Google Analytics is a powerful tool for measuring the performance of your website but it is most powerful when it is set up correctly. Simply installing analytics onto your website is a great starting point but to really get the most from Analytics you need to take the time to set up some additional features. At SocialB, we see hundreds of company’s Analytics accounts and 9 times out of 10 they will either be missing or have incorrectly set up conversion tracking.
Conversion tracking, otherwise known as ‘Goals’ in Analytics, can help you to answer one fundamental question, ‘What do we want people to ultimately do on our website?’. If you don’t know the answer to this question then you should possibly be asking why you have a website in the first place. If you run an e-commerce website the answer may be obvious, ‘buy our product!’. If you don’t sell online you may have to think a bit harder. Here are some examples to get you off the mark:
- Fill out a contact form on the website.
- Sign up for your email mailing list through the website.
- Download a resource or PDF that you host on your website.
Establishing your website and business objectives is the first step, next comes the task of getting this correctly set up correctly in Google Analytics. In some instances you will be able to do this yourself with the out of the box options, however, some goals will need to be set up by your developer or someone adept in Google Tag Manager.
To get started, head to the Admin tab and under View select Goals and create + New goal.
Under this section, you will find a range of pre-built templates to create goals based on your business objectives. These will largely work on destination landing pages and will be triggered as soon as someone lands on a particular page. For example, if the objective of your website is to get new users to Create an account, you can select ‘Create an account’ option. The next step will be to enter the destination URL that a user would be taken to whenever they create a new account on your website. If you have unique destination URLs set up, such as thank-you pages, you will be able to pick and choose from these templates. From here, you will also have the option to attribute a monetary value to the goal depending on how much it is worth to your business.
As well as destination goals, you can also set goals based on engagement with your website. To access these, select the Custom option when creating a new goal. Here you will be able to find:
- Duration – you can select the amount of time you a user must spend on a given page to count as a goal.
- Pages/Screens Per Session – Set the number of pages a user must visit in a single session to be counted as a goal.
Unfortunately, not all websites are set up with landing pages for the actions you want to track as Goals and this is often why conversion tracking falls short on some websites. If this applies to your website, you will need to take further steps to set up your Goals.
Goals as Events
‘Level two’ in the Goal-tracking game involves setting up Events in Google Analytics. Events are actions that a user can take on your website and can be as far reaching as scrolling down a page, clicking a particular button or watching a video. Events need to be set up by adding code to your website, meaning you will either have to speak to your developers or you can use Google Tag Manager to do this yourself. Rather than learning code and implementing these yourself, you should draw up a list of the Events you would like added to your website and submit them to your developer to implement. Google has created a useful resource which you could also send to your developer to assist with this.
Here are some ideas of events you could set up:
- Email address link (mailto:) click.
- Telephone number click.
- Clicking submit on a contact form.
- Clicking download on a PDF resource.
Adding Events as Goals
When Events have been set up, you can go back into Google Analytics and create a Goal based on an Event. Whether your event was set up via your developer, or through Tag Manager, each event will have a Category, Action, Label and possibly a Value. In the Goal set up, create a custom goal with the goal type of Event. From here you can use the Event data that has been set up to attribute an event on your website with a Goal.
Once you are able to determine whether visitors to your website are taking the actions that are important to your business, you can look at your Analytics in a completely different way. You’ll be able to gather insights such as who is engaging with your website and what traffic sources are generating you the most business. From here you’ll be able to make clever decisions about your digital marketing efforts. It may take some time and effort to get set up but we promise it’ll be worth it.