Defining the Funnel of Failure in B2B Web Analytics

I’m on record, online and offline, of saying that segmenting your visits in Google Analytics using the Custom Segment feature is singly the most important thing you can do when you create an account.

Mass data is simply horrifying to work with, and in the end, you will learn nothing for your efforts.  It’s possible to understand, to a degree, WHAT your traffic does if you simply look at All Visits, but it’s near impossible to start postulating as to WHY it does what it does.

Today, we’ll look at a very specific Custom Segment I’ve created. Quote Abandonment.

Setting A Google Analytics Segment To See Goal Abandonment

In B2B Web Analytics, understanding what drives traffic to your lead capture form, then converts those visits into qualified leads is paramount.  Our SEOs, marketers, and webmasters spend a lot of time ensuring that happens.  We then, need to explain to them where it breaks down along the way.  And, more often than not, it will break down along the way.

So what we want to pick out here are the folks that actually VIEWED your quote request form, but then amazingly didn’t fill it out.  The nerve.

So, here’s how we set up the Custom Segment in Google Analytics (click for a larger view):

Setting up a custom segment in Google Analytics

We drag the Page View parameter to our first box, and then make the Condition “Matches Exactly” from the drop down.  Your Value field should then start to fill out itself.  Select the name of your page that contains the Lead Form you want to measure.  If you have more than one form you want to measure in this particular Custom Segment, then add and OR condition, and rinse/repeat for the second, third, fourth etc pages you want to measure.

Note:  To get full effect, set up a different Custom Segment for each page you want to measure, as opposed to lumping a bunch together.

Then, we add our AND argument, which in this case is simply Goal1 Completions.  We have Goal 1 set up to measure page views of our Thank You For Contacting Us page.  In other words, the page that displays to the user when they successfully fill out our form.  Set that Condition to Less Than 1.

Name your Segment.  I called ours “Quote Abandonment”.  Then, Test the segment, or simply save and apply it.

Working With Google Analytics to Understand Funnel Failure

Now that we have our segment created, we select it, and get to work solving all the world’s problems.  At least as they relate to people that get to your Quote form, but then AMAZINGLY don’t fill it out.

First, let’s have a look at how these “failures” start.  In the image below, I show the traffic sources and some statistics of our customers that are teetering on the edge.  I blanked out the keywords because, well, they’re good keywords, and NO, you can’t have them (click for larger view).

Goal Abandonment in Web Analytics

There’s some good stuff here.  Let’ s…analyse…

  • 5,471 people thought about being our new friend, but then didn’t pull the trigger.  At least not on the quote form.
  • 5% of those people were “Direct” visits.  They likely already knew who we were before they got here.
  • A whopping 91% came through search engines, paid or otherwise.

Some things to think about:

  • Do these percentages match up with your overall traffic source percentages?
  • If your referral traffic is often failing, what sites are they coming from?  Just untargeted, or is there a deeper problem?
  • Is your PPC traffic getting there and failing?  That’s especially frustrating.  Do your ads convey anything about your sales process?  Or were your visitors expecting e-commerce?
This is in fact the tip of the iceberg when considering why your Lead Generation form isn’t being filled out when it gets looked at.  It’s important to do comparison analysis too versus folks that DO fill it out.  As an example (click to enlarge):
Wins vs Losses in Web Analytics
Here we find some interesting things by way of comparison.  We’re showing the 5 most POPULAR organic keywords (hidden) for the site in question.  The data is simply a formatted export directly from Google Analytics.
  • Goal Conversion Rate can be greater than zero, even for the abandons.  This means they completed another action that we deemed worthy of note, such as using a simpler form, or exceeding X numbers of page views, etc.  Avanish Kaushik outlines Micro and Macro Goal set up very well at his blog here: Web Analytics 101.  So we see even the abandons are not total losses.
  • A lot of our Quote Completion victims…errrrr…customers definitely complete more than one of our Goal identifiers.
  • The ratio of Completions to Abandons is RELATIVELY stable despite the keyword they used to find us.

From here, you need to start putting it into context of your own business goals, your vertical, and scale it to the market conditions you are working with.

But by quickly identifying where you are failing with the low hanging fruit (they’ve expressed interest… they’re at your lead gen form….), you can take steps to pull them in a little harder, and a little faster.

Go make this custom segment right now.  You won’t regret it.

About kevin

I work as an internet marketing manager in domestic (US) manufacturing, and blog about B2B web lead generation, CRMs, web analytics, and a little bit about affiliate marketing. I also am an avid Kayak Fisherman.