Most of the discussion about online marketing focus on bringing people to your website, but the goal of marketing is not views – it’s sales. That’s why it is so important to pay attention to your conversion optimization – getting as many visitors converted to customers as possible. One important step in getting conversions is learning where you are losing customers. Google Analytics Goal and Funnel reports are some of the great ways to figure out where you are losing customers.
Using the Goal and Funnel reports starts by setting goals. Google Analytics will track when your goal occurs. A goal can be for a visitor to spend a certain amount of time on your site, view a certain page or several other things. To use these reports for conversion optimization for example, you can set a goal such a specific action taken at the order confirmation page of your website. This way, whenever a customer completes an order and receives a confirmation, Google Analytics will track it as a goal completion.
Next, set up your funnel. Your funnel is the steps a customer goes through before reaching the goal. You can set as few as one or as many as 10 steps for your funnel. In this case, the customer arrives on a landing page, visits a product page and goes through the checkout. Each of these can be one step of the funnel.
In the funnel report, you will see how many people went through each step of the funnel. Say you have two visitors come to your website. One goes to a product page for Mother’s Day bouquets, puts a bouquet in their shopping cart and checks out. The other visits a few product pages, but doesn’t buy anything. On your goal and funnel report, you will see that one customer entered the landing page, visited a product page, went through check out and reached the goal of a confirmation page. While one customer visited a product page and then did not continue down the funnel.
Normally at each step of the funnel you will lose some visitors. This is expected in any sales set up – for every 100 people who view, less than 10 may buy. So in the Google Analytics’ report you will see a funnel shape, with most visitors at the first step of your funnel and fewer visitors at each subsequent step. If you see one step where you are losing a large number of potential customers – say if many people are abandoning their shopping cart on the shipping section of your checkout process – you know that is an area you can adjust to improve your conversion rate.