February 18, 2008
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.