When browsing the forums online, I often come across the same question relating to Google Analytics and Magento: “what are goals and funnels in google analytics and how do they work with my magento eCommerce store“? So I thought it would be useful to explain what these are and what Google Analytics can be used for on eCommerce websites.
As you may already know, adding the basic tracking code to Magento is straight forward task, but customers always want to add more tracking codes to specific areas of their site such as on buttons, in the checkout path and so on. Before getting into how Google Analytics works, I always find it is a good idea to take a step back and plan of what it is that you want to track.
Tracking specific to eCommerce in google analytics
Google Analytics provides many features for website managers and eCommerce store owners to use to find out more about their customers and their interactions whilst on their website. To use Google Analytics to track and measure on eCommerce websites can become more complex than just tracking visits and bounce rates.
The following is a list of just some of the areas you may want to consider when planning what you want to track in Google Analytics:
- Transactions – ROI, revenue, AOV, Repeat customers, no. of successful transactions
- Abandoned baskets
- Checkout path
- Interaction with the site – i.e. adding to basket, wishlists, gift lists, newsletter sign up
- Social interactions – Facebook likes, twitter, Google + etc
- How do customers get to your online store? – Search engine, directly typing the url, bookmark etc.?
- Which marketing channels are performing / not performing?
- Which marketing messages are most popular on and off site?
- How do visitors navigate around your eCommerce store
- Conversions from adverts on the store
What are goals and goal funnels?
In addition to tracking visits, geographical locations, clicks on content etc, Google Analytics also provides Goals and Goal Funnels, these are used specifically for eCommerce tracking. Goals and Funnels inform you as to how well your site meets the objectives & targets you set for your site and the set of pages you expect the visitor to visit to reach the goal. For example, you may have a “goal” which states the site should have 50% of visitor’s click on a particular marketing message. The funnel (which you have to configure “expected” visited pages in Google Analytics) will inform you of the pages the visitor went to before clicking the marketing message.
Goals are “Key actions you want to track, conversion rates for adverts, marketing initiatives, eCommerce”. (Google Analytics, 2012) The goals measure the effectiveness of the campaigns your business has set up.
Google has 4 types of goals, each of which has a different conversion:
- URL destination
- Visit Duration
- Pages / Visit
Click here for more information about each of these on the Google Analytics help pages.
Funnels in Google Analytics are used to “track a goal along with a series of pages you expect the visit to see en route to the goal”. (Google Analytics Support Website, April 2012) It is only used when a URL destination goal has been defined. A good example of where funnels are used is in checkout process. A funnel in the checkout process will track each of the steps a visitor takes in the checkout.
Click here for more information about funnels on the Google Analytics help pages.
To summarise, before you begin have a plan and decide the areas of your eCommerce site that you want to track and what is the purpose of tracking those areas. Follow the tutorials and read the guides on the Google Analytics website. If you have a Magento partner such as KPMG Crimsonwing, ensure you provide your partner the tracking codes for each section of the site being tracked.
Ultimately, setting up goals and goal funnels correctly will help you monitor the effectiveness of your eCommerce store which will enable you to make the correct choices when improving the user experience.