Every business has its own ambitions, goals and KPIs – but some goals can be useful for everyone. Here we give you a quick guide on how to think about your goals for Google Analytics, and how to set them up in a way we recommend for everyone doing business online.
What’s the point of setting up goals?
First of all, the main reason for setting up goals with Google Analytics is being able to track the activities of your website visitors. With detailed information about the behavior of users you will have an excellent possibility of optimising the results of your online business through just the right engagement of your potential online customers. Basically, with Google Analytics, you can gain invaluable information about whether your site visitors are really doing what you want them to do.
For example, the goal feature in Google Analytics lets you track the following things:
- How many people arrive at a specific page?
- How many of those people stay on that page for a certain minimum of time?
- How many online visitors viewed a specific number of pages on your site (or more)?
- How many ´engage´ in an event/feature (such as watching a video etc.)?
- Did visitors search for something?
- Did they add it to their cart (if a purchase option is available)?
- Did they buy it?
With the further options available to narrow down and detail your collected information, the Analytics´ goal feature becomes a great tool for helping you see clearly whether your website is providing the intended ROI for your business.
Setting up goals in Analytics
After logging in to your account, you will find most of the options for setting up goals under the icon in the upper right corner. Take note that you will only be allowed to set up 5 goals – each with 5 sub-sets – and won´t be able to delete and replace a goal with something new. Therefore, consider your goals carefully when setting up.
For each of the goals you create, you should first assign them a recognizable and meaningful name. Then mark the goal “Active” and enter the correct type category. Set further details under “Goal details” – for instance, it the goal is ´URL Destination´ you would enter the URL of the page you want to track users arriving at.
You can use the ´funnel´ feature to add the route (funnel) your site visitors could use to finally arrive at the exact URL/ page you wish to track; e.g. Homepage → content page 1 (2) → goal page. When you´re satisfied with all the details set for your ´goal´, simply click ´save´ and wait for results to start collecting.
How to assign goal values
It is important that you assign value to your goals to enable you to distinguish between them and see clearly which are the most profitable. Assigning relevant values to your online goals can be done as one of the following types: ´actual values´, ´average values´ or ´relative values´.
In case you offer specific products or services with a fixed price (to be paid up front), simply assign that numeric value to your goal. This makes it very easy to determine how many times such a goal has been completed.
Average value must be assigned for cases where, for example, your products or services can have varying prices, are not paid for up front, or are perhaps meant to simply generate further leads. Accurately calculating an average value can be quite a challenge and must be done on an case-by-case basis for each product/ service, taking into account all relevant implications.
Some goals that might be very relevant for you to track might actually not earn you any money in themselves – i.e. there will be no obvious numeric value to assign to those goals. This situation would apply for Facebook ´Likes´ or newsletter subscriptions, for example. What you then need to do is to assign a “relative value” to these goals. If, for example, you think it´s more important getting people to ´Like´ your Facebook page than signing up for your newsletter – assign the Facebook goal the value ´2´ while the newsletter gets a ´1´. Of course, this effectively means that a Facebook ´Like´ becomes twice as important as a newsletter sign-up. If that seems a bit off, note that you can also assign other numbers such as ´4´ and ´3´ respectively – it´s all “relative”!
Choosing the right goals
In order to make the most of the possibilities Google Analytics provides it is, of course, important that you are focusing on the right goals in the first place.
While implementing what we have described above, to help you ensure ROI for your online business, make sure you remember that the following 4 goal types are the most critical for you to benefit optimally from Google Analytics:
- (Trial) sign-ups
- Account creations
- Newsletter signups
These kinds of metrics about whether your current website is actually helping your customers find what they need, and proving relevant to users, are really what you should be tracking. This is much more important than merely collecting numbers on how many visitors just land on your site. After all, the acquired data should be a tool to help you increase ROI – that´s what it´s all about!
Fredric Lundgren knows all about goals in Analytics
Are you having a hard time setting up your goals? Do you want someone to talk to about choosing the right goals? Are you uncertain how to assign correct value to your goals? – Don’t worry – Fredric Lundgren knows all about goals in Analytics. Just drop him a line.