Goals are a way to measure conversions on your website. A conversion occurs when a visitor does something you want them to do. This could be completing some type of high value process or viewing a specific page on your website. Google has provided other examples of good conversion goals:
- A ‘thank you’ page after a user has submitted information through a form. This can track newsletter signups, email list subscriptions, job application forms, or contact forms.
- A purchase confirmation page or receipt page
- An ‘About us’ page
- A particular news article or content page
Analytics can track this as a goal as the page has some extra code, although a goal can even be file downloads or on-page actions. Setting up goals is one of the most important steps when configuring Google Analytics. This is the easiest way to measure conversions.
A funnel represents the path that you expect visitors to take on their way to converting to the goal. Defining these pages allows you to see how frequently visitors abandon goals, where in the funnel process they abandon the goals and where they go. For example, funnels in an e-commerce goal may include the first page of your checkout process, then the shipping address info page, and finally the credit card information page. The only report that shows the funnel path is the Funnel Visualization report.
Through funnels you can see how many people start the checkout process and how many complete it. You can learn if there are specific areas that visitors our leaving the process and then put measurements in place to try and encourage visitors to complete the process.