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In Google Analytics Essential Training, Corey Koberg shows how to use the Google web analytics platform to generate and evaluate information about the visitors to a web site, including data on site traffic, user behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This course covers the out-of-the-box functionality, from account creation to reporting fundamentals, and explains how to glean insights from the vast array of data available.
We talk a lot about funnel analysis in Analytics and how critical it is. Whether it's a lead-gen form, account registration, or even a shopping cart, it's one of the most important things that we can analyze. Funnel analysis inherently lends itself to visual analysis and the new flow visualization reports do a great job of this. They are tremendous improvements, and they enable a much greater understanding of our site's performance. We find the reports here in the CONVERSIONS section. under Goals and Goal Flow. Just like in Visitor Flow, we see the node and the paths between them, except in this case the nodes aren't pages. They are rather steps in our funnel.
We can choose the particular funnel step that were in analyzing up here in the dropdown; in this case we are looking at the completed orders. We choose the appropriate dimensions here. By default we see sources and then how those visitors flow through our funnel, or in the case of the red over here, how they abandon the funnel. Now if we are only interested in a particular segment, say new visitors, we can choose that via this dropdown. When we click on a particular source in the flow visualization, we can choose to highlight the traffic through that part of the funnel, which shows us where users fall out and come back again, or where they skip steps and go straight ahead.
Let's take a look at that. In this case if I click on reddit.com and highlight traffic through reddit.com, that goes through the funnel, and we can see here where they enter the funnel steps, how far they go. In this case they actually circle back after viewing the shopping cart and view the product category again and then on to the login step, all the way through to placing an order. To make this a little bit easier to see over here, we can actually expand this down by clicking the plus button, which allows us to see this a little bit more clearly. Also, we can look down here at the table below. That will show us the table representation of what we are seeing in the visualization.
In this case we see reddit.com, and we can see Step 1 here is View Product Categories, Step 2 to the view the shopping cart, Step 3 to log in. and then finally to place the order. We can also choose not just the highlight the traffic that flows through here but to isolate it entirely. To do that, we'd click on the step and View only this segment. At this point the entire analysis that we see here, the entire visualization is just the traffic coming from reddit.com. To return back to the original, we simply click on the breadcrumbs up here to Completing Order. As we hover over each step in the funnel, we get a summary of what happened at this stage of the funnel, and the third option when we click on any individual source or node is that we can view the group details.
This gives us a pop-up with the URL match we entered in the goal configuration process up here. We can see in this case it was Accessories, Fun, Kids, Wearables--all the type of product categories that I've got. We also see things like the number of page views, the average time on this particular group, the number of funnel exits. We can see the funnel exits broken down here. We can also choose other things like the top pages that are part of this category. In this case, I can see all the things that match our goal up here and the actual pages which match those goals, as well as all the associated metrics. We also can see Incoming traffic, Outgoing traffic, Funnel Entrance, Exits, all kinds of great information in this little pop-up.
We are turning back to the report, we can also choose to change this dimension here. All of our visitor, traffic sources, content, and system ones are available. In this case let's take a look by keyword. I click on keyword and now the report is going to change to show me the different keywords that brought traffic here. We may also want to evaluate by medium, such as organic or CPC traffic through the funnel. Lastly, we may want to look at something like mobile versus non-mobile traffic. Here we see the traffic that was mobile or not set, not set being the non-mobile traffic.
If we highlight the traffic here through the mobile then we are going to take a look at the first two steps of the funnel, and what we actually see is that no one completed the funnel. When we look at the second step here, which is to view the shopping cart, we see that some came back around here to view the product categories, but no one actually made it past the second step. Interestingly, we also see some mobile visitors who go directly to the shopping cart. This can happen when a session times out and the next page that you hit is the shopping cart but since it was a new session it looks as if you've entered this visit into the shopping cart. This visualization is one of the things that I really like about this funnel, in that it's intuitively clear.
This is not necessarily a linear process. Some folks are already logged in, some folks aren't, some go back and add more to the shopping cart before checking out, some continue on to the process, or as we see in this case, no one even makes it past the second step. If we look down here at the bottom of the table, the numbers confirm what we're seeing up here. People make it to the first step, the second step, but nobody actually makes it here to this third or fourth step that is in the mobile category. So since we notice that no one in this particular mobile segment made it past the checkout, this might raise the question: Is this checkout process usable for our mobile users? Let's expand our date range back to 2009 and see if we've ever had a mobile visitor check out in two years.
Do that here up in the Date Range Selector. Simply going to change this to 2009 and click Apply. And our moment of truth. On the mobile line here, it looks like, no, we've never had a mobile checkout here. So clearly the next step here is to evaluate our mobile traffic and figure out why it's not working, if we need to build a more mobile-friendly site, or exactly what's going on with this particular problem. As you can see, this Goal Flow Visualization report is very powerful, insightful, and actionable. It makes it easy for us to visualize the paths our visitors take on the way to conversion and spot those trends quickly.
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