Goals play an important role in measuring the effectiveness of visitor interactions on a website. Sitecore's Engagement Value Points (EVP) allows users to assign EVP to goals created in the Marketing Control Panel. Values are then assigned based on the goal's importance to the digital strategy. In Google Analytics Goals can also be created. Their conversion route can be visualised in Goal funnels.

After you've optimised your Sitecore website with Google Analytics, think about your digital goals. With goals enabled you can see measure performance metrics such as Total Goal Completions or the number of time that goal was executed, the Goal Value or a cost that can be associated per action, Total Goal Conversion rate or the rate at which users/sessions are being converted and the source/medium through which users came to the site and triggered the goals. All these metrics can be seen as a scorecard (numerical values) and all this data is valuable. But what if you want to ‘see’ how they are performing? analyse each step as part of the bigger picture? This is possible through Google's Goal Funnel Visualisation.

What is Goal Funnel Visualisation?

Goal Funnel Visualisation is an advanced feature within the Goals setting that allows businesses/users to visually analyse the journey towards a conversion or goal.

Funnel visualisation
Source: Google Analytics

Benefits of enabling Goal Funnel Visualisation

The visualisation on the left shows the pages the user visited before taking action or converting. The list of URLs to the right of the funnel followed by a the red arrow are the number of users that dropped off from the journey at that stage and went on to exit on these URLs. The arrow that points all the way to the end of the funnel is the number of users that have successfully progressed on to the next stage of the funnel.

The main benefits of this report are that it gives insights into the user experience or other elemental issues that a particular page in the conversion stage may be facing. For example, bad copy, bad design, confusing component placement and more. It gives us enough evidence to dig deeper into each stage and make the necessary changes.

This is also the first step in improving the overall conversion rate of a website, page or product. Optimising the conversion funnel can help uncover issues on a much bigger level such as identifying category issues, overall sight usability issues and the general visitor experience throughout the website.

Setting up Goal Funnel Visualisation in Google Analytics

Now that we've looked at it’s benefits and structure lets look at creating funnel visualisationn for your Sitecore website.

Step 1: Create a goal

To create a Goal Funnel Visualisation in Google Analytics, we start by first creating a simple goal and then adding a layer of advanced features which is the steps and the visualisation. This is done by clicking Admin or the Gear icon to the bottom left of the Google Analytics dashboard and clicking on the View section to the right of the dashboard.

Creating a goal in google analytics
Source: Google Analytics

Step 2: Configure the goal

Click the red New Goal button and choose Custom under the Goal set-up drop down list and click Continue.

Configuring a goal in google analytics
Source: Google Analytics

Step 3: Goal description

Next, give the goal a Name. It’s important to follow a naming conversion throughout your GA set-up. For example: PDF-Best company ever 2020 document. Make sure to leave the Goal ID/ Goal Set to whatever Google has chosen for you. Changing this may replace other goals that are present on the website. Next, choose the Type of goal you want it to be. Everything set up up to this point, is a way that you'd normally set up a Goal in Google Analytics. But if you want to set up a visualisation and add steps, this is possible only on the Destination goal type. Choose Destination and click Continue.

Goal description in google analytics
Source: Google Analytics

Step 4: Goal details

Specify the destination page (the page where the actual conversion takes place). There are three ways of specifying this:

  1. Equal to: The exact page the goal is set up, or a thank you page. For example: /thank-you
  2. Begins with: A page that begins with a certain URL or screen name For example: /blog
  3. Regular expression: This option Is slightly more complicated than the rest. We suggest learning what regular expressions are and how they work before choosing this option

Once this is chosen, turn on the Funnel option and specify each step that a user takes before they reach your goal. Click Save.

Goal details in google analytics
Source: Google Analytics

The 'Required' button

Selecting the Required button ensures that only users who start from the top of the steps all the way to the last step are considered. If you specifically want users to take only this journey then check the Required button, it if not leave it unchecked.

You have successfully created a Goal with a Funnel Visualisation. This report can be found under: Conversions > Goals > Funnel Visualisation

Completed goal funnel in google analytics
Source: Google Analytics

Our Digital Experience Team has helped many customers get started with Google Analytics. To find out more about how we can help set up funnels ,or if you need help understanding how to get the best out of Google Analytics and other marketing configurations, get in touch.