November 12, 2019
Custom Funnels

Custom Funnels

Getting Started With Google Analytics 360 Custom Funnels Understanding task completion is fundamental to optimizing business performance. It’s important to understand who started versus who completed a task, and how they behaved through multiple steps along the way. Custom Funnels are a Google Analytics 360 feature that lets you create user-level, ad-hoc funnels to visualize user behavior and perform
task completion analysis. You should already be familiar with the standard Google Analytics Funnel Visualization report, and if you use Enhanced Ecommerce, you may also be familiar with the Shopping Behavior and Checkout Behavior reports. All of these funnel reports can provide useful insight, whether it’s illustrating smooth flow, or quickly highlighting areas for improvement within a multi-step process. Custom Funnels offer several benefits beyond the standard Google Analytics funnel reports. You can create and change your Custom Funnel
rules at any time; they don’t require advance planning or additional implementation. Similarly, Custom Funnels are retroactive, meaning that you can define or edit a Custom Funnel and it will update with your historical
Google Analytics data. Custom funnels are highly flexible and can contain up to five stages. Each step, or stage, is defined by matching rules for various dimension values such as Page URL, Event Label or Campaign. Imagine you want to understand how content
on your site contributes to users signing up for a newsletter. You can start by creating a Custom Funnel
with four stages: viewing an article page, watching a video, accessing a newsletter signup form, and successfully submitting the newsletter signup form. To set up this funnel, first define rules
for each stage of the funnel. Start by clicking “Customization” in the
left-hand navigation menu. Click “Custom Reports,” “New Custom Report,” then select the Report Type “Funnel.” The first stage of the funnel is a pageview
of any Articles page, which is defined by the Articles content group. The next stage of the Custom Funnel is an event: specifically, Event Category is YouTube and Event Action is play. If you wanted to narrow down the stage to
a specific video, you could also specify the Event Label, which is where you would normally
capture the video name. Take advantage of the YouTube triggers and
video variables in Google Tag Manager to easily track user engagement with your embedded YouTube videos. You can use this event data for Custom Funnels and in many other aspects of Google Analytics reporting. The last two stages of this funnel are based on pageviews for newsletter signup and newsletter signup confirmation. These are the basics. You can also get more specific by adjusting the advanced configuration settings, which you’ll explore later in this lesson. Now that you’ve learned how to configure
Custom Funnels, let’s take a look at Custom Funnel reporting. In the time period selected, the Custom Funnel shows that 13,490 users viewed an article page. Of those users, 396 started a video. Of the users who started the video, 203 accessed
the newsletter signup form and 130 made it through to the signup confirmation page. Notice the percentages at each stage of the funnel. Drop-off percentage is displayed in red for each stage-to-stage transition. At the top of the visualization, you can see
the completion rate at each stage. Above the final stage, you’ll also see how many users made it through all steps, which in this example is 0.96%. How can you improve this funnel completion
rate? Let’s start with the successes and the opportunities
for improvement that the Custom Funnel is indicating. Noting that only a small percentage of article viewers in stage 1 also view a video, you could add more videos to article pages and make sure that the videos are placed high on the page. Examining stage 2, you can see that 51.26%
of users who started a video proceeded to the newsletter signup form. This is a good percentage, but what if you added an overlay to the beginning of each video to directly encourage newsletter signup? Moving down the funnel, you can see that there’s
a 35.96% dropoff from the newsletter signup form to signup confirmation. A next step might be to add a clearer privacy
assurance to the signup form. Before you commit to changing your messaging
and user experience, you can use Google Optimize or Optimize 360 to test some of the improvement hypotheses that Custom Funnels help you generate. For example, to address the dropoff between the
newsletter signup form and confirmation, you could create a test that evaluates the original form against the form with the privacy assurance. If you see that the privacy assurance version
is the winner you can use the updated form for all users. After making these changes, you can check
your funnel again. If you see that dropoff has decreased through
each stage, it’s likely that your changes produced the desired effect: in this case, you see an overall funnel completion rate increase from 0.96% to 1.82%. You’ve seen analysis and optimization opportunities within the Custom Funnel report. Now let’s explore how you can use this report to create custom segments that you can use in other Google Analytics reports, and to create audiences for remarketing or optimization. Hover over any stage to create a segment or
a remarketing audience based on abandonment or completion at that stage. For instance, you could create a segment of users who abandoned the funnel after watching a video. You might then apply that segment to your
Campaigns report to see which campaigns are sending users who watch your videos but don’t sign up for your newsletter. Remarketing is often regarded as a means of
bringing abandoners back to complete a conversion. But you can also use remarketing to offer
additional products or services to users who have completed a conversion path. As an example, you could define a remarketing audience for users who have completed the newsletter signup funnel, and you could promote
a paid subscription to premium video content. As you can see, you can use Custom Funnels to quickly and easily understand your customers’ critical journeys. Create segments and remarketing lists based on any completed or abandoned stage in the funnel, and use them to focus your site improvement and marketing efforts. Like other Google Analytics custom reports, Custom Funnels have sampling thresholds. Check the indicator icon at the top of the report. Yellow indicates sampling. When sampling occurs, you may want to take advantage of Unsampled Reports to generate a Custom Funnel report with full data. We’ll discuss Unsampled Reports and Custom Tables in the next lesson.

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