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Step 1 (index.html) not registering in Goal Flow

[ Edited ]
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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi all!

I have a three step destination goal from index.html (landing) > buy.html (product page) >confirmation.html (after purchase) configured like so:

goal config.pnggoal config

I used 'begins with' because most pages have query parameters (utm_source among others) that I want to ignore.

 

However, the goal flow diagram isn't making any sense:

goal flow.pnggoal flow
Two things don't make any sense to me:

  1. Step 1 (index.html) isn't registering the vast majority of the time even though nearly 100% of my traffic starts there (paid advertising). I have confirmed in the per-page traffic logs that /index.html has much more traffic than buy.html.
  2. How does step 2 (buy.html) have more users than step 0 (incoming Chrome traffic)? That suggests >100% conversion to step 2. I understand this may be how goal flow registers sessions vs. new users or something so I'm less concerned about this than #1.

 

Note that I also setup an analogous goal using 'regex' instead of 'begins with' in case I was making a mistake there and it shows the same exact numbers.

 

Adding to the mystery, the funnel visualization barely registers anything at all.

funnel visualization.pngfunnel visualization

So far GA support has not been helpful so any help here would be incredibly useful. Thank you so much!

1 Expert replyverified_user

Step 1 (index.html) not registering in Goal Flow

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi - are you sure step 1 is /index.html? - if you can share the live site that would help a lot!

 

Kind regards,

Zorin

Web analyst @ escapestudio.net

Re: Step 1 (index.html) not registering in Goal Flow

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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hanks for the response @Zorin Escape! It's an adult site so I suspect I'm not allowed to share it here...I can setup a staging server and remove the content if necessary.

That's a good question. I can tell you that this is a 100% static site and the HTML file served at root (/) is index.html:

 Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 1.17.52 PM.png

However, index.html is not in the URL bar since web servers know to deliver index.html at root. Does this suggest that the goal needs to be configured via regex to register the '/' URL rather than index.html (and ignore query parameters)? This support article suggests the answer is yes, though it's not specific to goals. So ideally the regex would need to match these URLs:

  1. /
  2. /?param=value&...'
  3. /index.html
  4. /index.html?param=value&...'

But NOT match other page with .html in the URL string. Assuming this is all correct can you help me figure that out?

 

Per this stackoverflow post I think the above regex would work for #1/#2 above but not #3/#4: ^((?!html).)*$

Thank you a million!

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Challen V
July

Step 1 (index.html) not registering in Goal Flow

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi so it would be something like:

^/(index\.html|\?|$)

 

Please try it first in behaviour pages reports.

 

Kind regards,

Zorin

Web analyst @ escapestudio.net

Re: Step 1 (index.html) not registering in Goal Flow

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
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Perfect, looks like this is working! Here's what the Goal Flow looks like now:flow-annotated.png

 

If you will indulged two more related question:

  1. Why is Step 0 (inbound traffic on Chrome) larger than index? Conceptually this doesn't make sense to me.
  2. Why is there a discrepancy between conversions in the chart vs. the table below? Did I get 7 conversions or 3?

Thank you for the great help, @Zorin Escape! I will accept that answer but temporarily leaving it open so you/ other folks still see this reply.

Step 1 (index.html) not registering in Goal Flow

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

One more bump for @Zorin Escape - if you have a moment please take a look at my followup questions above. Thank you again for your time and guidance!