Monday, February 25, 2013

Google Analytics Helps You Reach Your Goals

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When analyzing metrics for your website, what exactly do you analyze? Just as you cannot set up a website and expect people to visit it or automatically generate sales from said website, you also cannot simply install Google Analytics and expect it to produce the results you want from it.

Goals help measure how well you are meeting your website’s marketing campaign objectives.

What are your company’s objectives? Moreover, what do you hope to achieve by installing and using Google Analytics? Are you taking advantages of the many available tools to help you determine how to garner the most from Google Analytics for your website? In addition to setting up your website and installing Google Analytics, establishing Goals and Funnels will assist you in determining how well your website is living up to your business’ objectives.

A versatile way to measure how well your site or app fulfills your campaign’s or website’s objectives is through the use of Goals and Funnels. You can set up individual Goals to track discrete actions, such as transactions with a minimum purchase amount or even the amount of time spent on a particular page.

Furthermore, a Funnel lets you specify a path you want your site’s traffic to take to reach a specific Goal. The utilization of Goals and Funnels helps you analyze and determine how well your site directs people towards your target.

In addition, each time a user completes a Goal, a conversion is logged in your Google Analytics account. You can see the Goal conversions rates in the Goal Reports. You also can analyze Goals conversions in other reports, such as the Visitor Report, Traffic Report, Site Search Report, and the Events Report.  

Types of Objectives for Goals

For all intents and purposes, there are four different objectives you can choose for a Goal. When a visitor performs the action you chose, the action triggers a conversion and records it in your Goal Reports. You can select the type you want to track from a list when you set up Goals in your account:

  1. URL Destination: A specific location, like a web page or an app screen, has loaded. For example, a Thank you for registering web page or app screen may be a destination for an ecommerce lead generation campaign. This Goal works well combined with Funnels. 
  2.  Visit Duration: Visits that lasts a specific amount of time or longer. You could use this Goal to determine how many visitors stay longer than two minutes on a shopping page or screen. 
  3.  Page/Visit (for web) and Screens/Visit (for apps): A visitor views a specific number of pages or screens in a visit. This type of goal should be used when you want to track the visitors that view a minimum of three pages. 
  4.  Event: A visitor triggers an action you have defined as an Event, such as a social recommendation or an ad click. In order to set this kind of goal, you must first set up Event Tracking.

Goal Values

When you set up a Goal, you have the option of assigning a dollar amount to the conversion. Each time the Goal is completed, this number is recorded. All instances of this number are then added together and reported as the Goal Value.

Every action a visitor takes on your web site can be translated into a monetary value. One way to help determine what a Goal value should be is to evaluate how often the visitors who complete the Goal transition into customers. For example, if your sales team can close 10% of people who sign up for a newsletter, and your average transaction is $5000, you might assign $500, which is 10% of $5000, to your newsletter sign-up Goal - a Goal visitors complete when they reach the final sign-up page.

Keep in mind, assigning a Goal Value is optional when setting up Goals; however, Google strongly recommends you use it to help evaluate all visitor interactions with your site. In addition, Google Analytics also uses the Goal Value data to calculate other metrics like ROI and Average Score.

Goal Funnels

A Funnel allows you to specify a path you expect traffic to take to reach a Destination Goal. When you specify steps in a Funnel, Google Analytics can track where visitors enter and exit the path on the way towards your Goal, giving you valuable insight about your website. You may see, for example, a page in a Funnel from which a lot of traffic exits before completing the Goal - indicating a problem with that page. If you see a lot of traffic skipping steps, you discover that site navigation or a certain path to conversion is too long or contains extraneous steps.

Funnels can only be used with Destination Goals. The last page in the sequence is your Goal page - shown as Goal Destination - while the preceding pages make up the Funnel steps. For lead-generation Goal Funnels, you could assign the first page of the funnel as the URL of the contact request form and the goal page as the URL for a Thanks for your request page that appears after the user submits a contact request. 

Goals and Funnels Help You Target Your Traffic 

Goals and Funnels will help you identify targeted areas of your website where a few slight adjustments may make the difference between one returning visitor and one thousand returning visitors. If properly utilized, Goals and Funnels can substantially aid in your company’s successful web strategy. Keep in mind these crucial tips:
  • Prior to implementing Google Analytics Goals, determine what your business objectives are for your website, and to what visitor actions those goals correspond.
  • Identify the channels through which visitors must go in order to complete the desired action, and make a note of the specific pages that comprise those steps.
  • Use the information to design/determine your Goals and Funnels.
  • Utilize the data to help you obtain your website’s goals. Make simple design changes or even consider Google Analytics Content Experiments to make improvements. If you have or had installed Google Website Optimizer tags in your pages, Google recommends that you remove them at your earliest convenience.
  • If yours is an e-commerce site, Google Analytics has additional features to help you track purchases. For more information on these features, check out how to configure ecommerce tracking.


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