Setting Goals in Google Analytics

By Joel Baxter

May 08
Hockey player celebrating goal, victory with hands and stick up

Goal Tracking in Google Analytics is a handy tool to help you get important data about your website’s effectiveness at an instant glance. If you are a small business, Goal Tracking may seem rather daunting, as there are so many options available in the template options.  However, if you keep it simple at the start, and build up, Goal Tracking will help you and your SEO strategies considerably.

Contact Form Goal Tracking

One valuable, but simple goal you can track is your contact form. By attaching a goal to it, you can see instantly how many people contacted you, and use that information to adjust your SEO, web design, or examine trends.

Setting up your Contact Form

With most forms, when you submit them, you want to direct the user to a thank-you page to reassure them that their form was properly sent. It’s this page that we are going to set as a goal.
For our goal, our thank-you page is called thank-you.html and we are setting up our analtyics and forms for a ficticious company called ‘kitty-katnip-palace’.

Setting up Google Analytics for Goal Tracking

From here, you’ll want to log into your Google Analytics account.

Step One

Go into your Google Analytics account and click on the Admin tab

Step Two

Click on Goals, and then select ‘New Goal’.

setting up google analytics

 

Step Three

Click on Custom and choose Next Step

Step Four

In Goal Description, set the Name to something like ‘Thank-You Page’, and set the type as ‘Destination’

Setting an Analytics Goal

Step Five

All that is left is to set your Goal Details to your thank-you page.  You want it to be something like ‘/thank-you.html’, rather than ‘www.kitty-katnip-palace.com/thank-you.html’.  Don’t worry about applying a Value or Funnel option just yet.  You can always go back and edit a goal.

goal-step4

Deciphering Your Information

To see your Goal Tracking, go to Reporting, Conversions and Goals

goal-step5
From there you can instantly see how many people in the past thirty days (in the picture above, this is just two days worth, as the goal has not yet existed for 30 days) have completely filled out your form. This lets you judge the effectiveness of your website, your SEO efforts and the placement and design of your form.

Form Design Recommendations

Unlike a field of dreams, if you build a form, people will not come and automatically fill it out. While you could bribe them with candy or free beer, the placement of your form will improve the chances of your form being used.  A great spot for a form is in a sidebar, in a location where someone won’t have to scroll down to see it.

You’ll want an applicable heading above the form, and just a few fields on how someone can contact you. Too many fields frustrate users.  So keep it simple and use the basics like Name, Phone Number, Email and a simple message. Also, with too many fields, people tend to think you’re data collecting, and selling their information.  Finally, filling out a form on a mobile device is not a smooth process either, so if you have dozens of drop down boxes, or your forcing someone to punch in a postal code, they’ll probably give up and move on to a competitor.

  Contact Us

rocket-blog-contact-form

A sample of a simple form

 

The Next Steps

If you’ve set up this goal tracking step, you can probably handle additional goal tracking in Google Analytics.  Don’t go too crazy, just like with life, too many goals will overburden you and you’ll stop paying attention to them.  Google Analytics only allows you to put in 20 goals as a maximum, and once you’ve created one, you can’t delete it.  So spend a bit of time thinking about what you want your website to accomplish it, and use Goal Setting to get you on the path to measure and improving your website’s conversion rates.

If this tutorial, and the concept of Goal Tracking is far too confusing, have no worries as Rocket SEO is here to help with your SEO.  We can set up Goal Tracking for you, and discuss your Website’s growth and health on a monthly basis.  We don’t work on a long term contract basis, and we offer dozens of services to help you get the most out of your website.