Setting Your Google Analytics Goals for Website Success
From the moment it’s live, your Google Analytics account displays a lot of data you should track on a regular basis. You’ll have an up-to-the-minute picture of who your visitors are, where they are coming from, the devices they are using—all giving you a clear idea of whether you’re reaching your target market or not.
However, what it won’t do right away is help you understand if your website visitors are going through your intended funnel and doing what you want them to do.
Every website should be designed with a specific purpose or objective. What is the ultimate action you want your website visitors to take? Measuring how often this happens is one of your single most important business metrics.
That’s where your Google Analytics goals come in.
Why do Google Analytics goals matter?
Whether you’ve got an eCommerce site or one where you’re generating leads, you must set up goals in Google Analytics to see if visitors are completing the actions you need. When set up correctly, Google Analytics shows you the final action you want, otherwise known as a macro conversion, and it also keeps track of the micro conversions. Micro conversions are actions that may lead or influence a visitor to take your main desired action, such as watching a video, visiting a location page, or downloading a case study.
It may be that only a few of your visitors on any given day are ready to make that final commitment (your Google Analytics goal): some are doing research, some are your competitors (also doing research), and some of them are old customers looking to see what’s new that you’re offering. If you ignore the traffic that’s shopping around, and track only the final action, you’re missing out on some very important data that could be helpful in tweaking your website to ultimately get more of your main desired actions.
From a new user simply creating an account, to a returning customer who decides to sign up for your newsletter, to a live lead adding an item to their shopping cart and then abandoning the transaction, these smaller micro conversions are signs of engaged and interested prospects, and can all be defined as goals in Google Analytics.
What are the micro goals most companies track in Google Analytics?
Before you decide which micro goals you should be tracking, you need to know what kind of website you have—and what the macro goal for your site is. Business websites fit into three core categories:
- Ecommerce Website: Macro goal is for users to buy something.
- Lead Generation Website: Macro goal is for users to complete a form or make a phone call.
- Content Website: Macro goal is for users to sign up to receive content (i.e., email lists) or engage with the brand community (i.e., add comments, complete surveys).
Once you’ve identified your website’s category and macro goal, it’s easy to figure out which micro goals are most advantageous to track as Google Analytics goals.
Some common micro goals that companies track are:
- Destination Goals: Tracking when visitors reach a particular page or quantity of pages. (i.e., for some B2B websites, if a prospect goes to a pricing page or “Meet the Team” page, it’s a sign of an engaged visitor).
- Engagement Goals: Tracking your site activity (i.e., amount of time spent on site, number of pages visited, actions taken per page).
- Event Goals: Tracking actions performed on your site (i.e., watching a video, sharing a post on social media).
Defining the Google Analytics goals with the biggest payoff
When it comes to setting your Google Analytics goals, it’s vital the goals you measure bring value to your company. To define the value of a goal, consider the revenue or business impact that results from a visitor completing the desired action.
Let’s say you’re a clothing company and you set a destination goal for users who reach your “Order Submitted” or “Thank You” website pages. The easiest way to determine a value for this goal is by using the average sales price for your online orders. If your average online order value is $200, then that goal completion is worth $200 to your business.
Assigning values for Google Analytics goals is more complicated for actions that are not directly linked to making a purchase. For example, let’s say you run a medical practice. Your website serves a lead generation function, where completion of a “Request an Appointment” form is a high-value conversion. Not everyone who completes this form will turn into a patient, however.
To place a monetary value on this goal completion, simply calculate the value of your average annual revenue generated by a new patient using your practice’s average conversion rates.
For example, if the average new patient is worth $1,000 in a year, but only 40 percent of people who complete this form keep their appointment, then this goal completion is worth $400 on average to your practice.
By using your Google Analytics goals to measure the success of your website by how much financial impact it has on your business, you’ll gain much more clarity on planning its enhancements and revisions.
Your website’s conversion rate is one of the most important business metrics you need to know. If you’re conversion rate isn’t making you Smyle, contact us for help on how to improve it.