Google Analytics is the most widely used statistics package for websites. It is used on more than half of the sites on the internet. One of the most powerful features is its ability to track the actions that users take on your website. This is the ‘goals’ feature. This means you can segment out the portion of traffic that did something on your site. The most popular use of this is to track lead collection on your site though contact forms.

Setting up goals in Google Analytics

To find out if you have goal conversions set up, log into Analytics as usual and then navigate to Conversions > Goals > Overview
Google Analytics navigation to Goals
If there are no goals set up you will see this image:
No goals enabled in Google Analytics
If you do have goals, you will see an overview screen with the results:
Goals overview in Google Analytics
If you get the message about how to enable goals, this is the process to follow. Note: you will need to be an Admin on the Google Analytics account to set this us.

1. Identify what your tracking page is. In Reporting > Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages work out what page you use to track people who have filled out your form. In many cases, this is called a variation of ‘thank you’, so start looking for pages like this. If you can’t work it out from this, you could submit a test submission of the form and note down where you are sent to. Hopefully, however, you will see something like this:

Thank you page identification in Google Analytics

2. Click ‘Admin’ on the top grey bar (to the right of “Customization”).

3. Select ‘Goals’ from the menu on the right-hand side.
Google Analytics Admin Section
4. Click the big red ‘+ New Goal’ button.
Add New Goal button in Google Analytics
5. Google Analytics will work you through the process:
Stage one of adding goals in Google Analytics
Name – enter a useful name, e.g. contact form, application form, sale complete, table booking etc.

Goal slot ID – Unless you have a large number of things to track, just choose ID1/Set 1

Type – As we are tracking leads, we need to know they have completed the form, so this will be a Destination goal.

6. Click Next step, and you will be taken to the following screen:
Stage two of adding goals in Google Analytics
Destination – this is the page name you identified in step 1.

Value – in the main, you won’t have a value for this as it is a lead. However, if you are sufficiently advanced in your marketing to know your customer lifetime value then you could divide this number by your lead to customer conversion rate, and use this number.

Funnel – for the purposes of this set up we will leave this to ‘off’ as we are assuming a simple contact form to thank you page conversion, but this is useful if you have a multi-page conversion, and there is more information on this below. (link)

7. At the bottom of this page, you will see “Verify this Goal”. If you click this, it will tell you how many conversions you had in the past 7 days. If you see a 0% figure, there are two options, either your URL is wrong or you haven’t had any forms filled in! Check your details, and when you are happy, click “Create Goal”.

Please note, Goals are not retrospective (apart from the verify feature), so you will only see results from the point you set this up.

Attribution

It is important also to know that Google Analytics uses the “last click attribution” mechanism, which shouldn’t be used in isolation for measuring the success of your digital marketing efforts. See Don’t fall into the trap of last click attribution for more information.

Can you use goals to measure sales?

It depends. You can use goal tracking to measure the checkout process and payment complete pages, but it really only works properly when you have a single product with a single price. In a multi-product, multi-price environment you would want to set up Google Analytics Ecommerce tracking. Ecommerce tracking will give you far more information on product sales, volumes and performance, and I would recommend enabling it if you sell online. In many ecommerce systems, such as Magento, turning on this tracking is a simple tick box operation.

Using goal funnels

As mentioned, you can set up a goal funnel to track progress through a series of pages. At its simplest, this could be the contact page (if your form only appears on one page), followed by your thank you page. This gives you a funnel that looks something like:

Goal Funnel in Google Analytics

This is useful for finding any issues that might exist with your process. For instance, if you are using this to follow a checkout process, if lots of people break off the process to go and look at the delivery costs page, then this is an indication that there is not enough information on delivery.  Thus delivery mentions need to be improved before or during the purchase process.

If you have a multi-page application process and you lose a large number of people at stage 3 – where they have to supply information that they might not have to hand – then you could improve the introduction text to encourage users to have their documentation to hand.

Need help?

If you’d like help with tracking leads through Google Analytics or with your wider search marketing activities, call us on 0845 123 2753 or email hello@vertical-leap.uk