Measuring Success: Setting up Goals in Google Analytics

goals in google analytics

Goals help you determine how your offline and online marketing tactics are performing for your business. You can evaluate many things in Google Analytics with the right setups for your goals – some examples include contact form drop-offs, conversion value per page lead and overall user flow.

Start by Creating Your Views

First, you need to learn how to create a view… but why?

When you begin with Google Analytics, all of the data collected through your website will appear in a single view. By creating multiple views, you can break down the data much more efficiently. You can make a maximum of 25 views, but each one can contain up to 20 goals. Maxing out is quite easy; make sure you create a primary view for every major goal campaign.

How to Create a New View

To create these views, go to the ‘Admin’ tab, click the box under ‘View,’ and press the ‘Create New View’ button. If this tool does not show up, it could be due to a lack of access – ask the Analytics account admin to authorize you to access this section.

Now, select a name for the ‘Reporting View Name,’ and put in the appropriate time zone based on your location. Press ‘Create View’ to complete the task; keep in mind, upward of 24 hours can pass before it’s actually created.

That’s it… Now you are ready to create goals for your views!

Creating Your Goals – How It’s Done

Within the ‘Admin’ tab, select the third sub-section entitled ‘Goals’ to see the goals that apply to the highlighted view. Press the red ‘New Goal’ button to create a new goal. This will bring you to the ‘Goal setup’ form.

What’s your website’s goal?

The three goal types apply for one of the following: e-Commerce websites, service-based websites or informational websites. In the case of a law firm, you’ll fall under the ‘service-based’ category. The ‘Inquiry’ section will likely be the type of goal you should select.

For ‘Inquiry’ goals, you have the following options:

  • View more
  • Contact us
  • Get estimate
  • See available
  • Find a location
  • Phone calls

Making a Custom ‘Destination’ Goal

You can choose one of the macro goal types for each goal you create. If none are a perfect fit, make a custom goal instead. The main option for a lead generation website — like a law firm website — is the ‘Destination’ goal.

With this technique, you can track data like:

  • When and how visitors reach contact confirmation pages
  • Which lead generation tactic brought the converting lead
  • Success rates with goals on separate, third-party sites
  • Traffic directed to and from specific categories or pages

You must enter what the destination ‘equates to.’ Just submit the page URI (Uniform Resource Identifier, the URL slug you want to track). Next, you can set a ‘Value’ by determining what each lead is worth to your business. To under this better, read Google’s explanation on how to calculate page value. You can only estimate this when starting out; adjust your value rate as you learn your conversion rate.

Making a Custom ‘Events’ Goal

Most of the time you will want to run custom ‘Events’ goals that track specific actions. Select ‘Event’ from your list of goal types, and then fill in the ‘Goal Details’ section. You can enter different requirements for ‘Category,’ ‘Action,’ ‘Label’ and ‘Value.’ But, remember that each event condition must be met for the goal to succeed.

Here’s an example of how the above conditions could work:

Category: Downloads

Action: PDF

Label: “/legalGuides/injurySettlement1.pdf”

In this case, the only way a goal will succeed is if a user downloads that specific PDF (injurySettlement1). That way, you can segment this minor goal away from your more major goals; if you wanted, you could separately track individual and universal downloads.

Using Goals Data to Measure Successes

There are numerous ways to utilize Google Analytics goals to gain information on the strong and weak points of your site. Take a look below to get some ideas on how your business could benefit from analyzing your goals data.

Identifying Successful Marketing Channels

You might want to track how your visitors travel through your website. You can use the ‘User Flow’ report to track the traffic volume and marketing channel impressions. You’ll be able to gauge where visitors enter and exit, plus which pages have the best lead generation or conversion rate.

The key is to identify the most profitable marketing channels. You can tweak your approach for each channel until it’s fully optimized and then stick with the marketing strategies that pull the highest returns. You can add a ‘Segment’ condition to dig deeper, such as to see the on-site flow for traffic that hasn’t filled out your contact form.

Monitoring Contact Form Drop-Offs

Let’s say you have a contact form with six input fields. You might ask for the person’s name, email, phone number, required service and ideal call-back time. You can place a separate event goal for each entry field. The collected data will show how far into the form your visitors get before they drop off – therefore, it is possible to identify what’s scaring away your prospective leads.

Tracking Custom Action Events

The examples above are nice, but they are often too broad. You can gain considerable knowledge on your potential leads through custom event tracking. This tactic shows much more, from the time spent on certain videos to external link usage behavior. You can read Google’s in-depth guide on event-tracking to fully grasp how to set up these events.

Get Help Setting Up Your Goals

Methodic PPC specializes in paid search, and one of the most important component of our work is tracking the performance of campaigns through goal tracking. If you need help getting your analytics set up correctly, contact us with the form on this page, or call us at 612-540-0010.