This is a modified transcript taken from Part 1 as well as a summary from Part 2 of the September 2019 edition of {OPStimized}.

WHAT IS {OPStimized}?
This free monthly series is designed to help you refine, improve and – you guessed it! – optimize your operations. Sign up for current and future editions here and be sure to implement this month’s {OPStimized} before a new edition drops on the 15th.

EMBED : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U28ltNfhLVI

PART 1 of SALES FUNNEL VISUALIZATION AND CLIENT JOURNEY OPTIMIZATION

You’re a visionary, boss, and being the creative type you are, you actually do need to SEE and VISUALIZE things to fully understand them. It’s not enough to look at numbers; you need a visual representation of their meaning and importance.

Kinda like this sexy report I have for you using (the free!) Google Data Studio platform ::

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A link to create a copy of this Google Data Studio report will be found in the implementation summary area at the end of this post – no opt-in required!

The idea is to not only VISUALIZE YOUR CLIENT JOURNEY but to also HONE IN ON THE AREAS YOU WANT TO FOCUS ON OPTIMIZING. This is how you get bigger and better results out of how you’re already operating.

To begin visualizing your client journey – your sales funnel, if you will – go through the purchasing process for yourself. Generally speaking, your funnel will include your SALES PAGE, your CHECKOUT PAGE and your “THANK YOU FOR PURCHASE” PAGE.

OPStimized template

ACTION ITEMS

  • Go through your own client journey/sales funnel
  • Copy and paste the URL for each page: the sales page, the checkout page and the purchase page
  • Rinse and repeat for each of your products and/or services

Don’t assume or outsource these action items! 

There will be plenty of opportunity to outsource later on. I strongly suggest you perform these Action Items personally.

While it may be tempting to simply jot down the links you think each step leads to, I strongly discourage this approach. Likewise for delegating this to your virtual assistant. We are in OPTIMIZATION mode here and you should approach this as a “quality control” exercise. Make sure everything is firing exactly the way you want it to :: the images, the text, the links, your branding. Double-check that everything is happening and appearing just as you intend it to. Think of this as an opportunity to put the boss (that’s you!) stamp of approval on how you’re showing up to your leads and clients.

Go through the experience of buying from yourself. Then, copy and paste the series of URLs that bring you to the next page of your purchasing process.

You can do this in a spreadsheet, on a Google Doc, in your project management system – whatever works best for you. If you see any changes that you need to be made, either make them immediately or make note of the changes you want to make and implement those changes after you’ve completed your client journey.

#PROTIP :: Copying and pasting the URL instead of noting it manually will reduce the chance of human error when it comes to your set-up.

“What if my checkout page is a pop-up/not an actual page?”

Even if you’re using a pop-up for check-out, it will still have a URL. Email your payment processor’s support to find out what that would be.

For instance, I use ThriveCart for payment processing. The domain used by ThriveCart is missgsd.thrivecart.com and my product check-out page is missgsd.thrivecart.com/product-number. This means the URL for my course {Airtable Like A Boss} is missgsd.thrivecart.com/1, as shown below.

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You should be able to enter that URL as you would any other address and see the same thing you would see in its pop-up format. As always, I recommend that you test/double-check that you have the correct URL before assuming it is correct.

“But I have multiple products and/or services!”

This method of sales funnel tracking is based on the assumption that you are a creative boss genius who offers 1-5 products or services; this is not for a full-on ecommerce site – that’s a totally different ballgame.

However, if you have more than one product or service, you’re going to repeat this process for as many products/services that you sell. Each journey is unique and we’re setting you up to track them all.

Your sales funnel is possibly the most important element of your business – the process of how you make money! – which is reason enough for you to at least be familiar with how it goes down.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR REPORT

Before we set anything up, let’s focus on what you – the boss! – needs to do and understand.

The fundamentals of your sales funnel/client journey

Let’s begin by understanding how to take action based on area shown below.

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This is our overall sales funnel performance.

At the top (in the dark blue area), we see our SALES PAGE completions – so the number of people who have visited the sales page. Then we have our CHECK-OUT PAGE completions (in teal), and our PURCHASE completions (in lime green).

In Part 2, we set each of these milestones up as GOALS and this is how your reporting will work and where your numbers will be coming

Above your funnel area, we have OVERALL REVENUE; but we also have the revenue directly related to these three steps of your sales funnel. In Part 2, we set up a SEGMENT SEQUENCE that will allow us to hone in on the segment of people who went through each step listed in this sales sequence. This is an important distinction because when you’re assessing your sales funnel, you also want to know the overall impact it has on your bottom line.

Identifying conversion rate optimization opportunities

Next to your completions, we have little white scorecards to indicate your conversion rates. These are based on overall site traffic.

What is a conversion rate? It’s the percentage of visitors that complete a desired goal out of the total number of visitors.

In our above example, we can see that almost 2% of our overall site visits are completing a SALES PAGE visit. This is a little on the low side and could be some low-hanging fruit to optimize.

THE MISSION :: GET MORE EYES ON YOUR SALES PAGE

What can you do to help improve this specific conversion rate?

  • Create clearer calls-to-action (CTAs) in related blog posts
  • Add buttons/links to the sales page from the Home and About page
  • Increase the links to the sales page in email marketing

The idea here is to come up with ways to GET YOUR OFFER IN FRONT OF MORE PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY ON YOUR SITE/interacting with your brand.

Other conversion rates to consider

To the left of the area we were just looking at are grey scorecards with more conversions rates. While the white ones reflect the conversion rate based on overall traffic, the grey ones are being pulled from your payment processor and reflect your ecommerce data.

Your Cart-To-Detail rate represents the people who read your product details and added to cart. The Buy-To-Detail Rate reflects the people who, again, saw your products details but actually purchased.

More opportunities to optimize

With this particular example, we’re seeing a big discrepancy between the 21% of people who see the product and add it to cart, whereas less than 1% of the people seeing the product are actually purchasing.

THE MISSION :: GET MORE CHECKOUT PAGE VISITORS THROUGH TO THE SALES PAGE

How can we improve the follow-through on those purchases being made?

  • Create retargeting ads but instead of targeting people who visited the sales page, retarget those who visit your checkout page specifically
  • Create an on-site retargeting campaign that offers a discount or special bundle to those who are demonstrating “exit intent” when they’re on your checkout page. (On-site retargeting campaigns can be created using a platform like Opt In Monster)

The idea here is that you want to hone in on and brainstorm how you can improve the follow-through of the specific CHECKOUT page visitors towards your PURCHASE page.

DASHBOARDS vs REPORTS

The report you’ve been seeing is what I refer to as a DASHBOARD.

What’s the difference?

A REPORT is something you dig into, analyze and typically spend a lot of time on. Meanwhile, a DASHBOARD is something you can glance at and get actionable information. An easy example of this is your car dashboard where a quick glance informs you as to what action you need to take :: get gas, slow down, check engine.

The same kind of immediate, actionable insight is what your SALES FUNNEL DASHBOARD should foster. So far, we’ve explored the performance within your actual funnel. But what about the factors that influence its performance?

UNDERSTANDING WHAT INFLUENCES YOUR SALES FUNNEL

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You want to also see, know and understand – at a glance – what is having the biggest impact on getting into your client journey and how they’re engaging with your sales funnel. Why does this matter? Because it helps you make decisions on things like your ad campaigns, your marketing strategies, how you’re promoting yourself, how you’re spending time on social media, where you’re investing your money, time, resources, energy – all of it.

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Back in our dashboard, the above-shown tables are commenting on other factors that impact your sales funnel performance. Each of these charts directly relates to your sales page, your checkout page, your purchase page visits.

At the very top in the lime green navigation bar, you have segments. You can use these to filter by time period, device and medium.

How do these help you optimize your sales?

For instance, if you selected “mobile” from your Device Category and saw a significant drop, you may want to see if your sales journey is optimized for mobile. Likewise, if you spent last quarter focusing on your affiliate relationships and you selected “affiliate” from your Medium to see that you didn’t make any affiliate sales, you know your strategy isn’t working nearly as hard as you are.

#PROTIP :: It’s a good idea to think about what information you’re looking for and planning to take/have taken action on BEFORE you open your dashboard.

Taking action based on time trends

The chart on the top right is one of my all-time favorites and I include in almost every dashboard I create :: it’s the Day Of The Week chart.

This chart helps you gain insight as to which day of the week people are visiting your sales page, your check-out page and your purchase page.

When it comes to optimizing, exact numbers are less important than identifying trends. Seeing the patterns as they relate to the days of the week that people look at your offers, when they add to cart, and when they actually give you money can be huge optimization catalysts.

Knowing the days when people are hardcore window-shopping (i.e. visiting but not buying) versus the days they whip out the credit card can help you make important decisions about when (and when not!) to pitch your email list, how to schedule your launches, when to promote on social media, which days to run ads and much more.

Taking action based on content/interest trends

The next chart comments on which landing pages eventually lead to a sale being made. Since I love examples, let’s look at one using the second entry here :: men’s apparel/t-shirt.

Something interesting is happening with this specific Landing Page because conversions are up by 207% from last period. You would definitely want to look into what is going on here so you can replicate these results either on this product and/or on other products.

#PROTIP :: This Dashboard is interactive. This means that when you click an entry – say, a Landing Page – all of the data within your Dashboard will change to reflect the impact of that this specific entry has on all the other data within this report.

What’s going on here? What did you do? What campaign(s) were you running? What marketing strategy or promotional effort made it such that you had such a huge increase? Whatever it is, you want to identify how and why this happened so you can capitalize on these results with your future plans and efforts.

Taking action based on campaigns and strategies

Finally, we’ll glance at your Campaign performance as it relates to your sales page, your checkout page and your purchase page. We’re looking at the Google Demo Merchandise account’s data (you can also access this account here) and their naming convention for AdWords Campaigns begins with AW.

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This is an interesting example because we see that both the checkout page and sales page visits are down from last period; however, the sales made have increased. Perhaps this was a retargeting campaign? When it comes to your own data, you or someone on your team should be able to explain what made this happen and this is how you optimize :: look at what you’ve already done that worked well and compound those results incrementally.

As for those other “not set” entries, you can avoid these gaps in your performance reporting by improving your use of UTM parameter.
You can read more about those here.

UNDERSTANDING WHAT MATTERS

While looking at #allthedata can be interesting, that doesn’t mean it’s actionable. I encourage you to add/swap out charts that would be more useful to your specific efforts and campaigns. However, I advise against adding charts for the sake of interest. If it is not information you can and will take action on, don’t add them.

Interesting isn’t necessarily actionable

For instance, if you’re a regional t-shirt shop who wants to target its out-of-region marketing campaigns according to purchase trends, go ahead and add the geo chart! If you think it’d be interesting to see where sales are coming from with no plan for how you’ll put that information to good use, avoid creating a rabbit hole for yourself by adding “interesting” information.

Questions to ask yourself can fall along the lines of :: is this interesting data or is it data I’m going to be able to take action on? Am I going to be able to do something about it? What action will I be able to take from knowing this? How will knowing this change or impact the way I show up?

Data is not collected retroactively

Speaking of doing something about it, you want to set this up ASAP. Why? Because data does not collect retroactively.

As mentioned earlier, your sales page, your checkout page and your purchase page will be set up as GOALS. Meanwhile, the correlation each page has to each other will be set up as a SEGMENT SEQUENCE.

The earlier you have these set up, the earlier your GOALS will start tracking and you’ll be able to visualize your sales funnel performance.

BEFORE OUTSOURCING YOUR SET-UP

If you choose to outsource this set-up, you’ll need to provide your virtual assistant (VA) with the following ::

PART 2

{OPStimized} is a time-sensitive series with a new edition released on the 15th of every month. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP for current and future editions of the series but, alas, the step-by-step tutorial for this edition of {OPStimized} has expired.

However, the material covered in Part 2 is one part of what is also available in {BOSS MODE METRICS} – this is my signature course on understanding your data, even (especially!) if you say you’re “not a numbers person”… but secretly love nothing more than to look at other people’s income reports (which is actually evidence that you’re 100% a number person, it just hasn’t been explained to you in a way your creative, right-brain “gets”.)

But for every expired edition of {OPStimized}, I also include a summary of what we did in Part 2. To set-up your own sales funnel visualization for client journey optimization, go ahead and ::

  • Login to Google Analytics to CREATE NEW VIEW specific to your Funnel Tracking with a name like SALES FUNNEL VIEW
  • Create a GOAL for your Sales Page
    Recommended naming convention :: Funnel – PRODUCT NAME – Step 1: Sales Page
  • Create a GOAL for your Checkout Page
    Recommended naming convention :: Funnel – PRODUCT NAME – Step 2: Checkout Page
  • Create a GOAL for your Purchase Page
    Recommended naming convention :: Funnel – PRODUCT NAME – Step 3: Purchase Page
  • Create a SEGMENT SEQUENCE for your funnel
    Recommended naming convention :: Funnel – PRODUCT NAME – Segment sequence
  • MAKE A COPY of this Data Studio Report
    In “select your data source”, you will CREATE NEW DATA SOURCE > Google Analytics > select the SALES FUNNEL VIEW from Step 1 > name your data source to easily identify whose data it is moving forward (i.e. “Miss #GSD – Sales Funnel View”) > click CONNECT > then ADD TO REPORT > and finally COPY REPORT
  • Change the name of your report to something that relates to you
  • Replace each of the fields with your own brand-spanking new GOALS (i.e. replace SALES PAGE VISIT field with your GOAL 1 COMPLETIONS, which should be the completions for what was set-up as “Funnel – PRODUCT NAME – Step 1: Sales Page”)
  • If necessary, DUPLICATE the page to create the funnel for another product/service you’re accounting for

At first, your report/dashboard will likely look like this :

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As we’ve established, your data doesn’t track retroactively so it may take 24 hours before your data begins to populate.

#PROTIP :: The only data in Google Analytics that is current is the Real-Time report. Everything else takes a little while to catch up.

>> Wanna watch the video for Part 1? Access that HERE

>> Don’t miss another edition of {OPStimized} – SIGN UP HERE

>> Get {BOSS MODE METRICS} to learn more about tracking and optimizing your sales performance HERE

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