Marketing Tip #19: Set Up Analytics Goals
Assuming you have a Google Analytics account and a properly-installed tracking code, setting up goal conversions is the next logical step. Goals are the the primary metric for assessing how well your website fulfills its business objectives so having them setup and setup properly is extremely valuable.
Goal performance can be viewed from the main navigation within your Google Analytics account. But first, you’ve got to set up those goals. Here how it works:
After you’ve thought of what your goals will be, named your goals, defined the funnel, and given your goals a set value, begin setting them up by following these instructions, which are found within Google’s support area:
1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account
2. Select the account that contains the profile you’ll be creating goals in from the Overview page.
3. Find the profile for which you will be creating goals, and click ‘Edit’ under the ‘Actions’ column.
4. Under the ‘Goals’ section, select one of the four sets to create your goal in (each set contains up to five goals) and click ‘Add goal.’ You can create up to 20 goals if you use all four sets.
5. Enter the goal’s name so that you can quickly recognize it when viewing reports.
6. Turn the goal ‘On’ or ‘Off.’ If you choose ‘On,’ that means you want Google Analytics to track this conversion goal at this time. Turning it ‘Off’ will only make the goal inactive without deleting it.
7. Select the goal’s position. The pull-down menu lets you select a goal’s position from within a set so that you can control the order in which it appears from the ‘Goals’ tab in your reports, or lets you move a goal from one set to another.
8. Decide one of the three types of goals you want. This can be URL Destination, Time on Site, or Pages/Visit. You can learn more about them and how to set up the goals for each here.
9. Once you select the radio button for the goal type, a field for ‘Goal Details’ should appear. To learn how to fill out the fields for each goal type, please refer to this Help Center article.
If your goal is a “URL destination” goal you may also want to set up a funnel so you can view how people move from one page to another on their path to the goal conversion. For example, if your goal page is a “thank you” page that a visitor lands on once they’ve filled out a contact form and the contact form is available from your service overview page, you will want to create a funnel that starts with the URL of the service page, then the contact form page, then the thank you page. With a funnel you can see where people drop off on their way to reaching your goal. Do they drop off at the contact form page? Or do they ever even make it to the contact form page? Armed with this information you’ll be able to modify your pages to achieve your desired conversion rate.
Here’s how to set up a funnel, according to Google:
1. After completing the above steps click ‘Yes, create a funnel for this goal.
2. Enter the ‘URL’ of the first page of your conversion funnel. This page should be a page that is common to all users working their way towards your goal. For example, if you are tracking user flow through your checkout pages, do not include a product page as a step in your funnel.
3. Please note: Funnel URLs are treated as regular expressions. For this reason, you can include wildcard characters and use other regular expression methods if you want to match more than a single URL. Learn more about regular expressions.
4. Enter a ‘Name’ for this step. (Give it a name that helps you remember what the step means.)
5. If this step is a ‘Required step’ in the conversion process, select the checkbox to the right of the step. If this checkbox is selected, users reaching your goal page without travelling through this funnel page will not be counted as conversions.
6. Continue entering goal steps until your funnel has been completely defined. You may enter up to 10 funnel steps, or as few as a single step.
Click Save Changes to create this Goal and funnel, or Cancel to exit without saving.
Now that you know how to set up a goal, give it a try and see for yourself how your website really does perform. Good luck! Let us know if you need help.