing!