Goals within Google Analytics are a versatile way to measure how well your website and marketing is performing. A goal represents a completed activity on your website that you find valuable and that contributes to the success of your business. This can be a new sign up for your newsletter, or a contact form being submitted.
In most industries there are two primary goals that should be set up immediately. The first goal you should set up is for newsletter signups, so that you can track the growth of your audience and potential clients. The second goal you should set up is for contact form submissions so that you can track the amount of fresh leads you are earning.
Once these goals are setup you can then track the performance of your marketing efforts by campaign. For example you might find that Facebook advertising is driving a lot of leads, or that your Google Adwords campaign is driving a lot of visitors, but very few actual leads. With this kind of information you can make smart decisions on where to spend your time and money to best improve your practice.
How to Set Up Goals
Properly setting up goals takes less than 5 minutes, and has a huge impact on your business. Watch the video above or if you are familiar with Google Analytics you can follow the directions below.
- Log in to your Analytics account at http://google.com/analytics.
- Click on your Google Analytics profile.
- Click “Admin”.
- Click on “Goals”.
- Click “Create A Goal”.
- Click “Custom”.
- Click “Next Step”.
- Name your goal something descriptive like “Newsletter Signup” or “Contact Form Submission”. For this example we are going to track contact form submissions.
- Find out how your website tracks goals, to do this go to your website, and pretend you are trying to complete your goal. Fill out your contact form, and click submit.
- You should now be on the thank you page for your contact form. Enter your destination URL. If it is http//domain.com/thank-you, then just enter /thank-you in the Equals to field.
- Click on “verify goal” to verify that you set everything up properly. If your website already has contact form submissions you should see some data from the last 7 days.
How to Determine the Effectiveness of Your Marketing Campaigns
It takes at least 1 week after setting up goals in Google Analytics to have data that is useful and actionable. After you have enough data to get some valuable insights from Google Analytics you should view the following reports:
- To determine where your visitors are coming from, and when they complete one of your goals. Click “Audience”, click “Location”, click “United States”, then click on the State you want to view.
- To see if a particular marketing strategy is resulting in subscribers click “Acquisition” then “All Traffic Sources”. This will show you the amount of visitors, the quality of those visitors, and the amount of leads from those visitors.
- To find out which social networks are driving the most subscribers, click “Aquisition”, click “social”, then click “Overview”.
- To see what content leads to the most contact form submissions and newsletter signups click “Conversions”, then click “Reverse Goal Path”.