How to Track Multi-Page Conversion Funnel on Your Website

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Conversion funnel sketchAlmost every business website includes one or more customer acquisition channels to get more business and prospects. Often these lead or sales capturing processes involve multiple web pages. Apart from regular optimization of sales funnel, you also need to track the conversions itself no matter which version a visitor is using at a given time. Tracking multi-page conversion funnel can be a bit tricky especially if your web analytics program doesn't have the in-built support of configuring it through a guided wizard. Fortunately, Google Analytics provides you with a user-friendly multi-page tracking system through goals and goal funnels. We'll go through a step-by-step procedure of implementing a multiple page conversion funnel tracking without messing with analytics code. So head on to your Google analytics dashboard and follow the procedure given below.

Identify & List Conversion Funnel Web Pages

Start with selecting the entire path of your conversion funnel and the web pages involved in it in their correct order. It may be possible that some of the pages involved in the entire path are optional and the visitor may reach the final page through a different path. You must mark the optional and mandatory status for each of the web page included in the conversion funnel.

Conversion funnel path

Let's dissect the image shown above and try to understand different types of web pages mentioned in this diagram. Broadly these web pages are divided into two categories. How do they differ from each other and what's the need to segregate them in such a way? First, let's see the primary difference between the two.
  • Mandatory web pages - In the image shown above, page 1, 2, 4 and 5 are mandatory web pages. In other words, for successfully completing the conversion cycle, a visitor must reach each of these pages. Skipping one of these pages denotes unsuccessful conversion.
  • Optional web pages - The second type of web pages involved in the funnel path shown above are all the remaining 3 pages having a series of 3.x. A visitor may or may not visit 2 of these pages and may complete the process through one of these 3 pages.
While preparing the list of web pages of your conversion funnel, make sure you identify both mandatory and optional pages and list them separately. This data will be used while configuring and implementing the tracking system on your website.

In fact, optional web pages can be further sub divided into two more categories. First sub category is the group of optional pages (as shown above) where a visitor uses one of the pages from the group and leaves all others to complete the process. The second one includes those web pages that can be skipped altogether by the visitor and still the process is considered a success once the visitor reaches the final page. You must ensure that you are sub dividing these optional web pages (if any) to correctly list the conversion funnel path.

Setup Goal & Goal Funnel Parameters

For demonstration purpose, let me take the example of 'Free WordPress Blog Setup' page on this blog. The entire sign up process involves just two pages. Both the pages are mandatory since the first one provides a form for entering the necessary details and the second one helps in identifying the process completion. Let's see how I've created this goal and funnel tracking within my Google analytics account.

Goal parameters in Google analytics

Start with providing a meaningful name for your goal. This helps in easily visualizing the data and reports associated with a specific goal. Instead of choosing a cryptic name with digits, expand it and use the key phrases in it for easy identification. Choose the 'URL destination' option as it allows us to track the visitor's landing on that specific page. Almost in every case, it is the final page of the conversion funnel.

The next important step asks you to provide several important goal setting parameters that form the foundation of the entire configuration. This step has four different parameters out of which two are mandatory while the other two are totally optional. You must take every care while specifying these parameters as a slight mistake in providing these values will give you completely wrong data in the reports.

Important goal parameters

The first parameter is the final destination URL of the conversion funnel. While specifying this parameter, make sure you're not typing the entire URL including the domain name. Simply include the page name prefixed with a forward slash as shown above. The second parameter governs how the URL will be identified and tracked. You can either use the commonly used 'Exact Match' option that simply matches the supplied URL with the URL on the website or you can choose the other two parameters to help identify a more complex URL having dynamic variables.

This third parameter is optional and should only be used if you have multiple versions of the same destination page and each one of them has matching but case-sensitive URLs. Although the last important parameter is optional, if your conversion funnel's successful completion results in monetary gains, you must specify that value to get accurate reports about the business generated through the funnel.

Goal funnel parameters

Now comes the important part of supplying information about all the web pages in the conversion funnel. While providing this information, you must take care of two important things. First, all the pages must be mentioned in the order of their appearance. This essentially means that the web page coming first should be on the top and the following pages should be mentioned below it one by one.

The second important thing that must be kept in mind is the selection of checkbox against the mandatory web page. This way, you will get accurate data about unsuccessful conversions as well. Failing to supply the information about mandatory web pages will give you incorrect results. Once you've supplied all these parameters, simply save the entire configuration and now you're ready to analyze the reports.

Analyze Goal & Goal Funnel Reports

To access these reports from within your Google analytics dashboard, head over to 'Standard reporting → Conversions → Goals'. Before diving into these reports, you must wait for some data to get accumulated. Thereafter, you can explore various kinds of reports and data visualizations available in this section.

As usual, the overview section is a good place to start with. In this section, goal conversion rate and goal value are two of the most important metrics to assess the effectiveness of your conversion funnel.

Goal conversion report

One of my favorite sections for analyzing goal performance is the 'Reverse Goal Path' report which gives you the accurate picture of how visitors are introduced into the funnel and how they leave the funnel. Funnel visualization is yet another important report that graphically depicts the entire path of successful completion.

The methodology discussed here doesn't require any kind of change in the web analytics script code you're currently using on your website. But you must ensure that you're using the new asynchronous script. So go ahead and take advantage of this flexible and easy solution to track conversion funnels on your website.


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