Every website has a purpose. If you have a blog, sharing informative and engaging articles is your primary objective but how do you gauge if your content is resonating with your audience? If you sell products or merchandise on an eCommerce website, how do you adjust your unit pricing with no data?
If something isn't working or isn't effective, it's important to understand why. Establishing goals for your website helps unveil extremely valuable information for the content or products you are marketing and helps you make informed decisions on how to pivot or adjust your strategy.
In this guide, we outline step-by-step instructions on how to set up goal tracking on your website using Google Analytics.
Google Account Setup
Before you can utilize the many wonderful features offered (for free) by Google Analytics, you will need a Google account.
If you already have a Google account, feel free to continue to the next section: Google Analytics Account Setup.
Step 1. To set up a Google account, simply go to Google.
Step 2. Sign in to Google by clicking on the blue Sign In button on the top-right corner of the page.
Step 3. Create an account by selecting the "Create account" text.
Step 4. After selecting "Create account" you will be prompted to select either: "For myself" or "To manage my business." Select "To manage my business."
Step 5. Fill in your account information. Be sure to complete all of the fields. Once each field has been filled out and passes the validation, select the blue "Next" button.
Step 6. Fill out additional information. Be sure to complete all of the fields. Once each field has been filled out and passes the validation, select the blue "Next" button.
Step 7. Agree to the terms and conditions by selecting the blue "I agree" button. We recommend reading through this for first time users.
Google Analytics Account Set Up
If you already have a Google account, please go to Google and sign in to your account. Then, please proceed to Step 1. If you already have an Analytics account set up, please proceed to the section: Google Analytics Goal Tracking Set Up.
Step 1. Go to the Google Analytics website.
Step 2. You will be redirected to an introduction page. Select the blue "Start measuring" button.
Step 3. Create your Google Analytics account by naming the account (presumably your business name). Select any of the checked tabs you would like and then click on the blue "Next" button.
Step 4. Select which devices you are looking to track. For the purposes of this blog, we will only be discussing website accounts. Select the Web option and the click the blue "Next" button.
Step 5. Complete the account creation by entering the name of your website, your website URL, your business category, and the time zone of your business. Once completed, select the blue "Create" button.
Step 6. Agree to the Terms of Services for Google Analytics by selecting both checkboxes and then clicking on the grey "I Accept" button.
Step 7. After agreeing to the Terms of Service Agreement, you will be directed to your Google Analytics global site tag. You will need to copy and paste this code as the first item in theof each webpage you want to track.
NOTE: You may need to consult your IT company, web developer, or reach out to Code Authority's digital marketing team for help.
Google Analytics Goal Tracking Set Up
At this point, you should have a Google Account, a Google Analytics Account and Property, and the Google Analytics global tag installed into theof your website. If you are missing any of these 3 components, please refer back to the previous sections for help.
From here, we are then able to set up goal tracking on Google Analytics.
Step 1. Open up Google Analytics and navigate to the Home Dashboard.
Step 2. In your Google Analytics dashboard, select the "Admin" option at the bottom left of your screen.
Step 3. Once the Admin panel expands, select the "Goals" option under the view column to the far right.
Step 4. Once the Goals tab has opened, select the red "+NEW GOAL" option.
Step 5. Specify the goal name. This should be an informative description of the action you want to record. For example, if you wished to record the number of users who filled out and submitted a contact form, you could use “Contact Form Submissions”.
Step 6. 7. Specify the Goal Type.
- Destination – select this option if you want to measure the number of times users land on a specified page. A good use case for this option would be on a “Success” or “Thank You” page a user is directed to after submitting a contact form. This goal will allow you to determine the number of times a contact form has been submitted within a set timeframe, among others. This goal will also allow you to set up a funnel. You are able to differentiate users who came from different destinations on your site; for example, a user landing on your contact us page from your services/products page versus a user landing on your contact us page from a specific blog.
- Duration – select this option if you want to measure the number of users who spend more or less than a specified amount of time on your website. A good use case for this option would be on a blog or informational site. This goal will allow you to determine whether the users landing on your site find the content relevant and helpful.
- Pages/Screens per Session – select this option if you want to measure the number of users who navigate to more or less than a specified number of pages on your website. A good use case for this option would be on a support site. This goal will allow you to determine whether users are having difficulty finding the information they need.
- Events – select this option if you want to measure the number of times users interact with specified events on your website. NOTE: This goal type requires any tracked elements to be configured as events in Google Tag Manager before measuring interaction. This option is applicable to any use case. Primary targets include buttons (form submissions, call buttons, sign ups, etc.), video tracking (video plays, view duration, etc.), page events (scroll, click, etc.). This goal will allow you to track most interactions on a website.
Step 7. Save your goals. Once you have finished setting up your goal, select the blue "Save" button.
Tips for Goal Tracking
After the goal has been saved, it is best practice to confirm they are recording properly. To do this, navigate to the Goals view (from Step 3) and select your created Goal. Under Goal Details, there is a hyperlinked “Verify this Goal” – select that and it will let you know if any conversions have been recorded in the last 7 days. If there are 0 but you are confident of the inaccuracy, you may want to confirm the goal was set up properly.
Accessing Results of Your Goals
After setting up your new goal(s) in Analytics, it's important to know how and where to access the results.
Step 1. Select the "Conversions" tab on the left-hand navigation.
Step 2. After you select Conversions, the dropdown will expand. From here, you will select "Overview."
Step 3. After selecting Overview, you will be able to see the results for each of your goals, including a dollar amount (if you preassigned this) in any given date range.
Goal tracking is a vital aspect to any websites long-term performance. You can always refer back to this article for assistance in the setup or if you need a professional consultation, you can contact Code Authority's digital marketing services team for any help.