Google Analytics comes with many features out of the box that will give you added insight into your website performance, visitor profiles, and campaign effectiveness. You may find that over time, there are limits to what the built in metrics can tell you and you’re ready to do some configurations of your own. Knowing how many people come to your site is the first step. The next is knowing what they do. The way to monitor this is through conversion goals.
The simplest goal to set up is around a destination – how many of your users visited a specific page … like a donation page, or a donation thank-you page.
To set up a new destination goal, you must first be an admin of your Google Analytics account. Go to the admin view by clicking the gear icon in the lower left of your analytics view. This brings up a menu about Accounts, Properties, and Views. Goals are specific to a single view. Ensure you use your master data view if multiple views exist. Click on the “Goals” icon with the flag in the menu.
Steps to Set Up a New Goal
- Choose “New Goal.”
- Use a template to set up the new goal
- Name the goal something easy to identify, “User visited Donate Page” for example
- Choose Destination for the Type
- Choose “Equals to” and paste in the URL of the destination page to track
- If each visit contributes a monetary value, enter it, otherwise leave the value blank
- If your goal includes visiting several pages in order, define them in the funnel interface. Then monitor drop-off points in your conversion goals.
- Click Verify Goal to test to see how many visitors in the past 7 days would have been considered a successful conversion.
- Save the goal to begin tracking your users.
Keep in mind that goals are not backwards compatible, meaning they will only start logging conversions upon creation. They will not look back at past visits to retroactively inform you of which visitors would have completed this goal had it existed. Let it run for a few days and then check back to see your success rates.
Once you have some goals set up you can start to trace it back to individual visits to see if certain types of traffic convert better than others. Maybe one campaign gets 10X as much traffic, but 1/10th of the conversions. You’d benefit putting more attention to the campaign you previously thought under-performed the others. Goal conversion tracking is the natural next step in analytics tracking and will give you more mature insights into your visitors, website performance, and campaign effectiveness.