In Google Analytics (GA) the term Conversion indicates that a goal has been achieved by a user. A goal is defined by the webmaster of GA and depending on the type of website, a goal could be -for instance- the purchase of a product, the streaming of a video, or the download of a brochure. A goal could even be defined as time spent on site (a conversion that is particularly useful for bloggers). In GA menu, the sub-menu Conversions contains four options:
- Multi-Channel Funnels
Conversions > Goals
If we click on the first option Goals, it contains five clickable options:
- Goal URLs
- Reverse Goal Path
- Funnel Visualization
- Goal Flow
The Overview shows how many users have completed the defined goals (27), the total value associated to each goal (in this case zero), the percentage of users that converted (19.71%). The total abandonment rate is always equal to zero as users have completed the goals. In addition to these four set metrics, the Overview shows how many users have completed each goal (Goal 1 Completions). In the above example there is only one set goal. If we had more than one goal, the first four parameters would be the total sum of each goal plus two more metrics showing how many users completed each goal. In this last instance, the Overview would be:
- Goal Completions (Total Users that completed Goal 1 and Goal 2)
- Goal Value (if set it would express the total monetary value of Goal 1 and Goal 2)
- Goal Conversion Rate (Percentage of users that completed Goal 1 and/or Goal 2)
- Total abandon rate (always zero)
- Goal Conversion 1 (total users that completed Goal 1)
- Goal Conversion 2 (total users that completed Goal 2)
In this case the values are summative and therefore do not give any insight regarding how each goal is performing. For instance, Goal completion does not indicate if the number of users that convert is high or low. Conversely, Goal conversion rate does not indicate if a Goal is performing well or poorly. To have a better insight on how each goal is performing, we should look at the Goal Completion Location, which lists all the terminal pages for each conversion.
In the above example, Goal 1 is equal to social shares. If we look in detail, among the 27 users that converted, 8 users completed the goal on /Post and 3 users on /Albums. In this case, as there is only one goal defined, it is easy to find a correspondence between goal and final page URL. However, when there are many goals it is difficult to determine which terminal page corresponds to which goal. To gain a better insight, it would be worth selecting only one or a sub-group of goals from the All Goals menu. The on goals would appear in underlined blue and the off goals in grey.
The Goal URLs shows all the terminal pages URLs and the number of conversions for each page. In case there are more than a single goal set, each terminal page will show the total number of users that converted; therefore, for each page it is impossible to tell how many users completed a specific goal (Goal 1 or Goal 2 for instance).
By clicking on any specific URL, we do not get any additional information; only how many users converted and the monetary value associated to it. However, by selecting from the menu Secondary Dimension the option Goal Previous Step -1, we can find out which pages the users have visited before the terminal page. The same information can be visualized using the Reverse Goal Path.
Conversions > The multi-channel funnel (MCF)
The multi-channel funnel provides additional information regarding the steps visitors and users took before converting. The Time Lag shows the time that passed between a user visiting th site for the first time and the conversion. In case you have set up multiple goals, you can select and deselect specific goals from the top hand-left side menu. The Path Length option indicates how many steps a user took before converting.
If the conversion path is on average quite long, the website structure might not be optimized for users conversion. Options could include more visible call-to-actions buttons, more links that lead to the conversion page.If that is not the case, visit the pages that your users visited before converting to better understand their behavior.