On some of our recent posts, we mentioned how valuable and useful goals and goal funnels can be to your optimization and testing. Some readers commented that they’d like to learn more about how to set them up. You asked, and we will provide!
Setting up goals in Google Analytics can sometimes be a daunting task. Even our analyst group, as we create more and more complex funnels, have found ourselves frustrated by the process (especially when dealing with Regular Expression Match Type). But Goals and Funnels are so essential to our OnTarget continuous improvement process, we can’t let frustration or difficulty deter us. And neither should you. So, fear not. We’ve collectively (thank you to my fellow analysts) created this step by step guide to help you.
Setting Up Goals:
1. Sign into your Google Analytics Account. If you don’t have one yet, get one. It’s free and can provide you with a wealth of knowledge. AND, with helpful tools like Google Help and our blog, we show you how to find the data you seek (and even how to use data you didn’t even know was important to optimize your site).
2. Select “Analytics Settings” in the upper left-hand corner and then “Edit” next to the site profile you’d like to create the goal funnel for.
3. Scroll down to the second section titled “Goals” and select “+Add Goal.” You can create up to 20 goals, grouped into 4 different sets. I’ve found it helpful to group similar goals together. For example, goals in my shopping cart or checkout would be under one set, while metrics for newsletters and marketing efforts are grouped under another. If you outsource some of your work, it may be wise to have all the goals created by the company you hired to be grouped under one-set so you are not changing each other’s goals (this comes from my experiences).
4. When naming your goal, name it something clear and representative of what you’re tracking (the same goes for Test titles). “Goal 1″ isn’t going to help you remember that this is a goal where you track visitor’s time on site for your landing pages from a specific newsletter.
Recently, Google added two new goal types! Originally there was only “URL destination”, but now there is “Time on Site” and “Pages/Visits”. It’s great to experiment with the different type of goals. Of course, each goal should have a purpose, so don’t just go setting up random goals for the fun of it. Always know the data you’re trying to collect and setup the appropriate goals to better understand visitor behavior.
5. Now it begins to get tricky. “Goal Details” section begins with “Match Type” with the options of “Head Match,” “Exact Match,” and “Regular Expression Match.” How do you know which to choose? Well, Analytics Help provide great guidance for determining which best fits your goal. However, here’s some additional guidance from FutureNow to help you decide:
6. Finally, you need to enter the Goal URL. As it says to the right of the field For the goal page “http://www.mysite.com/thankyou.html”enter “/thankyou.html”. Goal Value can be important (especially when calculating the value of a particular change to the site, and the ROI on that change), so if you know what the goal value is enter it, however it isn’t necessary. From here you can select “Save Goal” and you’re on your way! To find out if you’re tracking correctly, visit this Analytics Help page, or contact us about becoming an OnTarget client…. Analytics guidance is included with all of our subscriptions.
Stay tuned for Part 2 on How to Set up Goal Funnels!