All About Online Goals And Goal Conversion Tracking

All About Online Goals And Goal Conversion Tracking

If Google Analytics is nothing more than some simple tool for keeping track of your inbound marketing progress, then you’re NOT using it right. There’s more to this free analysis tool than meets the eye.
People get confused and even intimidated at the thought of using Google Analytics.

So we don’t expect anyone to crack it up with just a casual glance-over. No one can.

There’s so much to learn and experiment on — and even with this, achieving a total mastery of the tool isn’t a one-time thing. In other words, even the most experienced and skilled of Google Analytics users still stumble across new things they didn’t know before.

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Setting Up Google Analytics Goals and Conversion Tracking

This is NOT the most basic of the articles on Google Analytics. If this is your first attempt at reading about Google Analytics, then perhaps you might want to start by learning about Google Analytics Metrics and the Basic Reports, followed by some tips on how to measure user behaviour and web traffic acquisition.

But even with that, you’d want to make sure that you understand what Google Analytics actually is, and what role it does play in your online marketing success. In other words, there’s so much to learn about the tool that you can afford to wrap your head around in one sitting.

In this post, we’ll be primarily focusing on how to set up and track conversions on Google analytics. We’ll be walking you through the process involved in keeping track of the activity completions on your site.

Read this keeping in mind that conversions tracking is the next thing to gauging how successful your website is, considering there’s NO real metric to measure your site’s success rate — if it’s even possible in the first place.

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The Importance of Measuring your Conversion Goals

Your conversion goals translate to your business outcomes. Also, it’s what determines the actual effectiveness of your site’s performance. It’s what you use to find out if your site’s visitors are doing what you want them to do and if you’re on the right track to achieving your business objectives and goals.

Goals are essential in business just as they’re in life. You need them in-store to shape up your operations, and you need them in your marketing campaign to figure out if you’re headed in the right direction.

Conversion goals, on the other hand, allow you to make good use of Google Analytics. It’s what you need to measure your site’s performance and make necessary adjustments to your website, strategy, and marketing funnel.

Understanding What You’re Measuring

You can’t start measuring conversion goals if you don’t have a clear understanding of what it is you’re measuring. Think of conversion as the actions you wish to see your visitors take upon landing on your site.

Meaning, you’ll be keeping track of that particular action, whether it’s making a purchase, subscribing for your newsletter, or completing an online survey.

Google refers to these actions as goals, and it’s what it uses to track conversions. In other words, once a specific goal is completed, Google will be recording it as a conversion.

However, it’s crucial that the conversion aligns with the action that you wish to see your site’s visitors take, and which must be closer enough to the objectives you’ve set for your business.

Examples of the type of conversion being referred to here include product or service purchase, subscription, information request, online registration, and any other action you wish to see your users undertake.

So as you can see, conversion is nothing more than an undertaken course of action, and which translates to a business goal upon completion.

Common Examples of Goals to Track

The business goals to track can come in various shapes and forms. Examples include:
User Acquisition Goal
1. User Registration (create an account)
2. Mailing List Sign up
3. Subscription

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Revenue Goal
1. Place an Order
2. Payment / Transaction
3. Donation (Non-profit)

Inquiry Goal
1. Information request
2. Live chat
3. Contact form submission

Engagement (Desired Action)
1. Content Offer Download
2. Media Play (Video)
3. Submit Comment
4. Submit Review
5. Submit Rating

Your Destination Page

Google Analytics has a simple methodology for measuring your business goal — and that is through tracking the number of visits made to your destination page.

By definition, a destination page is a final page a user lands on upon completing a particular task. In most cases, it’s the “thank you” page that the user is directed to after completing a specific course of action.

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It’s simple logic: where a user is taken to the “thank you” page, that means the user made a purchase or completed whatever task you required them to. If anything, that’s the only way a user can be directed to that particular page.

How to Set up A Google Analytics Goal for Conversion

Setting up Google’s analytics goal is a no-brainer. All you have to do is follow these simple steps to track your website for conversion.

Step 1: Create a New Conversion Goal

You can start by signing into your Google Analytics account like you usually do. Once in, navigate to the Admin tab, where you’ll be required to switch to your preferred Account, Property, and View.

Step 2: Select a Template

In the ‘View’ column, go ahead and click on Goals. The next thing you do is click on New Goals and then proceed to select a template that best addresses your business objectives from the options provided.

Choose a template depending on whether your goal is to track your revenue stream, the acquisition rate, the inquiry rate, or the engagement rate.

Keep in mind that the templates shown are specifically tailored to meet the specific needs of your business, depending on the industry you’re in. So if you never specified your industry earlier on, the templates might NOT show at all.

Step 3: Name Your Goal

Now click on continue and you’ll be directed to a page where you’ll be required to name your goal.

You’ll also be required to choose your method of tracking your goals from the options provided. In most cases, the most suited methodology for tracking your goals is the destination, but you might want to weigh the effectiveness of this method over the other three options provided.

The other three options include:

Duration: If your goal is to get the bulk of your visitors to stay on your site for a specified time.

Pages: Where you’re more interested in your visitors opening as many pages as possible.

Event: Where there’s a particular course of action you’re interested to see your visitors undertake like playing a video or audio file on your site. Click on continue once you’ve specified your method of tracking.

Step 4: Specify the Destination URL

If you specified destination as your method of tracking your conversions, you’ll be asked to enter your destination URL. This is the last page your visitors are directed to upon completing a particular task such as purchasing a product or service on your site.

You can visit the page and copy the URL and enter it in the appropriate field, and you’d have successfully set up a track system for your goals.

Using Google Analytics to Measure Conversions

Once you’re done setting up your conversion goals, Google Analytics will immediately start to keep records of all the conversions that happen on your site. It’s to be however noted that the data that will be shown will be of the conversions that occur starting from the time that you finished setting up your conversion goals. Speaking of which any conversion that happened before that will NOT be tracked.

During this time, a number will be indicated on your Goals reports.
That said, let’s take a look at the necessary conversion KPIs that you’ll be seeing across your Google Analytics reports.

1. Goal Conversion Rate

This is a percentage count of the number of visitors that you managed to convert into customers. It’s a percentage count of the number of people that went through with a particular course of action over the number of people that landed on your website.

The number is higher where the bulk of the visitors you’re attracting are taking an action.

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In other words, it’s zero percent when no visitor is taking action and 100 percent when all the visitors your site is attracting are responding positively to your course of action.

This is the most important Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for the effectiveness of your site’s performance. Everything that follows after this should be directed at maximizing this KPI.

Simply put, a higher conversion rate could also mean that the quality of traffic you’re bringing in is commendable. That goes to show you’re on the right track to achieving your business objectives.

The opposite also holds — where you’re registering a lower conversion rate, which could be interpreted to mean the quality of traffic you’re bringing in is of poor quality, regardless of the number. You’re simply wasting your marketing time and money and it’s high time you revisited your marketing strategy and reworked it.

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2. Goal Completion

Goal completion is the total number of conversions you’re able to get. Unlike the conversion rate, which measures the effectiveness of your site, goal completion is all about the impact your website has on your business.
The number will be higher when your site is attracting a high amount of high-quality traffic.

As the quality of your traffic grows, so will be your goal completion, which often translates to more sales, subscriptions, or registration, depending on the action you’re tracking.

Google Analytics makes it even possible to track your social engagement where you get to track the number of likes or shares you’re getting on Facebook or the number of views you’re getting on an embedded video. Such conversion indicators measure action rather than a destination page as with the other tracking methods.

Google allows you to set up to 20 goals per website. Meaning it’s possible to track more than one course of action on your website at the same time.

3. Goal Value

Goal value allows you to attach a monetary value to a conversion. Where goal completion is more focused on measuring the number of conversions you’re getting, Goal Value gives you an estimated amount of your gross income.

It’s what you use to attach a monetary value to your conversions. This KPI tends to require some little bit of programming skills to set up, so you might want to ask your web developer to help you out.

But basically, the KPI allows you to keep track of specific actions like the total amount sold, average order values, most popular categories, top-selling items, and purchasing trends, to name a few.

4. E-Commercing Goal Tracking

This is one crucial KPI you should consider looking into if you’re planning to sell products or services on your website.

Again, it’s one of the most advanced KPIs to set up. So remember to ask your web developer to help you set it upright, unless otherwise.

What E-commerce tracking does is that it lets you collect additional transactional days such as your billing locations, product performance, and purchase amounts, to name a few. With the report you get, you should be able to tell how your business is performing — and at the same time, be able to measure the returns you’re getting from the marketing money you have invested.

5. Reverse Goal Path

Where your goals aren’t sequential — that is, there is no sequential order of pages that your site visitors have to click through to get to the final stage of action completion, you should consider setting up a Reverse Goal path.
This report is simply more focused on highlighting the last three pages that your visitors clicked on before completing a goal. This is particularly the case where you have a contact form in multiple pages on your site or there are two or more paths that your visitors follow to download an eBook that you’re offering or selling on your site.

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With this section of the report, you should be to develop a basic understanding of the path that your visitors follow to take action.
For instance, you might want to use the data provided to find out which particular blog post on your site generated the highest number of leads. That should help you figure out the best way possible to structure your posts for an even better conversion rate in future.

The Takeaway

As you can see, Google Analytics is one of the most valuable tools that you have, and which your business cannot afford to do without. It’s the tool you need to come up with working strategies on how to make your business grow and crank up the number of sales you’re getting.

In other words, there’s no limit as to what you can achieve with this tool.
That said, MediaOne Marketing wishes you good luck as you embark on your Goal tracking journey with Google analytics.

For more info regarding Google analytics or help in running your online marketing campaigns, kindly contact us, MediaOne Marketing today via our email message box or by talking to one of our customer representatives via the live chatbox below.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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