Set Up a Funnel

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The funnel is a powerful feature that helps you track drop-offs for conversions. By conversion, we mean people who completed the goal you set up for your website. For example, if your website goal is to invite visitors to sign up for your app, then you might set up the funnel to see how visitors walk through the signup process.

The funnel lets you track each step a visitor takes along the way and see at which stage they drop off. By analyzing the funnel, you can spot technical or design-related problems and improve them later on.

In this article, we’ll show you how to set up a funnel.

Before you start

Before you create your first funnel, here are some basic things you should know:

  • You can track page-to-page funnels, as well as event funnels, for example, clicking on a button or submitting a form may be a step in the funnel.
  • In the funnel, you can see data tracked in the past — the funnel will work for the time before it was set up.
  • The funnel shows drop-offs and conversions in one session. If a visitor completes the final action in multiple sessions, the funnel won’t catch it.
  • The funnel feature is not linked with goals like in old Analytics. Therefore, you don’t need to set up a goal to create a funnel.
  • A visitor needs to move through each step of the funnel. The funnel won’t catch visitors who enter the funnel, for example, in the middle.
  • A visitor may visit other pages or perform events between the funnel steps and the funnel will still record this visitor. For example, the funnel steps are: home page — contact page — thank-you form, the visitor takes this path: blog post — home page — offer — product page — contact form — thank-you page.
  • In the funnel report, you can use segments, compare segments, and compare date ranges.
  • You can create up to 5 steps for the funnel.

Set up the page-to-page funnel

Let’s take an example of the Clear Bank website that has a four-step signup process. The funnel for that process might look something like this:

Signup page — Contact info page — Identity page — Success page

In this case, each step represents a page that a visitor must pass through to reach the last step of the funnel. We call such a funnel the page-to-page funnel. And, to set it up we’ll use the URL of each page.

To set up the page-to-page funnel, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics (new).
  2. Navigate to Custom reports.
  3. Click Add new report.
  4. Select the funnel report type.
  5. Name the report.
  6. Set up visibility for this report. You can make it visible only for you or for all your teammates.
  7. Name the first step.
  8. Pick the dimension and define conditions for this step. In our example, Page URL is https://clearbank/sign-up/.
  9. Click + Add step, name and define conditions for the second step.
  10. Add more steps to the funnel.
  11. Optionally, set funnel filters. For example, you might narrow visitors to those from New Zealand.
  12. When done, click Create report.

View the funnel report

Once the setup is ready, you can take a look at the report to see the data for this funnel. The report will show you data for any previous period, if the pages used in the funnel, were tracked for that time.

To view the funnel report, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics (new).
  2. Navigate to Custom reports.
  3. On the left, pick the funnel report you’ve created.
  4. View the report.

In one glance, you can see visitor behavior for each step of the funnel. The funnel shows you how many visitors make it to the next step toward the final step, and how many drop off. If you see a big group of visitors dropping off on a specific page, you should look into this matter to see what is driving the high exit rate for that step of the funnel.

If you want to analyze drop-offs and see where people go after leaving the funnel, you can drill down the drop-off URL report.

To view the drop-off URL report, follow these steps:

  1. In the funnel report, click the drop-off section.
  2. View the report.

In this report, you’ll see a list with page URLs where visitors navigated too after exiting the funnel. Also, you will see the number of people who simply left the website. This will help you understand a typical visitor flow of your website. If you notice that many visitors drop off to view a different page on your site, perhaps you could find out why they are drawn to that particular page. Then, maybe, you could adjust your funnel by including this page as one of the steps on the path.

Set up the event funnel

So far, we’ve guided you through the setup of the page-to-page funnel, but you might want to create the funnel based on events. For example, when a visitor clicked a button, sent a contact form, downloaded a file, and more. The creation process is similar to the page-to-page funnel, you only need to define the event in Tag Manager, before you use it in the funnel.

Let’s take an example from the Clear Bank website where a visitor may go through the following funnel:

Home page — Product page — Click a signup button — Signup page

In this case, we have four steps out of which three can be defined as pages and one — click a signup button — can be defined as an event. So before we create a funnel, we need to set up tracking for this button. To learn how to do it, read one of the chapters of our guide Analytics for Advanced titled “How to track button clicks.”

Once you start tracking the event, you can create an event-based funnel.

To set up the event funnel, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics (new).
  2. Navigate to Custom reports.
  3. Click Add new report.
  4. Select the funnel report type.
  5. Name the report.
  6. Set up visibility for this report. You can make it visible only for you or for all your teammates.
  7. Name each step.
  8. Pick the dimension and define conditions for each step. In our example:
    • The first step is Page URL is https://clearbank/
    • The second step is Page URL is https://clearbank/product-tour/ or  Page URL is https://clearbank/benefits/ or Page URL is https://clearbank/no-fees/ or Page URL is https://clearbank/security/ or Page URL is https://clearbank/savings/ (All these pages are product pages). 
    • The third step is Event action is Sign Up (Visitor clicks a signup button). 
    • The fourth step is Page URL is https://clearbank/sign-up.
  9. Optionally, set funnel filters.
  10. When done, click Create report.
  11. View the report.

Besides custom event funnels, you can create funnels that base on ready-made events like the outlink URL, download URL, search keyword, time on page, goal, content, and more. You can see the full list of available conditions when creating the step for the funnel.

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