Google Analytics Goal Funnels & Goal Flows

If you haven’t got goals configured in your analytics account – you won’t have seen these reports. Once you’ve appreciated the power of these you’ll want to setup goals PDQ..


I wanted to to do this – because I see all too many businesses that can’t ever have seen a goal funnel / goal flow – because they haven’t got goals set up.

And if they have it isn’t working correctly..

So what should it look like…

OK So here’s a simple funnel.

You see the people coming in from a page. Now the fact that’s one page is a simplification – an example..

Looking at the funnel to the right. Somethings to notice
It’s got a user friendly title – you can pick what you call each step in the funnel – so don’t let someone choose arcane names that mean nothing to the rest of the business.
Everyone went to step 2, none left (the red arrow)… All proceeded to the next step.

OK proceeding to step 2
Some left – exited the site
Others went to a different page Step3 – now our page naming gives us a clue – this funnel has (deliberately) some missing steps…

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What makes an Pinterest infographic doubly effective?

Pinterest is stacked full of infographics. It seems that photos or infographics are the 2 options most pinners go with.Popular Infographic

So what makes an infographic effective?

Not surprisingly a focused story – supported with good graphics is felt to be important. I found a list that included

  • Simple graphics that relate to the data
  • Simple colour palette
  • Visualisations that clearly illustrate the data
  • Message at a glance

Looking at the infographics on the Mashable board collected from around the place it would seem that some of these insights are novel.

A cursory look at the most pinned images though turned up some other interesting results:

Large numbers of the pins needed to be zoomed in order to be read.  This seems weird. Why would people want to deliberately pin graphics that can’t all be assimilated at a glance. Then one very popular pin gave a clue. It had (at the time of the post) 1401 repins, and 390 likes.

This has very well known brand names – and then the explanations are in small print.

And on looking further I realised that there are highly effective pins (if measured in terms of repins and likes) that have the same characteristics. Note it doesn’t matter if the small elements are graphics or textual.

These infographic have what is known to direct response copywriters as “double readership path”.

Double Readership Path

Now in copywriting this means that the headings and sub headings if viewed alone would be sufficient to convey a good part of the story. They attract the reader, draw the reader in etc. etc.

And it’s the same with these effective infographics – the large graphical or textual elements draw the viewer in – and the smaller, less obvious part then supplement the main story with extra detail.

Is the the complete answer?

It can’t be – because I also found – this infographic about digital marketing. (at the time of writing 890 repins and 122 likes)Popular Infographic 2

I’m struggling with which (if any) of the graphical guidelines above it follows.

And I’m left wondering what the message at a glance about digital marketing would be – other than it’s complex and confusing… Perhaps there are people out there who are prepared to put lots of effort into reading infographics?

What do you think made this last infographic so popular?




Goals vs Events – Which to choose & why

Hello and welcome along to our analytics half-hour.

This afternoon we’re going to tackle goals vs events in Google Analytics. Why use them – and which of the two to choose.

And we’ll look at why this kind of tracking is of extreme value for business, and how you’d move ahead of competitors just by doing it.

Just to introduce me. I’m Vernon Riley and I’m a chartered mechanical engineer – and I’ve spent my career working with systems & processes.

So I apply engineering insights to ensure the measurement and reporting systems that go alongside analytics tailored to fit business.

Just a word about the interface at in your browser – if you’re watching this live. It’s fairly simple to the right of the main window. There is a sidebar.

One of the tabs is the chat window and in that you can post messages to me and I can post messages back. I’ll do my best to keep up with the messages, but obviously as you’ll understand, I can’t necessarily read all the messages whilst on concentrating on talking to everyone else.

So if you’ve heard all of this please type HEARING YOU FINE… in the chat box on the right hand side… thanks

So with that, let’s get going

If you’ve listened to the last couple of Analytics Half Hours you’ll have heard me talking about using events to tracking specific activities

on their websites. (video, chat, filling in a form, clicking social share buttons,

  • Calling phone numbers
  • Someone opening an email you’ve sent.
  • Numbers of emails sent to a particular mailbox
  • New attendees to events that you’re running – if you’re an online system like Eventbrite to capture their details.
  • New lists or customisations being added to your autoresponder or CRM system
  • Appointments being made or altered on a cloud based system
  • When a specified user pins an item to a specified board on Pinterest..

Now any or all of these could be of marketing interest – But (crucially) most of these aren’t the last stage completion of a process, a real sequence.

And I’d like to encourage you to think about Google Analytics Goals as “the last stage – the outcome of a process”.

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Marketing Webinars on Pinterest – 15 tips & tricks

What do you need to do – and what might you miss if you’re not on the ball?

I’ve put together:

  • 5 Tips for the pin
  • 5 Tricks for the blog post
  • 5 Details that make it easier

The basis of the promotion is the blog post, and where most of the work gets done. And because you’re promoting on Pinterest you’ll ought to thinking about making your blog post work for months or years. Whilst can be true for other social media promotion – and is of course true for search engine listings – Pinterest is known for viral sharing over long periods.
I’ve assumed you’re able to add plugins and widgets to the blog.

So in the blog post..

  1.  Sell the sizzle of the webinar. Who should attend – why, what will they get from it.
  2. Show a replay – if it’s already happened. Embed this – but don’t make it auto-play.
  3. Have a good image to book for a future webinar in the body of the blog post itself. You can certainly try using widgets in the sidebar – but these aren’t likely to be as effective.
  4. Use a lightbox to show the webinar signup details. This can allow you to use the webinar provider’s sign up page – which can be good, without using other expensive plugins. It also mimics the 2 step signup which is now common in lead generation situations.
  5. Use a PHP snippet to allow you to update multiple blog posts with new dates/times. There’s not much point in booking for an old webinar. Nor do you want to have to go round lots of blog posts and manually alter the links just because the calendar dates keep on going.

Then you’ll need to get the contents of the image that you’re going to pin right.

  • Find a good image.
  • Make sure text is easily readable
  • Link the pin to your blogpost
  • Tag the link for analytics
  • Send it to friends

Now some of the details for the blog posting

  1. Graphics of the pin
  2. I use Xara Photo & Graphic Designer v9 to do the pins. It’s much cheaper than Adobe Illustrator – and can import the open source svg formats you find on So the pin you clicked on had the colours changed to make it stand out more.
  3. Tagging the pin. I put & This means that the Google Analytics on my blog knows that the visitor arrived from pinterest.
  4. I use the AllowPhpInPosts plugin to insert the code snippet that allows people to book for my next webinar – using a standard Webinarjam signup template. I can have one snippet and simply change the code as time progresses – so every post automatically directs people to the next webinar.
  5. I use the Lightbox Plus Colorbox plugin with the secondary feature enabled – that allows me to put the webinarjam URL into the PHP snippet.
  6. I tend to use an image and show the replay in a lightbox. This makes the page load faster than it would if I either set it to autoplay or loaded it directly.

What do you think it needs to make it work?


Using Google Analytics to Track Video, Phonecalls, Chat etc


So what sort of business will be really interested in tracking specific activities on their websites.

Now to be honest – many people listening will have a short list of the activities they think can be tracked using Google Analytics.

  • Pages visits
  • People submitting forms
  • And people going to external websites (the subject of our previous analytics half hour)

That sort of thing

What most won’t realise is that anything (in principle) can be tracked using Google Analytics Events:

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Google Analytics and SEO

With the changes to Google’s ranking algorithms (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon) and the information available in Google Analytics it’s an obvious question “What is the continuing relevance of Google Analytics to SEO?”

Well, as it happens, there are good reasons to want to look at Google Analytics to give you ideas as to what you need to do to improve your search engine optimisation. Whilst you no longer have access to many of the raw keywords and phrases used to reach your website you still have feedback on how you’re doing and therefore how you might improve. In fact, that’s the core reason for wanting to look at analytics in any circumstance.
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Event Tracking with Google Analytics – Best Practices

Our most recent Analytics Half Hour covered event tracking for outbound links. Essential if you run a business that isn’t completely isolated.

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Event Tracking with Google Analytics – Why Business Should Care


The tendency is to view links that encourage people to leave your website (also called outbound links) as a necessary evil. To assume that minimising these is the best course of action.


And if they can’t be minimised – well the visitor’s is gone. Perhaps this view has been encouraged by the SEO community that tends to focus on “inbound links”.


But what if the referral is very much part of the customer journey?

What's your Customer's Journey like?

What’s your Customer’s Journey like?


In this post , I’ll give a whole lot of reasons why event tracking of outbound links is important to businesses and other organisations. And since you’ve got google analytics why not use it. If some of these resonate with you then the analytics half-hour scheduled for 13 February will give you further insights on the kinds of reports that you could see in practice.


So to the business examples


But suppose you’re a manufacturer and you have a website that has details on lots of products and services you offer and you have a network of distributors and agents in various countries around the world. In this case it would be really useful to track by means of Google Analytics events. How many visitors you sent to each particular distributor or agent.

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Tracking PDF downloads – Best Practice Google Analytics

The business reasons for tracking PDF downloads are compelling. Are you getting as much information as you can?

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Tracking Website Visitors with Google Analytics is like watching shoppers in a mall.

Standing looking at anonymous shoppers in a mall or a supermarket is very much like running a website and wondering what the visitors are doing. If you could understand better – then you’d be able to improve the results of your marketing and promotional efforts.

Many business people struggle with Google Analytics. Certainly NOT because they can’t; but more because they “can’t get into it”. The whole thing seems arcane and unrelated to their business. Start to uncover the secrets by watching this 3 minute video.


  • what would you like to understand about the visitors to your website?
  • what experiments could you think of running?
  • what measurements would help you?

Going for a walk; or listening to a piece of music is more likely to help you answer these than staring at a screen full of numbers without a clear objective.