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Last Post by shaniadavid
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After logging in to Analytics, click "edit" to the far right of the website profile you want to add a goal to. Or to get to this page again, click "My Account" at the top and then click Analytics in the "My Products" category.
From here you set a goal, which should be a unique page, such as a thank you page or a receipt page of some kind, so you KNOW they bought something or successfully signed up for something or what have you.

The funnel is something you can add to a goal to make sure users follow a process to get to your goal page. Let's say your thank you page is just "thankyou.html" and so you make this your goal. That's great, but what if your site isn't designed well and a user can just go directly to thankyou.html without visiting other pages first? Even if you had some kind of javascript or ajax to determine if a user should be there, they've already loaded the page and Google may show this is as a goal reached.
So basically a funnel is used to make sure a user goes from A to B to C and they have to hit all the funnel pages in order for it to count as a goal. So they can't just type thankyou.html directly, they have to come from funnel page 1, which could be a shopping cart page usually.
Say you have a small site with two main categories of items, but then they share a checkout page. You could create two goals, both for the checkout(thank you) page, but create a funnel for each to track if users came from the first category or the second category. Then you could apply different cost values to each, etc...

Be careful with funnels though, because you really need to know under what circumstances a user will be going from point A to point B. Setting up a funnel to the shopping cart via funnel from a single product page is kind of pointless. Is there only ONE page by which they can purchase a product and place it in the shopping cart? If you create a funnel from a page where users could also come from other pages, it won't be accurate.

The "benefit" is relative to your needs. If you were market testing and had two methods of people buying stuff, you could funnel both methods and see which one drives more users. Or simply to block out false positives, you could funnel through all the pages of your checkout process, to weed out direct linking, saved shopping carts, bookmarked pages, etc...
Funnels work with regular expressions so they can use wildcards, which can allow your funnel to be less than super specific, plus you can declare a funnel page to be required or not. If they don't step through a required page, the goal won't be valid.

Finally, and probably the biggest reason to use a funnel. If your goal requires many steps (such as through shopping cart checkout), funneling through all the pages will give you an accurate view of drop outs. You can see that most users funnel through page 1 and 2, then drop on 3. Or they start and 1 and drop on 2. This lets you change the process however it seems best.

Hope that helps

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Define a funnel if you've selected a 'URL Destination' goal type:

Click 'Yes, create a funnel for this goal.'
Enter the 'URL' of the first page of your conversion funnel. This page should be a page that is common to all users working their way towards your goal. For example, if you are tracking user flow through your checkout pages, do not include a product page as a step in your funnel.
Please note: Funnel URLs are treated as regular expressions. For this reason, you can include wildcard characters and use other regular expression methods if you want to match more than a single URL. Learn more about regular expressions.
Enter a 'Name' for this step.
If this step is a 'Required step' in the conversion process, select the checkbox to the right of the step. If this checkbox is selected, users reaching your goal page without travelling through this funnel page will not be counted as conversions. Learn more about the 'Required Step' option in a funnel.
Continue entering goal steps until your funnel has been completely defined. You may enter up to 10 funnel steps, or as few as a single step.
Click Save Changes to create this Goal and funnel, or Cancel to exit without saving.

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Beware of funnels itself, because you really need to know under what circumstances a user will get from point A to point B. Creating a funnel to the shopping cart through the funnel of a single product page is a sort of sense. Is there only one page where they can buy a product and place it in the basket? If you create a funnel from a page where users can also come from other sides, it will not be accurate.

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Well the benefit of setting the funnel is that you can track the path of visitors that they follow while coming to your register or thankyou page!

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