In Google’s words “Goals measure how well your site or app fulfils your target objectives” but what does that mean for your business and your site? Do you really need to use Goals and what are the benefits if you do?
Google Goals are split into four main types which all measure how and when a user completes an action or step on your site which is then defined as a goal. A monetary value can be assigned to each goal so you can track just how much each goal is worth and whether your digital marketing strategy is working for you. The action completed by your website visitor will vary depending on the type of goal.
Destination Goal – This type of goal is for measuring when a specific location or page is loaded. This is usually the page after the activity that you want your visitor to do i.e. when they reach your “Thank you for registering” page.
Duration Goal – This type of goal measures when a visitor is on your site for a specific amount of time or longer. If your site primarily supports or information based the length of time could be indicative of usefulness i.e. your goal could be a session of 10 minutes or more.
Pages/Screens Goal – This type of goal measures when a visitor views a specific number of pages or screens. The more pages visited could mean that they are more interested in your products or service i.e. your goal could be a minimum of 6 pages.
Event Goal – This type of goal measures when an event is triggered. This is useful if you want your website visitors to engage with your content i.e. a video play or a click on a special offer or further information option.
Google Analytics contains a wealth of information and is vital to measuring the success of your website. However, part of the difficulty in using Google Analytics can be understanding the huge volume of information and translating it into manageable analysis that can actually benefit your business. Goals are one of the most effective ways of cutting through all of the information so that you can measure the specific actions your visitors need to complete.
If your website is primarily for generating leads you could set up separate goals that measure the number of visitors who submit a contact form, sign up for a newsletter or request a brochure or further information. When you combine this with data on where your customers come from and how much they spend you can assign a value to each of them. This adds an extra layer to your analytics. You may discover, for example, that you get fewer visitors who download a brochure but those that do spend more with you. Making sure that the option to download is more prominent on your site could encourage more people to spend more with you.
Goals shouldn’t replace e-commerce tracking. For transactions, you should always set up the e-commerce tracking in Google Analytics to track revenue and which you will give you much more detailed insights. Google goals should be used for the non-transactional elements of your site like sign ups or downloads.
Analysis is a key element of any marketing or digital strategy and goals are an easy way to drill down to the steps on your site that you want a visitor to take to help them to move closer to becoming a customer and to help you measure how effective they are. What goals could you use?
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