A funnel is a series of predefined steps, or pages, that a visitor must pass through before reaching a goal. Not every goal will have an associated funnel, so defining a funnel is optional. You should set up a funnel if you have a predefined process that the visitor must go through before reaching the goal. This can be as simple as specifying the form used on a Contact Us page or as complicated as a multistep checkout process. The funnel is an excellent way to visualize problems in the conversion process (Figure 7-4).
I absolutely love funnel analysis. Why? It is a very simple way to identify problems related to conversions. Think about it: if a visitor is in a funnel process, you have already spent a lot of money on that visitor! You’ve spent marketing dollars to get him to the site and more money developing the site and content to convince him to convert. Once he’s in the funnel, he’s literally a few clicks away from conversion. Don’t blow it now! Make sure your funnel works. Improvements to the funnel process can pay immediate dividends.
Figure 7-4. The Funnel Visualization report shows where visitors left a defined process
Setting up a funnel is very similar to setting up a destination URL goal. Each step in a funnel is a pageview. To create a funnel, paste the URL for each page in your process into the setup form (shown in Figure 7-5) and ...