Google Analytics 201: Setting and Tracking Goals

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Optimizing a website for conversion starts with tracking conversions, and that's where Google Analytics Goals comes into play. Goals helps to measure the important events users complete on your site (such as completing a purchase or accessing multiple pages), and can be customized to reflect your marketing needs.

Using Google Analytics Goals to Track User Interactions

It's important to identify the interactions that are most important to your business. Google Analytics allows you to track up to 20 goals per reporting view, so first consider tracking the actions you want your customers to take.

In Google Analytics, each of these interactions is categorized by goal type, and falls into one of four categories:

  • Destination: Use a destination goal to measure how often a visitor accesses a specific web page, such as a confirmation page from downloads or sign-ups.
  • Duration: Duration goals track the amount of time a user spends on your website.
  • Pages per session: Analytics can count the number of pages a visitor views in a session before reaching a goal completion.
  • Event: Event goals measure user interactions, including leaving a comment, clicking on an ad, or viewing a video.

Creating a Goal in Google Analytics

Once you've set up your website with Google Analytics and installed the tracking code on each page, you're ready to begin using Goals. From the Analytics Admin page, click Goals in the "View" column. Then click New Goal. Write a goal description that's easy to remember, then choose one of the four types of goals.

Destination goal: For a destination goal, set a URL that corresponds to the end page a user reaches after taking a specific action, like signing up for a newsletter. You won't need to enter the full URL, just the request URL. If you're able to assign a monetary value to the conversion, slide the Value toggle, and enter the number here. The optional Funnel toggle will allow you to specify a traffic path to the destination URL to monitor entrance and exit points that have an impact on goal conversion. Click Save to save your changes.

Duration goal: To set up a duration goal, choose the number of hours, minutes, and seconds that a visitor would be active within your domain to correspond to your conversion goal. This type of conversion can also be assigned a monetary value by sliding the toggle and entering the value before clicking Save.

Pages/screens-per-session goal: Measure the level of user engagement by creating a pages-per-session goal that counts a conversion when the minimum number of pages have been viewed. This type of conversion can also be assigned a monetary value by sliding the toggle and entering the value before clicking Save.

Event goal: To set up an event goal, you'll first need to set up the specific user interaction you're looking to track as an event with an Event Tracking code embedded within your site. Once complete, your event conversion tracking can be defined by one or more conditions, all of which must be true to trigger an event. Choose between defining a category, action, label, or value to measure. Be sure to click Save to begin measuring your results.

For more information on how to evaluate ad performance with conversion data, continue on to the next post in our Google Analytics series.

The 2016 U.S. Google Channel Sales Innovator Award Goes To...

2016 U.S. Google Channel Sales Innovator Award Winner
2016 U.S. Google Channel Sales Innovator Award Winner

Sometimes it pays to go your own way. We know this at Adtaxi, because we recently won the 2016 U.S. Google Channel Sales Innovator Award at the Google Partner Summit held in Mountain View. The honor was presented to one Premier Google Partner in the U.S., and one in Canada, for demonstrating strong innovation in acquiring, retaining, or growing existing customer accounts.

Our winning idea, a true team effort, was the Magellan Pacing Tool, an agile and flexible instrument which allows us to determine strategic insights about a client’s campaign quickly and efficiently. Magellan pulls all of the data from Google AdWords into an easy to understand dashboard with traffic light indicators. This allows team members to automate tasks for campaign managers, so that they can spend more time on optimizations that will drive conversions for our clients.

“Being recognized is truly an honor,” says Chris Loretto, Executive Vice President of Digital at Adtaxi. “It is a significant achievement when you consider the amount of innovation happening in the digital space. The award validates our belief that people matter as much as technology. I am very proud of my teams as they are so talented, tenacious and passionate about our mission to deliver exceptional results for our customers.”

Adtaxi Wins 2016 U.S. Google Channel Sales Innovator Award
Adtaxi Wins 2016 U.S. Google Channel Sales Innovator Award

As it tends to go with innovation, our team at Adtaxi created Magellan out of necessity. After testing a number of third party pacing tools, we were unable find one that was efficient enough to fit our needs. So, we decided to build our own.

Magellan is unique in that it alerts us to any fluctuations in pacing or performance in a campaign, allowing campaign managers to prioritize optimizations based on which accounts need deep-dives and which ones are running smoothly. It also allows teams to easily identify drops or increases in the KPIs we set, such as Conversions, Calls, CTR or Average Position.

Perhaps best of all, Magellan allows teams to easily inform clients and account managers about current account performance in a visual way that is easy to understand. A tool this precise invokes trust and confidence from the client to our team, helping with retention and performance, which is one of our top priorities.

We feel encouraged about receiving this award, and it helps us to build momentum as we continue to expand and improve our products and services. “We look forward to continuing to solve complex marketing challenges for our customers with custom, performance-driven solutions,” says Loretto.

We became a Premier Google Partner in 2014 because of our focus on transparency and results for our customers. As a part of this partner program, we benefit from Google’s dedicated resources for account management, technical support, product and industry expertise. This provides us with deeper knowledge of search marketing best practices and allows us to deliver great service and stronger performance for our clients.

If you’d like to learn more about our award-winning Magellan Pacing Tool and how it helps us to drive stronger performance for our search clients, fill out the contact form here and we’ll be in touch.