There is a very important and useful feature inside Google Analytics called Goals. Setting up a goal inside your Analytics account allows you to track how new leads came to your site as well as the path they took before coming a lead.
Maybe I should take a step back. Inside Analytics, you can set a goal for when a visitor completes a certain action. For example, when someone fills out your contact form or maybe your goal is to increase user engagement, so you set a goal for when a visitor views more than 5 pages. Analytics can track these actions and allow you to gain some insight into why these visitors completed the action and aid you in increasing the chance of them happening more often.
Setting Up Your First Goal
Firstly, log into your Analytics account. If you track more than one property inside your account, you may need to click on the individual profile to finally get into the reporting section. We’ll use a current client of mine as an example. Everyone, please say hello to Antler Dog Chews. When your account first loads, you should see the Audience Overview report. It should look similar to this:
In the upper right of the page click on the Admin link. Then on the Profiles tab select your profile (this is probably your domain name) from the list. Now on the Profile page, select the Goals tab. Here you’ll see four sets of goals, each able to hold five goals.
Under Goals (set 1) click on the +Goals link to set up your first goal. You’ll need to give your goal a name. For this exercise, I’m going to set up a goal for every time someone fills out my client’s contact form. So after naming the goal and marking it as active, I’ll select the URL Destination radio button. I’m selecting this option because my client’s contact form takes you to a “thank you” page once the form has been successfully submitted. Go ahead and type the address of the “thank you” page in.
The next field is the “Match Type” field. This field allows you to have a much more complex URL structure for tracking goals. This an advanced feature so we’re going to skip it. Just leave it marked as Exact Match for now.
We’ll leave the “Case Sensitve” checkbox unchecked.
In “Goal Value” you can give your goal/sale/lead a numerical value. Some people use this to track a rough estimate of how much their website is making them. To use this value effectively, you’ll need to figure out the average amount a lead is worth to you. If you aren’t sure what to place here, just enter a 1.
The final section is for optionally setting up a goal funnel. This is a series of pages the user must visit before reaching the Goal URL to officially complete the goal. This is very useful in our example of tracking contact form submissions. We can require that the user must actually submit the form successfully and then be taken to the thank you page before the goal is recorded.
Check the box next to Use Funnel and enter the URL of your contact form page. Remember to leave out your domain but include the trailing slash! Name the page something relevant and check the required step checkbox and hit save at the bottom.
Tracking Your Goals
Now that our goal is properly configured, we’ll be able to dive into some data and see exactly when, where and how users are contacting us. Next time we’ll look at how to interpret these stats.