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How to Set Up and Track Goals in Google Analytics

Nov 27, 2017
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Google Analytics is one of the most popular website analysis tools available on the web. While this tool is free, it's also packed with a number of powerful tools to help you track, measure and take action. In the video below, we will go over one of the most important aspects of Google Analytics, Goal Tracking.

 

 

Video Transcript

Hey, what's up everybody, and welcome to Hack My Growth. In today's episode, we're going to be taking a look at goals within Google Analytics and how we can set them up to ensure that we're tracking the right types of interactions within our website. Let's go.

If you're watching this video, there's a good chance that you're already using Google Analytics within your website. It's one of the most popular platforms for analytics on the web, yet very few people get the full benefits out of Google Analytics. One, because they don't set it up the right way, and two, they don't enable the features like goals to see the interactions that their users are having within their website. So in this video, we're going to teach how to set up goals, and then we're also going to show you what to look for within your conversions and the flow of your visitors through your website.

Before we get started and get a little bit deeper, please hit the subscribe button if you like our videos. We would love to have you as part of our community because we're always giving new, updated information, whether it be in Google Analytics, inbound marketing or search engine optimization. Anything really in the digital marketing space. It's our goal to help you hack your growth and grow faster and grow smarter.

Let’s take a look at goals inside of Google Analytics. Goals are extremely important to understand what our users are doing within our website. Now, there are a few different types of goals that we can create inside of Google Analytics. In order to create a goal, you need to go into the Admin function of your Google Analytics portal. Now when you're looking at your administrative function, you're going to see three different columns. The first column is your account, and if you have multiple accounts, you can drop down through there to access those. This is where your account settings are, user management at the highest level is taken care of here, and a few high-level property values.

Now the middle section is called Property, and now this is going to be the individual property that you're tracking on your website. Here you will find your tracking information, a lot of product linking is done in here.

Now goals are found in the View section of your Admin panel. To create a goal, you want to make sure that you click Goals under View. Google Analytics, the free version, allows you to track 20 different goals on your website. Now you can import from the Google Analytics gallery, which are pre-made or pre-defined goals that you can download and implement. Or you can create custom goals to match your specific needs as a business owner. To create a new goal, you're just going to click the big New Goal button.

Now, you can follow a template, or you can create a custom goal. I like to use the custom option when creating a new goal on my website. Once you select Custom, hit continue. Now it's always good to define your goal, and on this page, we're going to look at lead generation, so if somebody's downloaded a specific piece of content from our website and we want to track how many leads we're getting, let's call it Lead Generation. Now as you see, there's Destination, Duration, Page, or Screen per session and then Event Tracking. So for this type of goal, we would choose a destination, because what we want to do is track somebody who has ended up on maybe a thank you page, or a confirmation URL on our website. To ensure that we're able to capture that information and know that they took the action that we wanted them to take.

So let's go ahead and click Destination, and then we'll click Continue.

Now, when creating this type of goal, what you want to do is make sure that you know the exact URL that users are going to be directed to, and you want to type that in here. Now you can use a couple of different things, and Google recommends that you just use the permalink or the end of the URL. The string attached to it. Instead of typing in the wwwyoursite.com/theURL, you can go ahead, and just type /thank you and Google Analytics will know that this is attached to your URL.

Now you want to make sure that this tab over here “equals to” if you have multiple pages that end in thank you. Some sites have a certain offer/thank you, so this will track all leads across all pages that have an attached thank you page. You can also use regular expression if you're familiar with that, but it's a little bit more complex, so I don't recommend doing that the first go around. For this instance, we're going go ahead and just put “equals to.”

Now as you notice here, some sites are case sensitive, so if you have capitalizations inside of your URL string, you're going to want to click this. We don't have to worry about that here.

Now, here's a cool thing to do, if you want to track ROI, Return On Investment, this is where you can start to calculate that. Using the Value option, you can assign a monetary value for the conversion. This is good for e-commerce sites; maybe you know that the specific page is going to equal $5 in sales, you can go ahead and tally that up. But it's also helpful for businesses that aren't e-commerce but know the basic value of a lead. Let's say a lead is worth $10. You can track that by using this option here and just typing in $10. And you can know that every time you drive a lead, you're generating $10 worth of value to your client or your company. This is a great way to prove your work, and prove how you're giving back to the people you're working for or working with.

Another great option that we'll talk about in more depth in another video is funnels. Funnels allow you to walk through a path. A path to conversion, to help you analyze where people are coming in and where they're leaving, and how different pieces of content are impacting your overall goal. So you can specify a specific path that you expect people to make. You know, maybe you say they're going to the homepage, they visit the offer page, they fill out the form and go to the thank you page. That's what you think they're going to do. This funnel option will allow you to see if you're right or not, and this is very good to track and measure your efforts. Remember that you can only manage what you measure. In this option, we're not going to be working through a funnel, but that is an option that we will talk about in a future video.

One thing that's good to do every once in a while is verify your goals, just to make sure that this goal is a valid goal. Right now, as you can see, our site's not set up for this specific goal at the moment, but we could make that happen. It would tell us how many people converted on this in the past seven days. Once you have all of these in place, go ahead and click save.

Now, this goal is right here. It was inactive, and now it's on. In the recording section, you can turn on or off certain goals. As you can see, we've changed some goals over time; we're tracking new things, we're not tracking other things that we used to track, so you can always tweak what you're doing and how effective those are being.

Now that you have a goal set up let's say you've waited a couple of days and now you want to see how that goal is working. Let's jump over to the conversion section of Google Analytics. Click Conversion tab and then click Goals, and then click Overview. The Overview page is going to show you how well your goals are working. You're going to be able to select the specific goal that you want to analyze. You can analyze all of your goals, or you can analyze a specific goal that you have enabled on your website.

So let's take a look at this specific goal. It shows us where the goals have been completed, where the user was, how they submitted, and how many goals were completed in the specific time range that we have available. So right now we're just looking at the last seven days. Now, this specific goal, we're not tracking values for, but it shows us the overall conversion rate of the goal.

We can also break down to see what mediums are performing the best.

Now, this is helpful because it allows us to see which type of traffic is driving the most value to our website. And as you can see here, the organic traffic from Google right now over the last seven days has the best conversion rate, followed by our automated email campaigns, followed by our normal email blast campaigns, and then even YouTube has performed very well for us in the last seven days.

This is helpful to let you know where you need to focus your marketing efforts because this shows you which type of traffic source is the most valuable for this specific goal that you set up.

Now you can go back through and look at a duration goal; we do this to see how long people are staying on the website. We can see which pages are driving the most completions, and then once again, we can break down and look at the source pages. Now as you can see here, when it comes to people staying on the site longer, direct traffic keeps them on the site a little bit longer. Our email campaigns are a little bit longer, referral link from HubSpot a little bit longer, Google organic search dropped to four on this. So you can see here how different types of content and different types of goals are impacted by different types of sources.

This is a very basic report, but if we can start to use this report, it can help us to understand where we should be focusing our time and our energy, that's going to drive the most value to our business or our organization. See, marketing's not just about driving traffic to our website; it is driving traffic that takes the types of engagements and the types of interactions that are going to produce real business results. So having your goals set up, and then knowing what types of traffic sources are impacting your goals are what is going to lead to growth with your business over time.

Now I hope you found this short video educational. I hope it was helpful, and I hope it was practical. So what I would like you to do now is take this information you've learned and put it into practice. Build your goals, begin to track your goals, and then just take some time to look at your goals overview reports. This little report is going to be very helpful to help you not only understand which goals are working, but also which type of traffic sources are producing the types of conversions that mean something to your business.

Thanks a lot for watching, and until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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