Tracking Website Successes

To be successful with a website, you need to define the goals you want it to achieve. Common website goals are receiving a contact email or a cart submission.

Being able to track those goal and analyse what causes them to happen can be a great weapon to help you optimise your website design, online advertising and promotional activities.

Working on increasing the rate you achieve goals will focus you on activities that most benefit your business through leads and sales.

To help you do that, Google Analytics allows you to setup Goals and analyse all the other data in relation to them. What search words cause more goals? Which websites send you visitors that trigger goals? What route do visitors use that trigger Goals?

This article will take you through the steps of creating a standard goal in Google Analytics

Determining a Goal Page

The simplest and most common way to define a goal is through the viewing of a certain page. If a visitor reaches that page, then a goal is made.

For example, if you have a contact page, have it go to a thankyou page after the user has posted their message. The thankyou page can provide the visitor with a nice message while also triggering the goal.

In a similar way, you can create a thankyou page for after a cart is submitted. Again this can be setup to trigger a goal.

Setting up the Goal

Once you have determined the page that will be the trigger of your goal, you can go into Google Analytics and setup the Goal:

Go to your Analytics Settings page (login if required)

Choose the account you wish to add the goal to, and click on the Edit link...

Scroll down to the section on Goals, and click on the Add Goals Link. In this case you can see I already have a few.

Here you will see a few options...

For our simple goal we need to fill in a few fields as shown above.

First create an appropriate name for your goal. This gets shown when you are looking at your Analytics Data.

In this case we are triggering a goal based on a page on your website, so select a Goal Type of URL Destination.

This will open a new section where you can enter the URL of your page. Leave the Head Match setting as is and enter your pages file name in the Goal URL field. Make sure you start the URL with a dash(/) as the comments request.

Finally, Allocate a value to your goal. I normally choose 1. Then click Save Goal to have it activated.

I would then recommend you test that goal is working, for example, submit a form. It may take a few hours for your goal to show up, and make sure your including today in your date range.

Viewing Goals

When you go back to viewing your websites statistics you will see there is a Goals option in the left hand menu. This will give you direct access to your goals and how they are performing over time.

An keep an eye out when viewing other statistics such as traffic sources which has a Goals Tab to cross reference with goals: