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Fix For Google Analytics Or Alternative


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#1 lesterj1

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 10:51 PM

Hey Everyone,

My company has just changed the order processing software we are using and it's causing some issues with Google Analytics conversion funnel tracking.  Specifically, there is one point in the funnel where making certain selections (which about half the people do) causes the page to reload.  Also, on the login/register page, if they miss a field, the software tells them missed the field, but loads a new page which has a different URL which is not a part of the funnel when a mistake like that isn't made.

All of this is causing Google Analytics to report people as leaving the conversion funnel when they really haven't.  About a third of the traffic is being shown as exiting the funnel with the exit URL being the exact same URL as the step they are supposedly exiting from (example: the visitor enters on page1, moves to page2, Google is showing that they exit on page2 and go to...page2.

Does anyone have any suggestions of how to deal with this in Google Analytics?  If not, do you have a recommendation of an alternative analytics program which can deal with the situations mentioned above?

PS - Changing the way the checkout software works does not appear to be a viable option.

Thanks.

Kurt Steinbrueck



#2 wfoody

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:28 AM

Hi Kurt,

 

The most logical thing if you were keeping GA is to remove the goal steps from being required. If the user can only get to those pages by checking out that shouldn't be an issue. The next thing is to see if you can get the url to stay the same. If that isn't possible see if you can have the "different url" load in a new window and resize the window so it isn't blocking page they are currently on. Your problem is tricky due to the fact that the software takes them to a new url. hope this helped a little.



#3 lesterj1

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:04 PM

Hi Kurt,

 

The most logical thing if you were keeping GA is to remove the goal steps from being required. If the user can only get to those pages by checking out that shouldn't be an issue. The next thing is to see if you can get the url to stay the same. If that isn't possible see if you can have the "different url" load in a new window and resize the window so it isn't blocking page they are currently on. Your problem is tricky due to the fact that the software takes them to a new url. hope this helped a little.

Thanks for the reply.  Unfortunately, I cannot change the funnel.  As far as removing the required steps, that doesn't really solve the problem, I don't think.  My issue is not so much that I can't track the total number of conversions for the goal, but rather that I can't see how people are falling out of the funnel.  So, if I want to make a change or two to the funnel and see how it affects whether someone moves through a specific step, I can't do that.

 

Any other ideas?

 

Kurt



#4 wfoody

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

To understand a little more, if your in ga in "conversions>goals>funnel visualization" you can't see where the visitor drops off because of the "different url"? 



#5 lesterj1

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:42 PM

In the funnel visualization, I see too many people dropping out because of the different URL.

 

For example, let's say the funnel has the following progression:

 

Product.php => ShoppingCart.php => PaymentInfo.php => Thankyou.php

 

 

If someone enters their payment information incorrectly, then that page reloads, but with a different URL, let's call it PaymentCorrection.php.

 

So, some of the people end up going through the following progression:

 

Product.php => ShoppingCart.php => PaymentInfo.php => PaymentCorrection.php =>

Thankyou.php

 

 

When this happens, Google indicates that the person left the funnel at the PaymentInfo.php page.

 

Unfortunately, I cannot prevent the checkout process from working like this without some major development of the 3rd party software.  So, I'm trying to figure out a way of tracking people's progress through the funnel whether they go through the funnel as intended or mess up their payment info and have that additional page in their funnel.

 

I hope that helps to make things more clear.

 

Thanks.

 

Kurt



#6 wfoody

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:22 PM

Would adding "PaymentCorrection.php" as a step in the funnel as a non-required step not fix this issue?



#7 lesterj1

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 03:06 PM

Can you add a step in the middle of a funnel that isn't used by people?

 

I thought the only step that could be required (or not) was the first step.  My understanding is that any steps you place in the middle of the funnel are essentially required once a person is in the funnel.  In other words, if I set the first step of the funnel to not be required, then a person can come into the funnel on any step, but once they are in, they must continue through the steps that follow or they are considered to have dropped out of the funnel.

 

Is this wrong?

 

Kurt



#8 wfoody

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 03:28 PM

okay my fault you are correct. So instead of changing your current funnel, add a second goal with the path "Product.php => ShoppingCart.php => PaymentInfo.php => PaymentCorrection.php =>Thankyou.php". You can than compare the two goals. You may want to add a third goal just with the destination "Thankyou.php". 

 

Using this method if 100 people went to the "PaymentInfo.php" and on your second goal only 20 people go to "PaymentCorrection.php" and you have 80 left that dropped off or continued with purchase. So you will now see if there were errors on the form.

 

The easiest way to see this would be to setup a dashboard. 



#9 Jill

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:08 AM

Can't you just use a head match rather than exact match for the URL in question?



#10 lesterj1

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:33 AM

I'm using regular expression matches.

 

Right now, I have

 

/cart.php\?a=add

/cart.php\?a=view

/cart.php\?a=complete

 

In between a=view and a=complete, if the visitor enters the wrong payment info (or leaves something out, etc) they are taken to /cart.php?a=checkout.

 

If I use head match, wouldn't it cause all the pages to be seen as the same?



So instead of changing your current funnel, add a second goal with the path "Product.php => ShoppingCart.php => PaymentInfo.php => PaymentCorrection.php =>Thankyou.php". You can than compare the two goals. You may want to add a third goal just with the destination "Thankyou.php". 

 

 

I'll give this a try and see.

 

Thanks.






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