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Setting Up Goal Tracking on Google Analytics

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Google Analytics does a pretty good job of explaining goal conversions as “the primary metric for measuring how well your site fulfills business objectives.”  All websites should have some kind of goal tracking set up to measure performance, conversion rates and how these metrics change over time.

What is goal tracking?

Goal tracking measures the number of times a visitor reaches a given page or performs your desired outcome on your website.  A goal can be a number of things, but some of the more common goals are:

  • Making a purchase
  • Making an enquiry
  • Signing up to a newsletter
  • Downloading an ebook
  • Staying on the website for a certain length of time

Why you need to track goals

First of all you need work out why you have a website and what you want it to achieve.  Tracking goals allows you to see exactly how your website is performing in your pre-defined objectives whether it be selling a product or having people subscribe to your mailing list.

With goal tracking recording you can accurately measure conversion rates as well as the monetary value of the traffic coming to your website.

How to set up goals in Google analytics

Following this guide from Google should make it very easy to set up goal tracking for your website.

Click to expand

The most common goal to set up in Google analytics is choosing a destination URL with your “thank you” page or “confirmation” page as the desired goal URL.

When a visitor visits this URL, they can only get after they have signed up, downloaded or made a purchase which means they have performed your goal which counts as a conversion.

The image to the right illustrates a typical goal setup with a destination URL as the main objective. You can put in your own figures and details as appropriate for your website.

The good thing about Google Analytics is that you can have up to 20 different goals set up on any given website profile.

You can set up to 20 goals for a website in Google Analytics

Set up funnels

Funnels can be extremely useful for mapping exactly where your visitors are dropping off during the path to completing a goal. It is an easy way to visualise what is preventing visitors from converting to the next step.

Funnel Visualisation Report in Google Analytics

Summary

Setting up goal tracking is very simple to do and reveals some extremely useful information about your visitors and your website performance. Being able to have measure your conversion rates, visualise conversion funnels and accurately measure the monetary value of the traffic coming to your website makes setting up goals a no-brainer.  So get to it!

About Andrew Webber

I'm an avid basketballer who is passionate about internet marketing. I love local SEO and helping small business get more visibility. I am also the founder of SEO Maverick. Find me on Google+ at +Andrew Webber
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There are 5 comments. Add yours.

  1. Hey Andrew,
    Have you checked out multi channel conversions yet?

    We’re revealing to all our PPC clients that they’re actually doing upto 3 times the sales attributed to Adwords first click.

    It’s awesome, as the analysis is applied in the past and not from when they released the functionality.

    Thanks, Chris.

  2. Hey Chris,

    Thanks for your comment! That is some fantastic results you were able to discover there. I actually had a chance to set it up last week on a smaller site I’m working on and was very surprised/excited at some of the results and metrics that I saw.

    I was using the normal conversion segments to begin with and then stumbled across: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-greatest-attribution-ever-graphed

    I set up a couple of custom segments the help segment the SEO traffic with organic branded and non branded search traffic to better track our SEO efforts. Some of the graphs you can get with comparing default segments and some of these custom segments are awesome!

    Thanks for your input!

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SEO Maverick is an Adelaide SEO and website design agency specialising in local SEO services. Director Andrew Webber has been in the online marketing industry for over 8 years and has worked with some of Australia's biggest brands including: Elders, Rural Bank, Cancer Council and Ouwens Casserly.

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