Goal Flow Visualisation in Action

by Special Guest on December 1, 2011

in Analytics

In a previous post I gave you a general introduction on how to use Visitors Flow visualisations, a new feature in Google Analytics that lets you view your online marketing campaign data via interactive graphs and charts. Today, I’m going to go over another powerful feature: Goal Flow visualisations.

If you have an e-commerce website, you’re probably familiar with setting up a destination URL as a goal for checkout success. In this scenario, you’ll also want to know exactly how your visitors work their way through your site pages, so you can identify any drop-off points in your online sales. In the past, you may have tried out the Funnel Visualisation feature. The limitation with this was that sometimes visitors don’t complete the checkout process in a clear, step-by-step manner. Funnel Visualisation is a general overview of the conversion process, and doesn’t show details such as visitors adding products to the shopping cart, going back to browse some more, changing their minds about what they want to buy, etc. Without a clearer picture of the conversion process, it’s very easy to miss the spot of weakness that costs you those crucial sales, and damage the conversion rate of your whole campaign.

Now, thanks to the introduction of Goal Flow, you can get a much better understanding of the conversion process. Let’s break it down step by step (I’ll assume that you have already set up a goal with several steps involved -  if you don’t know how to start with this, the Google Analytics team is hosting a webinar about this topic today).

Goal Flow is located under Goals subsection of the Conversion tab within Google Analytics’ side navigation. As you can see, the interface is pretty similar to the Visitors Flow section.

Goal Flow Interface

Goal Flow Interface

From the picture above you easily see the flow of the checkout process. You can get more detailed stats with just a simple click on any flow section, and also adjust the zoom in/out bar and connection option to to change the scale of the visualisation.

Going beyond the basics, I’m going to show you how to use the powerful combination of Custom Segment and Goal Flow to get a visualisation of top search keywords that successfully achieve goals.

The first way to try to achieve this would be using the Non-paid Search traffic segment with the Keyword dimension selected. Let’s see if it works:

Default Segment

Default Segment

A good result, but unfortunately the top keywords are mostly brand-related, so the valuable SEO keywords are all hidden. How can we solve this? Let’s try creating a Custom Segment to filter out all the brand-related keywords. Here’s how to do it:

1. In Standard Reporting, go to Audience -> Overview and click Advanced Segments.

Advanced Segments

Advanced Segments

2. Choose to exclude the Keyword dimension containing your brand name. Just type in your brand-related keywords to the required field.

1st dimension

1st Dimension Filter

3. Next, click “Add ‘AND’ statement” and add the “Medium” dimension to contain “organic”.

2nd dimension

2nd Dimension Filter

4. Name your Custom Segment ”Non-brand Organic Visits” and save.

5. Finally, lets go back to the Goal Flow section and apply your new Custom Segment with the dimension Keyword. Now your brand name will be filtered out, and you can see which keywords brought the most conversions!

Top Keywords

Top Keywords

I hope this tutorial has given you a better understanding of how to use Goal Flow visualisations successfully. Please let me know if you have any questions, or any new ideas on this topic. You can also read more about this exciting new tool at the Google Analytics blog.

Thanks for reading!

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