Your main marketing tool and the “shop window” online is your website. But do you know how well it’s performing? How many visitors do you get every week? How many of those sign up for your email newsletter (opt-in to your email list)? Where do they come from, what keywords they searched before they reached your site? All this information is available for free in one of the most comprehensive marketing analytics tools online – Google Analytics. And best of all – it’s completely free to use! In this post (and video!) I’m going to show you how to setup Google Analytics account and your website conversion goals.
The main reason we need to set up and track websites goals is to track website conversions.
Every business website has a purpose: to sell products or services, to cross-promote another site, to engage users. The purpose is achieved when a user accomplishes some specific action, like watching a video, filling in an enquiry form, viewing a minimum number of pages, buying a product. It’s important to identify these milestones and give them values so you can track and measure the extent to which your users succeed.
That success data is available in the Goals reports in metrics like Goal Completions, Goal Value and Goal Conversion Rate.
Types of Google Analytics goals you can track:
- Destination: the user reaches a specified web page or app screen.
- Duration: the user spends a specified minimum amount of time on your site or app.
- Pages/Screens per visit: the user views a specified minimum number of pages or screens.
- Event: the user conducts a specified action, like viewing a video.
For newsletter subscription you can set up the Destination type of goal – webpage view. You need to set up for your email subscription form to redirect subscribers to a special page on the website “thanks for subscription”. Views of this page we are going to track.
What can you do with this data after you have setup Google Analytics account?
You can test improvements to your site to see what really works.
- Name of your freebie or optin offer – reason to sign up for your list,
- Position on the page – above, below, after header, within the page etc,
- Having a pop up vs not having a pop up form, as well as having a text pop up offer vs a video opt-in offer,
- Having a sidebar signup vs not having one, and positioning it differently within the sidebar.
The key to testing is you change only one variable at a time, leave it for a while, check your results. If you start changing several aspects at the same time, like adding a pop up, changing offer title, and adding a form just below the header – you won’t know for sure which of those improvements made the biggest difference, and which of the changes could actually be hindering the impact of others.
Within your goal analytics you can see what kind of traffic converts better – by filtering it by sources, keywords, demographics. Use this data to inform your other marketing strategies: guest blogging, social media, podcasting, keywords you optimise against, SEO.
Your action this week:
First step – if you haven’t got a Google Analytics account set up, go and get one now for your website. And if you do – well done, go and check your stats to ensure your code is tracking data correctly.
Second step – set up a conversion goal in your GA to track email list opt-ins. Follow the data for a couple of weeks and let me know your results. Are you surprised with your conversion ratio? Do you have questions on what you need to do next?
Please share in comments below!