Understanding task completion and task abandonment is fundamental to optimizing website performance. Consider the most important behavioral metrics: Goal Conversion Rate, Bounce Rate, and Click-through-rate. All of these are based on comparing the number of people who started a task vs. completed the task.
Custom Funnels let you visualize the steps your users take to complete a task and quickly see how well they are succeeding or failing at each step. You can act on this information to improve your site and reduce inefficient or abandoned customer journeys. You can also create Remarketing Audiences to re-engage with users who do drop out of the funnels.
This feature is only available in Google Analytics 360, part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite.
Learn more about the Google Analytics 360 Suite.
How Custom Funnels Work
Custom Funnels appear as a tab in a Custom Report. A Custom Funnel consists of one or more "stages." Each stage is defined using dimension-based rules, which let you specify whether the stage should include or exclude hits matching a particular value. You can use any dimension in Analytics in a Custom Funnel rule.
Custom Funnels display a graph of the number of users who completed, and who did not complete, each of the defined stages. You can immediately see which stages of the funnel had the best or worst performance in terms of the number of users or sessions completing the overall task. Custom Funnels can help you focus on improving those numbers.
Specifically, you can take action by:
- Creating a Segment of users who completed or did not complete a particular stage of the funnel and then applying that Segment in other reports. Use those reports to perform further analysis and gain understanding of what drove the success or failure of that stage.
- Re-engaging with users who did not complete a task by creating a Remarketing Audience targeted to that Segment of users.
Create Custom Funnels
Custom Funnels are available for 360 properties only.
Custom Funnels appear as a tab in a custom report. To see your Custom Reports:
- Sign in to Google Analytics.
- Navigate to your view.
- Select the Customization tab.
- Click +New Custom Report from the top of the table.
If you don’t see this option, select Custom Reports > Overview in the report navigation.
- Select the Funnel tab.
Read Create and manage Custom Reports for general instructions on creating, editing, and sharing custom reports.
Custom Funnels configuration options
Analysis Type: By default, Custom Funnels are user-scoped. That is, the stages in that funnel will look at user behavior that spans sessions, if possible. You can restrict a Custom Funnel to be session-scoped by selecting All stages must occur within a session.
Funnel Rules: Rules determine the success criteria of a stage. You can define up to 5 stages per Custom Funnel, and each stage can have up to 5 rules.
- Click +add filter to add a new rule.
- Click +add stage to add a new stage.
Use the dimension drop-down menu to select the dimensions you want to use to define the stage. You can use any dimension available in Analytics, including custom dimensions and custom variables. Rules can be inclusive or exclusive, and the values you provide can be matched exactly or you can use a regular expression.
To select users who began on your home page, create the rule: Include Landing Page Exact
When you include multiple rules in a stage, all the rules must be met for the stage to be considered successful (in other words, the rules are applied with a logical AND operator).
Funnel Type: By default, Custom Funnels are "closed," meaning users will only be considered as being part of the funnel if they enter a stage from the beginning of the funnel. If you want users to be able to enter the funnel at any stage, change the Funnel Type to "Open."
You can only change the Funnel Type for session-based funnels. In other words, user-scoped Custom Funnels must be closed.
Metric: By default, Custom Funnels display the number of users completing / not completing each stage. You can change this to display the number of sessions, instead.
You can only change the Metric for session-based funnels. In other words, user-scoped Custom Funnels can only display the number of users.
Subsequent stage should follow: If your funnel has more than one stage, the order in which you define the stages is significant. The Subsequent stage should follow option determines how the Custom Funnel should evaluate your users' journey through the stages. Your choices are:
- At any time after a stage. Users can take intermediate steps in between stages. Those steps don't have to be part of the Custom Funnel.
You have defined a Custom Funnel consisting of 2 stages: Page A and Page B. With the At any time after a stage option selected, a user who visited Page A, then Page X, then Page B would be counted as completing both stages of the funnel.Remember, the Funnel Type option determines whether users must start the funnel journey on the first stage (closed funnel) or any later stage (open funnel).
- Immediately after a stage. Users are part of the funnel only if they enter the subsequent stage directly after a preceding step.
You have defined a Custom Funnel consisting of 2 stages: Page A and Page B. With the Immediately after a stage option selected, a user who visited Page A, then Page X, then Page B would be counted as completing only the first stage of the funnel. Even though they later visited Page B, the detour to Page X is counted as a drop-off from Page A.
- Let me decide individually for every stage. The options above apply to the funnel as a whole. If you want to customize each stage, select this option. You can then select behavior you want using the ...is followed by drop-down menu that will appear at the bottom of each stage in the funnel.
The Custom Funnel graph depicts each stage in the funnel and shows the numbers of users who completed the stage and moved on, as well as those who did not complete each stage and dropped out. The graph can tell you at a glance if a particular stage is underperforming and needs further investigation.
Funnel date range
Custom funnels are retroactive, meaning you apply them to data that's already been collected and processed. Use the Date Range controls in the report to look at different dates.
Apply a Segment
You can apply a single Segment to a Custom Funnel. The Segment acts as a filter for the first stage of the funnel.
Custom Funnels offer two powerful ways to act on the information revealed by the funnel:
Click any completed or not completed stage in the Custom Funnels graph to create a new Segment based on the criteria of that stage. You can then apply this Segment throughout Analytics to better understand what caused the behavior demonstrated in the stage.
Create Remarketing Audiences
Click any completed or not completed stage in the Custom Funnels graph to create a Remarketing Audience of users who did or did not complete the stage. You can then run a Remarketing Campaign in AdWords to target these users.
Limits and caveats of Custom Funnels
- Custom Funnels is a 360-only feature.
- A Custom Funnel can have up to 5 stages.
- Each stage can have up to 5 rules.
- You can apply only 1 Segment to a Custom Funnel.
- Custom Funnels are subject to the same data sampling rules as other reports.