Are you a small business owner who has that nagging feeling you aren’t using web analytics very well?
Google Analytics goals are probably a big part of it.
Let’s first acknowledge that numbers may not be your favorite thing. And that Google Analytics can seem jargony & hard to understand. (I love numbers and even I think it can be overly confusing & complicated.)
However, it is important! Just looking at your traffic & engagement can be interesting (more on that here), but the really valuable insights come from having goals set up. You can see what is working and what is not and make improvements accordingly.
Let’s start by focusing on your business goal – probably it is to sell a widget or service. And hopefully something specific, such as, “We want to increase sales 10% each month this year.” Then, if you are like a lot of small businesses, your website is for informational purposes and lead generation, not actual sales. So your website goals are probably things like newsletter signups, white paper downloads, people calling you and contact form submissions.
Then there is the question of how to translate this to Google Analytics goals. Of course, Google Analytics is not so helpful with tracking the goal of people calling you. 🙂
We are assuming you already have set it up, if not get started with Google Analytics here.
Of course, you can create engagement goals such as 5 minutes/session or 5 pages/session, but what is more interesting are destination goals. For these, you need to have a separate thank you page for each goal you want to track. For example, newsletter-thank.html and contact-thank.html. Setting that up is the hard part, then you just have to fill out the form in Google Analytics, adding value and funnel if appropriate.
For PDFs and videos, you can track as a virtual pageviews or event goals. More on that here.
Once you have goals set up, various flows & funnels can be useful. You can answer these sorts of questions:
- What did users look at before they signed up for my newsletter? – This could be a clue to create more content like that.
- Does social media have a better conversion rate than other sources? – If so, maybe focus your efforts here.
- Does mobile have a bad conversion rate compared to desktop? – If so, you probably want to fix some problems so the mobile experience is better.
- Are a lot of people going to my contact page and not filling it out? – Are they calling you? Or perhaps you could fix something here.
Do you have Google Analytics Goals set up for your small business?
Are you checking monthly and making improvements accordingly?
Want help? If so, you can reach me here.
P.S. If you do actually sell widgets on your website, you will want to check out ecommerce tracking.