Funnel Visualization

Funnel visualization is used to monitor and analyze the interactions of users leading towards a website goal. In order to understand interactions such as logons, contact requests, sales or downloads, it is necessary to define goals and basic conversions in Google Analytics for the various interactions. Funnel visualization can be used to classify the various steps that users take to achieve goals. A distinction is made between micro conversion and macro conversion in this context.

A conversion funnel is a sequence of interactions that lead to a goal. For example, a path from the selection of a product through the shopping cart until completion of the ordering process. The funnel is an ideal way, which is determined in advance in order to be able to measure the success of this funnel and thus the business objectives. Before the funnel visualization can be used with Google Analytics, it is necessary to define targets or select templates. Only then can different conversion paths and their monetary values ​​be recorded and displayed.

General information

The funnel visualization shows the stream of visitors who follow specific paths of a website and thus interact with it in order to reach a website goal. For example, visitors may click through an online shop, search for products, compare them, and then add a product to their shopping cart. They then go to the checkout, provide order and payment information and get an overview. Next, they complete the order with obligation to payment. However, this theoretical pattern of an order process is only one option for visitors. Other users interact differently, cancel the process, and return later after a shop and product comparison. Or they exit and do not order anything. The question of how users interact with a website can only be answered by users. Webmasters and site operators can only anticipate this. By defining different funnels and destinations, the access patterns of the visitor stream are recorded and evaluated.

How it works

First of all, it is necessary to define objectives for activities as part of a funnel analysis. Under Administration> Data View> New Goal, new goals can be created. Depending on the type of website, the following types of destinations are possible:

  • Goal: A particular site or screen in an app can be designated as a goal type.
  • Duration: A visitor stays for a specified time on a particular website or app.
  • Pages / screens per session: A session can be defined as a sequence of specific [Page Impressions|page calls]].
  • Events: Visitors interact with certain content elements of the website, such as a video.

Templates are available for the creation of goals. Each funnel must consist of at least two steps and is characterized by a unique URL. Actually, however, the goals may vary according to the nature of the website and the related business objectives:

  • Acquisition: Registrations, account openings, and logins for forums, newsletters or online shops.
  • Interactions: Page views, submitted contact forms, or playing a video. The sharing of content in social networks or the use of special content elements of the website can also be viewed as interactions, as well as the length of stay on one a webpage which provides reviews reports and ratings.
  • Sales: Orders, payments or activities that are directly affecting the business objectives.

Each goal is associated with later actions and optimization measures. For example, all steps for completed orders should be as simple and intuitive as possible, so that the ordering process can be completed without problems. Once different goals are defined for a website, Google Analytics captures the steps users take to reach a goal and visualizes this data with funnels.

If users navigate on a path to the conversion destination, this is displayed as funnel conversion rate and highlighted in green. If they cancel the process, it is highlighted in red and is considered an exit. Particular attention should be paid to exits, i.e. users who do not convert. There is often potential for optimization. If several steps have been defined for a goal, data is displayed for each step in the visualization. The more accurately the steps represent the desired behavior of the user, the better the funnel represents the conversion paths and the associated conversion rates.

Relevance to web analysis

Since the funnel visualization is linked to the definition of goals, conceptual preliminary work is necessary. A funnel analysis is a path defined by the company that users can, but don’t have to take. A more complete picture of user behavior is provided to webmasters with the other features Google Analytics offers. Worthy of mention here are goal flow and the reverse goal path.[1] If goals are defined, deep analysis options are offered, which are supplemented by e-commerce tracking and the multi-channel funnel. Especially online shops and sales-oriented websites can benefit from these analyzes and continuously optimize their web presence. The results are, however, often measured in small percentages, since the conversion rates depend on many different factors, but in Germany they are generally less than 3%.


  1. Funnel Visualization vs. Goal Flow Retrieved on 07/13/2016

Web Links