How to configure a goal flow in Google Analytics

In this article, I am going to talk about how to configure goal flow in Google Analytics.

Overview

Google Analytics notifications (diagnostic) is a feature of Google Analytics that makes regular evaluations of your Google Analytics tracking code, account configuration, and data to find implementation issues and configuration anomalies.

Once it finds an issue, it alerts the GA user through a special message known as a diagnostic notification (also known as a Google Analytics notification).

Generally, you get a ‘Configure a goal flow’ notification when you have not set up funnel pages for your tracked goals.

configure goal flow

Before we jump to fixing this notification, let’s understand the goal flow report in detail.

What is the goal flow report? 

The goal flow report shows the path that your website users have taken before the goal compilation. This way you can find more insights into the user journey. 

You can use this report to see if the users are navigating through the website as expected or if there are any problems like high drop-off on a particular page and unexpected loops

Using a goal flow report you can get answers to the questions below

  1. Where exactly do the website users jump into the goal funnel?
  2. Are the users jumping into the goal funnel at the first step or somewhere in the middle?
  3. Are there any exits in the funnel steps?
  4. Does the funnel contain any loops back?
  5. Does the user behaviour for the goal funnel differ for a particular segment?

A sample goal funnel looks like the image below.

sample goal flow report

How to access the goal flow report

To access the goal flow report you must have at least one goal configured in Google Analytics. It’s a prerequisite for a goal flow report.

Follow the below steps to access the goal flow report.

Step-1: Navigate to your Google Analytics console.

Step-2: From the reporting menu available on the left-hand side, click on ‘Conversions’.

conversion

Step-3: Click on ‘Goals’.

goals

Step-4: Now click on ‘Goal Flow’.

goal flow

You will get the screen like below:

goal flow report

You can select any goal from the drop-down available to view the goal flow report

goal dropdown

Why are you getting ‘Configure a goal flow’ notifications in Google Analytics?

The main reason for getting this notification is that you have not set your goal funnel or there are some issues in goal settings.

For example, suppose you have set a goal on a thank you page for purchase. In this case, the user does not directly purchase the product but there are a series of steps that the user has to perform before reaching the thank you page. These steps are product view, add to cart, filling up shipping details, billing and transaction. You need to configure your goal in such a way that the previous steps are also recorded and there are no issues in the goal setup.

In general, the following are the most common issues that happen while setting up goals in Google Analytics :

  1. Selecting the wrong conversion path
  2. Entering incorrect data while defining goal and funnel pages
  3. Using the same goal page for different funnels
  4. Capitalization issues
  5. Assigning a monetary value to transactional goals
  6. Using incorrect REGEX (regular expressions) for goal and funnel pages
  7. Not understanding the required first step
  8. Not testing the funnel setup

How to configure a goal flow in Google Analytics

Now let’s see a detailed step by step process for configuring goal flow in Google Analytics.

Step-1: Once you get the ‘Configure Goal Flow’ notification in Google Analytics, click on ‘Adjust goals’.

adjust goals

It will redirect you to the goals settings page.

goal settings

You can also go to the goal settings page from the ‘Admin’ option available in the menu and then in the view column click on ‘Goals’.

Step-2: Now select the goal for which you configure goal flow. As an example, I am selecting the ‘Purchase Completed’ goal.

select goal

You will get a screen like the below image.

goal details

Step-3: Now click on the ‘Edit’ link in front of ‘Goal details’.

edit goal

As you can see from the below image, ‘Funnel’ is not configured and that is the reason you are getting the notification to configure a goal flow.

funnel not configured

Step-4: Now click on the toggle button under ‘Funnel’. Note that funnel is an optional setting and is not required for every goal. But in our case, it is a must-have setup.

funnel on

Step-5: Now we need to add steps that are required before the user lands on the thank you page. 

In our case, these steps are required

  1. Cart Page
  2. Billing and Shipping Page
  3. Payment Page
  4. Review Page

These are standard steps that the user performs before landing on the thank you page (goal compilation).

If you are configuring goal flow for a different goal other than purchase then you can decide which steps and pages are required before the goal happens.

Step-6: Now add the first step name as ‘Cart’ under the text box ‘Name’ and provide the page path of the cart page under the text box ‘Screen/Page’ 

first step

Note: I have used regex for specifying the page path here. You can learn more about regex here: Regex Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager – Tutorial

Step-7: In this step, we have to mark the funnel step as required or optional. In our case, this step is required hence clicking on the toggle button to ‘Yes’ that is adjacent to the funnel step.

step required

Step-8: Now click on the ‘+ Add another step’ to add the remaining funnel steps.

add step

Step-9: Now repeat the same procedure for adding step name and page path for the remaining steps and add them one by one in sequence. 

steps added

Step-10: Once you have added all the steps, click on ‘Save’.

save

Congratulations! You have successfully configured a goal flow. 

Related Article: How to use Goal Flow Report in Google Analytics

Frequently asked questions about how to configure a goal flow in Google Analytics.

What is the goal flow report? 

The goal flow report shows the path that your website users have taken before the goal compilation. This way you can find more insights into the user journey. 

Goal flows provide a unique visualization of the traffic funnel that leads to conversions. You can use this report to see how users are navigating through the website before completing the goal

Why are you getting ‘Configure a goal flow’ notifications in Google Analytics? 

The main reason for getting this notification is that you have not set your goal funnel or there are some issues in goal settings. Once you get this notification, click on the ‘Adjust goals’ link in the notification and set up funnel pages.

What is a goal funnel in Google Analytics? 

A goal funnel is a series of web pages which you expect your website users to follow, to complete a goal like ‘newsletter sign up’, ‘download’, ‘purchase’ etc.

Register for the FREE TRAINING...

"How to use Digital Analytics to generate floods of new Sales and Customers without spending years figuring everything out on your own."



Here’s what we’re going to cover in this training…

#1 Why digital analytics is the key to online business success.

​#2 The number 1 reason why most marketers are not able to scale their advertising and maximize sales.

#3 Why Google and Facebook ads don’t work for most businesses & how to make them work.

#4 ​Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

#5 The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

#6 How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

​#7 How to learn and master digital analytics and conversion optimization in record time.



   

My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and BeyondSECOND EDITION OUT NOW!
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder, OptimizeSmart.com
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade
error: Alert: Content is protected !!