Set up goal and event tracking in Google Analytics to have complete visibility.
- [Instructor] Setting up the goals of your website is important, but tracking them is even more important. As people come to your site, they'll likely have many actions available to them. They can read information, click on links, watch a movie, and so on. You, as the business owner, however, are hoping that they perform certain actions in particular. Those are your goals. Those goals could be to fill out a feedback form, sign up for an account, download a whitepaper, or buy something from your e-commerce store.
Goal conversions are a great way to see if your marketing efforts are paying off, and because the web is so trackable, we can configure Google in such a way to see when these goal conversions actually happen. And to get started with this, you'll need to be using Google Analytics. So I'm already here, in Google Analytics, and I'm in a report view of a sample website. Now, you'll find your goals by scrolling through the left-hand navigation menu, selecting Conversions, Goals, and then Overview.
If we had goals enabled, we'd see them in this view. However, we haven't set them up yet. So here, we have a page that explains what goals are, why we should set them up, and examples of the goals. So the first thing we'll do is select Set up goals in the bottom left-hand corner. Now, you'll notice that this takes us within the Admin view, under Goals. So at any point, you can also get to Goals by selecting Admin in the navigation, and then finding Goals from within the view. So, once we're on this page, we'll select New Goal in the upper left-hand corner.
Now, you'll notice that Google provides you some templates based on common goals. Here we have Revenue goals, Acquisition goals, Inquiry goals, and Engagement goals. You'll likely find that one of these goals will perfectly fit your use case. So, for this example, let's say we want an Acquisition goal, when someone creates an account. I'll select the radio button next to Create an account, and we can scroll down and select Continue. Here, we need to name the goal. Let's say that we have different types of accounts. Maybe I have a trial account, a basic account, and a premium account.
We'll call this Creates a Trial Account. Here, we can select the Goal ID. In this case, it's going to default to the next available ID and Goal Set. Here we have Goal ID one, Goal Set one. Next, we need to specify our goal Type. And you see, Google has four Types here. The first is a Destination Type, and this is where we give Google a specific URL that will confirm that our goal happened. So what happens is, when that URL is hit by your user, Google's going to say, "Okay, this URL is part of our goal, "and I'm going to log this as a successful goal completion." More often than not, this'll be a thank you page or an order confirmation page.
Now, if your goal can be reached, even if someone hasn't actually completed that goal, then this value might be wrong. It could be artificially inflated. So keep that in mind when you select your URLs. The next options are Duration, and Pages/Screens per session. If you're tracking time spent on your site, you'd use the Duration option. So, this goal would be complete if someone, say, spent five minutes on a particular page. Perhaps you have a goal that you want someone to spend three minutes reading an article. Now, the Pages and Screens per session will be a goal that you'd use, perhaps, say, if you want someone to visit multiple pages on your site.
So you feel successful that, if someone came in from, say, Facebook, and then they read three or four articles, that that goal was complete. And the last one is an Event Type, and this one's a little more tricky to set up. You'd have goals that are triggered on specific Events, but there's going to be some programmatic needs there, so I'm not going to be digging into this. For the purpose of this example, I'm going to leave Destination selected and choose Continue. So the first thing we need to do is add our Destination URL here at the top. Now, instead of using the full path, say, www.mysite.com/thankyou, you would just use /thankyou.html.
Now, if you have multiple pages that are named the same, you can include the directory prior, in this case, /directory/thankyou.html. Now, to the left of this, you'll notice that we have some different options, Equals to, Begins with, and Regular expression. Now, Equals to, which is preselected, will use that exact URL of the page that you want to define as your goal, so in this case, /directory/thankyou.html. So you could cut and paste the direct path, just as we did. You won't be able to use any wildcards, and it's not going to take into consideration any other options around that URL.
Now, beyond that, we have Begins with, and this is very helpful, especially with shopping carts. Let's say your confirmation page for your user has some unique parameters at the end of the URL, say, checkout.html?user=123, and that changes from user to user. Then, you'd use Begins with. Here, you can say Begins with thankyou.html or checkout.html, and Google will ignore everything that happens after the .html. So anything that's there won't impact your tracking.
It'll still track regardless. And the third option is Regular expression match, and this uses Regular expressions to help identify when that goal fires. Here you can add wildcards or metacharacters. This is really useful when the URL might change depending on the user or where they came from. So your website might be at blog.mysite.com, and you might have another one at mysite.com. But maybe both of those drive a user to the same checkout page. The only difference is the first part of that URL. And so in that case, you could use an asterisk, say, *.mysite.com, and that way Google won't care whether it starts dub dub dub or blog.
To the right of this, you can enable case sensitivity, and that's helpful if your URLs require case sensitivity. And beyond that, we move into the Value and Funnel options. You'll notice that these are disabled, but we'll start by selecting the Value option. What this does is assigns a Value to these conversions, and this way, Google can show us over time what the Value, in monetary numbers, is for each day. This is really useful if you're conversion is always worth the same amount, but if you have unique outcomes for the same goal, you can simply leave this Off.
Now, there are ways to track different Values on the same goal, but that's an advanced feature, which is beyond what we're going to be covering. The next thing we could do is turn On the Funnel option, and this allows us to set up the steps as to how a user arrives at the goal. But we're going to be looking at Funnels in another video, so I'm going to leave that toggled Off for now. Now if you'd like, you can select the Verify this Goal link, and what happens is Google will check to see if your goal would've fired based on data in your account over the last seven days.
Now, there's no data in this account, so it wouldn't show us anything, but this is a great way to test if it's working. Now, when your create the goal, it's not actually going to bring that data into your Dashboard. So you need to start your goals from when you want to actually be tracking the data, but you would get a sense of if it would've fired. Once you're ready, you'll choose Save, and your goal will have been created. Now, you'll have the option to enable or disable this goal by selecting the Recording link here, On and Off.
Now, if we go back to our Reporting view, here, we can select Overview from the Goals menu, and this will show us all of our Goals and the various Goal Completions. If you'd like to view a specific Goal, you can select the drop-down where it says Goal Completions and pick the specific Goal that you want to view if you have multiple Goals set up.
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- What is online marketing?
- What makes a website effective?
- Working with a designer or developer
- Creating engaging web copy
- Understanding online analytics
- Using goal and event tracking
- Exploring the conversion funnel
- Defining key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Understanding SEO techniques
- Conducting keyword research
- Creating a content strategy
- Leveraging local SEO
- Understanding who's on social media
- Marketing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
- Creating compelling video marketing campaigns
- Building an email marketing plan
- Measuring the success of your marketing efforts
- Setting up a blog
- Running A/B marketing tests
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 03/08/2016. What changed?
A: We updated six movies to keep current with the latest interfaces in Google Tag Manager, Google Keyword Planner, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Brad also added one new tutorial on setting up a blog.
Q. This course was updated 03/21/2017. What changed?
A. The following topics were updated: installing Google Tag Manager, using goal tracking, looking at a conversion funnel, looking at attribution models, leveraging local SEO, introduction to search and display, launching display search ads, and deciding to use remarketing.