How to Set Up Conversion Funnels in Google Analytics

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funnel main

What is a conversion funnel?

A conversion funnel is the path a customer takes from entering your site through the checkout process and finally the end goal being the purchase or signup confirmation page. The conversion funnel shows the first page with the most visitors, then each page thereafter the funnel will show less and less visitors as they drop off throughout the conversion process.

How can a conversion funnel help increase my conversions?

Conversion funnels can give you a lot of valuable information that can help increase time spent on site, bounce rates, conversions and sales. Obviously, knowing how your customers navigate through your site can help you determine what changes need to be made to make it easier for a customer to purchase. Seeing a drop off in visitors on a particular page in the checkout process means that page may not be directing customers to the next page in the most user-friendly way. It is possible for visitors to get to a page and have trouble understanding where to go from there or they could see something on that page that makes them not want to complete the next action. In this case the conversion funnel will indicate that you may need to re-examine that particular page and make it more user friendly. For example, if you see that a majority of people are dropping out at the shipping page, this could tell you that your shipping charges are causing potential customers to abandon the shopping cart. Bottom line, a conversion funnel can tell you how many customers make it through each step in the checkout process and where they exit most frequently.

How to set up a funnel?

Step 1, Sign In: To set up a conversion funnel start with logging in to your analytics account, then clicking on edit under settings from the main page.

funnel step 1

Step 2, Funnel Settings: Once you’ve clicked on the edit link under settings, you’ll get to a new page where you will need to go to the Conversion Goals and Funnels section toward the middle of the page. Where you see, Goal Name, URL , Active Goal and Settings, Under settings click on Edit again.

funnel step 3

Step 3, Settings: The third step in setting up your goal funnel is to enter the confirmation page url. This would be the very last step the user would take when making a purchase or signup. Enter that url into the Goal url space. Then, give your goal a name, like ‘Checkout Process’. Make sure the active goal radio button is automatically click ‘on’. Match type should be left at Head Match.

funnel step 2

Final Step, Defining Your Funnel: In a typical checkout funnel, you would start with a page that a majority of people would use to shop, add items to their cart and begin checking out. Most people would start with the homepage, but really you could start with any page. For this example, we’ll enter the homepage in the URL field next to Step 1 and give it the name of ‘homepage’. You can make this page a required page, meaning you want to track all people who come in through the homepage, but it’s not required. For steps 2,3,4 and so on, enter the pages that one would come across during the checkout process. This should include signing in, personal info, billing address, shipping options and review of order before it gets processed. You do not have to enter the final confirmation/thank you page URL since you have already entered it in the above settings of the goal. You also do not have to enter specific product pages or category pages if you just want the steps a user takes when checking out.

Click ‘save changes’ at the bottom of the page, and this completes the steps to setting up a conversion funnel!

funnel step 4

Depending on how much traffic your site gets, you should begin seeing results in one day. For more information on Google analytics or setting up conversion funnels visit the Google Analytics help section in Adwords.


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  • Ryan

    This is very good info, I’ve looked for topics on funnels and really haven’t found much. One question I do have though, is it possible to setup a funnel for affiliate campaigns when the converting page isn’t on my site?

  • Amber

    Hi Ryan, yes you can absolutely set up conversion funnels for affiliate sites, they just have to have your analytics code installed on their confirmation page. Hope that helps!

  • Heba

    Hi, Amber
    I have a question, The steps we define in the funnel are all traked required in the same order?
    and Aldo i have a weird case, i have 4 goals, each starts with product details page as the required step in the funnel, then i added the checkout pages in sequence, but still all 4 goals give the same data and conversions, the only difference between them is the first page which is the product details page (required),, shouldnt their data be different?

  • Online Dating Guy

    Hi Amber could you explain how to setup analytics with an affiliate offer?

    I have my code on the affiliate conversion page … how do i set it up in the goals/conversions? Do i enter the external url?

    Much thanks and great blog!

  • Amber

    Hi, yes you would create the funnel like normal (as if it were on your site) but then for the last step in the funnel and the goal url enter the url of the conversion page from the other site.

    Hope that helps and thanks for reading!

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  • london sightseeing tours

    I am still unsure… what happens if your site has dynamic elements of the url? for example I wanted to have setup as the goal page then if I have the analytics code embedded in redirect.php would it be okay just to have redirect.php as the goal or do I need to do something else? Hope this makes sense.


  • John

    @ London,

    If your URLs have dynamic parameters, than you need to use the “Regular Expression” Match Type. Using this setting will allow you to enter redirect.php as the goal, and Analytics will know to find pages with redirect.php NO MATTER what comes before or after it in the URL string.

    Let us know if you have any more questions!

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  • Erik

    Great article, thanks. I have a question: The last step of the conversion on my site is done by a sales representative that confirms the order (that’s when the payment occurs). That step is not done by the client, so how can I track it in the funnel?

  • Amber

    @Erik, how exactly does the sales rep ‘confirm’ the order? Is it with a phone call or something online?

  • Erik

    They confirm it online by checking their solvency, checking the details filled in the form and calling their bank to confirm everything. If everything is confirmed, the sales rep accepts the order by checking a box in their sales support system (online).

  • Darren

    Great post, Just wondered how I would go about adding a site like pay pal to the funnel when the customer is re directed there?
    Thanks in advance

  • Gaurav jain

    that was a very ‘easy to understand’ blog, before reading this, funnels were a big jargon n (dragon) to me, but not anymore, it’s quite simple to set it up, isn’t it.
    thanks a lot.
    couldn’t help doing that ‘social networking stuff’ at the end !!

  • Lahiru Wijerathna

    Hi Amber,

    This is very good article , you are prompting very clearly.Though i got this article in accident , but it was really nice.Thanks again for information sharing

  • track a mobile phone

    Great and very informative.
    Due the excellent screenshots i could follow your instructions closely and could successfully set up some goals in my analytics account!

  • Gairavmulherkar

    Is funnel shows that data, who the visitor enter from the 2nd or 3rd page of our funnel and complete the other funnel steps??