Google Analytics provides lots of information.  The key is to find the useful and actionable information.  It’s all too easy to get sucked into looking at interesting information that you can’t do anything about. That’s just a waste of time.

A Google Analytics funnels are useful and actionable

They are useful because it tells you how visitors are interacting with your site.  Funnels are actionable because you can take that information and take specific action to improve your website. One of the most common funnels for a Zen Cart is the checkout process.  It’s a set sequence of pages that customers must follow.  This is unlike the process to find products, they may browse all over the place and in a many different sequences. In a stock Zen Cart, the exact sequence possible will vary based upon your settings regarding creating an account.  The basic sequence is Product Page>Shopping Cart>Log In>Shipping>Payment>Confirmation>Success

A funnel can be set-up for all possiblee sequences so you’ll have complete information for all visitors.

The funnel below contains a lot of useful information (click the image for a larger version)

Google Analytics Funnel

From this funnel, we know

  • what page the visitor come from in order to arrive at each step.
  • how many proceeded to the next step, raw number and percentage.
  • if they left the funnel, we know what page they went to.
  • we know how many completed the entire funnel and placed an order.

Take a look at step three, the Payment Method page. We see two visitors returned to the Shipping Method page. While this is considered a break in the funnel and an exit, I think you would agree this is not truly the case.  They are still in the checkout sequence which is where we want them. One visitor left to read the About Us page and one visitor left the site completely.

This is where the actionable part comes in. 85% is a pretty good conversion rate for the Payment Methods page.  If we include the two that went back to Shipping, it’s actually 92%. While it’s hard to draw too many conclusions from one visitor, he/she did leave to find out more ‘about us’ so something was missing from that page that they needed to know before completing their order.  The action then, is to figure out what that was, add it to the page and see if the data improves.  An improvement would be a higher conversion rate for this page.  This is how you use funnel conversion data to make decisions and improve your website.

How to get started

  • Set up a Google Analytics Funnel.
  • Collect the initial data.
  • Come up with a hypothesis for an improvement.
  • Implement the change and test the results.

Follow these steps and you will improve your site conversion rate. As I’ve said in other posts, it’s a process.  If you are not working to improve your site you’ll fall behind those that are.

Keep in mind, you can’t do it all in one step

They must be little changes one at a time.  If you make two changes at once, they could interfere and affect your results. Change A could result in a 15% improvement while Change B results in a 20% decrease.  If you do both at the same time, the net result would be a 5% decline.  Using that data, you’d revert back both changes and lose out on the 15% improvement from Change A.

For help in setting up Google Analytics, Google Analytics Funnels or in the testing and improvement phase, please Contact Us! We are certified in Google Analytics.