Conversion Funnel Optimization through Paditrack

 

Getting traffic to your website is one thing but getting it to convert is a totally different ball game.

You may be getting millions of visitors to your website each month but if they are adding little value to the bottom-line of your company then your cost per acquisition is going to be high and your profit will be low.

In order to make your business a success you need to focus on profitability and not revenue.

One powerful way of increasing profit is to reduce the cost of acquiring customers.

The traditional way of doing this is by analyzing funnel visualization report in Google Analytics and then identifying and removing the bottlenecks in your conversion funnels:

Fig.1

Marketers look for drop in conversions from one step to the next; determine what could be the reason of the drop and what could be done about it.

If you are optimizing your shopping cart experience then funnel visualization reports are of great help.  As you can see from the chart above, every person who proceeded to shopping cart page, checked out.

If your shopping cart process doesn’t have 100% conversion rate then you should aim for it. 

Make sure once a person adds an item to the shopping cart, he/she check out on your website.

So here we have achieved the shopping cart nirvana. We no longer need to worry about our shopping cart process.

But what we need to worry about here is the huge drop in traffic from the home page to the shopping cart page.  Just 0.47% of 8266 visitors proceeded to the shopping cart page.  If we can make more visitors to reach to the shopping cart page, we can generate more sales.

Now the problem is, we don’t know which visitors proceed to the shopping cart page from the home page and which didn’t.

  1. Were they, the visitors from Google organic search?
  2. Were they, the visitors from Paid search, email campaign or social media?

 

Without segmenting the conversion funnel there is nothing much we can do about such drop off from one step to the next.

Unfortunately there is no way of segmenting the funnel visualization report in Google Analytics. And to make the matter worst, Google Analytics doesn’t allow creating funnels based on historical data.

To segment and test funnels I have been using a special tool called PadiTrack for the last few years.  Sorry for writing about it so late. This tool pulls the data directly from your Google Analytics account and is 100% free to use.

 

The biggest advantage of using PadiTrack is that you can create funnels on the fly and apply the advanced segments (both default and custom, you have created in your Google Analytics account) to your funnel visualization reports based on historical data.

I rarely look into the funnel visualization reports of Google Analytics. This is because they have become obsolete in my world.

I can’t wait for days and weeks for the data to populate first so that i can carry out some meaningful analysis.  I want to create funnels on the fly and instantly get what i am looking for.

Related Post: The Geek Guide to Understanding Funnels in Google Analytics

 

Follow the steps below to use PadiTrack

Step-1: Sign up on PadiTrack website.

Note: You don’t need to install anything on your website to use this tool.  All you need is an access to your Google Analytics account.

Step-2: Since paditrack pulls the data from Google Analytics, you need to connect the paditrack account with your Google Analytics account.
So once you have signup, click on the ‘connect to Google Analytics’ button and then on the ‘Allow Access’ button:

 

Step3: Click on the Google Analytics account name you have just added:


Step-4:
Select the analytics profile you want to use by clicking on the ‘use this profile’ button:

 

Step-5: Now you will define your funnel. You define your funnel steps in the same way you define funnel steps in your Google Analytics account.

Since I want to segment the conversion funnel shown in Fig.1, I will create a duplicate of this funnel in ‘paditrack:

 

Here I have created a funnel called ‘Funnel Visualization That Matters’ and have defined the first step of the funnel which is visit to the home page.

I clicked on the ‘validate’ link to make sure that I have set up the funnel step correctly.

To add another step to the funnel, click on the ‘Add one more stop’ button.  Once you have added all the necessary funnel steps, click on the ‘finished adding’ button:

 

You funnel visualization report will now look like this:

Fig.2

 

If you compare Fig.1 to Fig.2, you will immediately notice that there is huge data discrepancy between the traffic coming to the home page.

In Fig.1, 8266 visitors came to the home page.

Whereas in Fig.2  only 525 visitors came to the home page.

This is because in Fig.1 the first funnel step was set up incorrectly.  The 8266 visitors were the total visitors to the website and not just to the home page.  So

you need to be careful about how you set up conversion funnels in your Google Analytics account.  If you set up incorrect funnels then you will get incorrect analytical insight.

PRO Tip

Another awesome way to set up correct funnels is by looking at the ‘Reverse Goal Path’ Report in Google Analytics.

Through this report you can determine the actual navigation paths that triggered goal conversions and how many conversions each navigation path triggered.  The navigation path that has/is triggering maximum number of conversions should be your conversion funnel.

In this way you can eliminate guess work and can also identify conversion funnels which you haven’t considered before.

Note: Before you compare the Google Analytics data with paditrack data, make sure that you are looking at the data within same time period in both accounts.

 

According to Fig.1 website got 39 orders. But according to Fig.2 website got 38 orders.  Why this data discrepancy?

Well, there will always be some data discrepancy between two or more web analytics tool. Remember that. So

whenever you are comparing the data from multiple data sources, focus on trends and not on the actual numbers.

If you scroll down in Fig.2, you will see a report like this:

You can now see the segmentation options which you can use to segment your conversion funnels.

You can segment the funnel by top referrers, by top keywords. You can also apply custom segments by clicking on the ‘custom segments’ tab:

Fig.3

 

The custom segments in PadiTrack contain both default segments and custom segments of your Google Analytics account.

The default segments are listed at the top and custom segments are listed at the bottom.  Now let us apply the advanced segment ‘search traffic’ (in Fig.3) to our conversion funnel in Fig.2. by clicking on the ‘search traffic’ link (as shown in Fig.3):

Fig.4

 

Now if we compare Fig.2 with Fig.4, we can easily determine that out of 525 visitors on the home page, 365 visitors were search traffic visitors.

Majority of people who went to the shopping cart page and who made a purchase were search traffic visitors. So now we know that we need to focus on search traffic.

You can apply other advanced segments like paid search traffic to determine what percentage of search traffic that is coming to the home page is from PPC. Similarly you can apply several other segments to determine the contribution of other marketing channels in the overall ‘drop off’ from one funnel step to the next.

The other big advantage of using paditrack is that you can add/remove funnel steps on the fly to understand and optimize your conversion funnels.

You don’t need to wait for the data to be populated first  (unlike in Google Analytics). For example here I have added one more funnel step called ‘view product pages’:

Now we can see the biggest drop off is between the home page and viewing a product page.  The usage of this tool is only limited to your imagination.

Paditrack is a great tool to test and refine conversion funnels.

Before you set up a conversion funnel in your Google Analytics account always test it first on paditrack.

 

Conversion Funnel Optimization Process

This is the process I follow to do conversion funnel optimization:

  1. Define and test the conversion funnel using paditrack.
  2. Analyze the data you have collected through you funnel.
  3. Take action on the basis of data you have collected.
  4. If you can’t take any action then abandon your current funnel and define a new funnel.
  5. If you can take action then refine you funnel (by adding, removing or modifying funnel steps) to get better actionable insight.
  6. Execute the funnel optimization process as many times as needed until you get optimal results from your funnel visualization reports.

The best tool to execute this process is paditrack. With Google Analytics you need to wait for weeks (to populate data in your funnel reports) before you can carry out the next iteration.

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  • http://www.esparkinfo.com/ Nitesh Ahir

    hey Himanshu,

    i think this is one of the best post i have across the web with that much detailed… i must appreciated for the sharing…

    funnel optimization is new current trend as we know that it’s matter a lot because every body is working for one reason.

    i think goal optimization is also the one of the best practice for the future…
    this might be helpful but i am sure that this article really helpful to me…

    thanks,

    • http://www.seotakeaways.com/ Himanshu

      Hi Nitesh! Thank you for the kind words. Goals and conversions are same thing.

  • http://www.gerardrathenau.nl Gerard Rathenau

    Paditrack look like a fine tool to define custom funnel. One add on this post. You can segment your funnels in GA using horizontal funnels:

    http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2010/06/04/segment-goal-funnel-google-analytics/

    Is funnel segmentation by source/medium automated in Paditrack?

    • http://www.seotakeaways.com/ Himanshu

      Hi Gerard! I am not sure what you meant by automated. You need to add/edit funnels manually. But once you add them they remain there and you can re-work on them later anytime.

      That’s a nice article you have recommended. But really do we need horizontal funnels now, esp. when we have paditrack which provides much more powerful and visually appealing funnel visualization reports :)

  • http://BMJgroup Sudha Bharatan

    Amazing information. I tested and the results are simply amazing !!