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The Power Of The Funnel

More than just a fancy graphic, the Analytics Funnel can provide you with clear, actionable insights. The big challenge for website owners when it comes to improving conversions are high bounce-rates, conversion path drop-offs and exits. A Funnel report can provide key insights into visitor behavior which helps to improve website metrics including conversion rates. There are many funnel reports in various analytics packages, but few have the capabilities of Lyris HQ (formerly ClickTracks). It is one of the favorites of our Analytics group at Position² because it has resulted in increased conversion rates of 15-40% for our clients.

In this report, we will not only discuss Lyris HQ Funnel Report key features, but best practices on how we have used it with our clients.

Multi Dimensional Funnel Definition

Most analytics tools assume that a visitor’s progression to a goal or conversion page is linear. The visitor starts at the Landing Page, clicks on ‘Buy Now’, fills the form, completes the purchase and reaches the ‘Thank you’ page. Studies have shown that visitor behavior is not linear, but far more complex. Visitors navigate back and forth between different sections such as ‘About Us’, ‘Privacy Policy’ or move between different product pages before choosing one. This behavior in the extreme is called Pogo-sticking which has been shown to reduce conversion rates. A multi dimensional funnel analytics tool like Lyris HQ can be configured to take this behavior into account. This leads to more relevant and results oriented insights. Analytics Pros such as Avinash Kaushik of Google have consistently rated this funnel report tool as one of the best.

How It Can Help You

A key function of the funnel report is to a visitor’s path from entrance to conversion. It sheds light on the following:

  1. Paths that people take towards the goal. This can help eliminate redundant steps. For example, if the report reveals that most visitors tend to read the ‘About Us’ section, it might be useful to have the some summary information about the company on relevant pages.
  2. Exit points in your site. These provide insights into reasons why visitors leave and which sites they go to. Exit points in the funnel are highlighted indicating where visitors drop out in the conversion process.
  3. Click Patterns. For example, if you find that visitors click on the ‘Contact Us’ button across pages, then it may indicate that the relevant information is not easily accessible to the visitor. You can then modify your website accordingly.
  4. Usability experiments: Another use for funnel reports is in usability experiments. You could create different versions of key pages like the ‘Landing Page’ or ‘Registration Form’ and see which design has the best visitor progression to deeper stages of the funnel.

Key Features

Let’s use a consumer financial tools site to highlight key features of the Lyris Funnel Tool like visitor progression and visitor segmentation.

Visitor Progression

To understand the flow from start to end, you need to map visitor progression across stages. Each stage is defined as a group of inter-connected pages, not just as an individual page. It displays which page groups enable visitors to progress to a deeper level by measuring the progression rate. For example, if a page group is requested in 100 visitor session and 50 of those sessions result in a visitor going deeper, the progression rate for that page group is 50%.

This is indicated in shades of blue as represented below. The darker it gets, the more influence the page has in driving visitors towards the goal. In the example below, the ‘Home Page’ and the ‘Sweepstakes Landing Page’ are the two most influential pages.

Visitor Segmentation

Segmentation is created by using labels. Using this mechanism, it is possible to study how different groups of visitors react on various page groups. Progression data for each label can then be viewed by clicking on the label name at the bottom of the report.

For example: Stage 1 can be defined as a group of landing pages. You can analyze which landing page had the highest visitor progression for all visitors as well as which page had the best progression for ‘PPC visitors’ vs. ‘Email campaign visitors.’

In the example shown below, ‘Social media” visitors (segment shown in Green) had the maximum progression from the ‘Home Page.’

Funnel Analysis In ClickTracks

Testing The Funnel

We conducted an experiment for a client who wanted to test the existing form completion (which was all on one page) against a registration process broken out over a couple of pages. The results were striking enough to re-evaluate the registration process. The current Registration Page was on a single landing page with 8 fields. The modified Registration Form (New Register) was split across 2 pages with 4 fields in each.

We found that at an overall level, the progression rate improved from 61% to 91% when we used the two step form.

Testing The Funnel

However, this was not the same for all visitor segments. The Progression Rate for visitors landing on the home page via organic and social media sources was higher on the New Register form (two page form). In contrast, visitors who came in from paid advertising sources continued to show higher progression on the current Registration form.

Based on this critical insight, we recommended and helped implement different registration pages based on the visitor's entry page. The result – overall conversion to registration increased by 23%.

Best Practices In Defining LyrisHQ Funnel

Defining the funnel correctly makes all the difference. Here are some best practices:

  1. The first stage of the funnel must be your entry page. This includes the home page.
  2. The pages should not be distinguished on the basis of their tracking URLs or parameters since that distinguishes a visitor source and not the page itself.
  3. Use labels to create different groups of visitors and analyze visitor progression for each group.
  4. Defined page groups should share common attribute. For example: A group of ‘Product pages’ or a group of ‘Registration pages.’ You should also analyze if page modifications have improved the progression rate.
  5. Note that if a visitor visits two pages in the same page group, say Landing Page1 and Landing Page2, then the progression is assigned to the first page group (the one on the extreme left in our example). Thus interchanging the order of page groups can change the funnel data.

As you can see, analyzing visitor behavior on your site provides powerful insights on how visitors interact with your website. It can be a lot of fun as well.

If you have any questions or need help with your marketing analytics challenges, please contact your friends at Position².

Contributed by Divya Krishnan, Analytics, Position²

Team Position²

Position2 is an innovative digital marketing agency that accelerates demand through integrated Content Marketing, Paid Acquisition, and Marketing Technology solutions. Our demand acceleration solutions map the buyer's journey across multiple touch points such as search, social, mobile, media, and email. These integrated campaigns are powered by cutting-edge content creation, digital advertising, web design/development, marketing automation, and analytics. We serve hundreds of clients ranging from VC funded startups to Fortune 500 multinational firms. Our 200-member team is based in Silicon Valley and Bangalore and consists of marketing gurus, engineers, data scientists, writers, and designers. Founded in 2006, Position2 is backed by Accel Partners.