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A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Google Analytics Goals

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In our past blog post, we discussed how Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can provide insights on your website that can ultimately improve your bottom line. However, beyond improving your website, the tool can also take your digital marketing to the next level. To be effective in using Google Analytics for digital marketing, it’s important to establish your goals. In this post, we will outline what goals are, how to set them up, and the most valuable goals that small business owners should be tracking on their websites.

What are Google Analytics’ goals?

Goals will help you measure how your website meets a specific target objective. A goal represents an action that your website viewers complete on your site, also known as a conversion. This action contributes to the success of your business. For example, on an ecommerce site, a goal could be making a purchase. For a marketing or lead generation site, the goal could be filling out and submitting a form to gain more information. Establishing these goals is critical to measuring the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy and online business. 

How do I set up goals?

Once you install the Google Analytics tracking code on your website, click the admin link at the top of your dashboard. Then click <Goals> under your website’s view column. Once you are here, click <New Goal>. You then have the option to select generic goals provided by Google Analytics or create your own custom goal. If you create a custom goal, name the goal something relevant and easy to remember, select <destination>, and then click <next step>.

You will then be prompted to add a link to your thank-you or confirmation page. Once you add this information, you can add the specific dollar value of that specific conversion. You’ll then be able to complete the setup by clicking <Create Goal>.

Google Analytics gives users the option to create up to 20 goals on their website. Click here to learn more about setting up goal tracking.

What are the most valuable goals for your small business?

It’s important to create goals that are relevant to your specific business and match your high‑level business goals. In this section, we’ve outlined some valuable goals for small businesses that you can consider setting up for your site.

1. Page Views

This goal will let you see if users who land on different sections of your site have different behaviors. It can give you valuable insight as to whether or not you need more interesting content or a complete website overhaul.

2. Account Creations

If website users need to create an account on your website to request orders or services, the account creations goal will be valuable for your site. This goal will give you comprehensive data on which users actually set up accounts on your site, including where they came from and how they are behaving on your site. This goal will provide insights on people who are exiting your site before signing up for an account, which will allow you to know what aspects of the process need to be fixed.

3. Order Confirmation or Information Requests

It’s important to always show users a “thank you” or confirmation page when completing a purchase, requesting a service, or filling out any other form on your website. You can create a goal for order confirmation that will allow you to closely track these conversions and understand how your site is directly impacting them.

4. Shopping Cart Funnels

If your website has an ordering cart (or ecommerce functionality), you should always include a shopping cart funnel goal. This will allow you to determine if you’re losing customers during a certain part of the process. It will help you understand how to update your checkout process to prevent losing additional customers.

5. Click to Call or Email

If your site asks prospects to call or email, it is important to track these clicks as a goal. You will then be able to see anytime a user clicks to call or email in your Google Analytics dashboard.

6. Offline Ad Conversions

Traditional advertising is still a valuable tactic to many small businesses. Luckily, Google Analytics makes these tactics, such as running ads on TV, radio, magazines, or local newspaper, trackable thanks to goals. It’s important to create unique landing pages for these ads. Make sure to use simple, easy-to-remember URLs to display on your ad copy. Once you’ve set this up, you can create a goal to track these offline conversions. This will allow you to quickly measure the success of your offline campaigns and understand their impact on your website.

Goals offer a variety of ways to improve your marketing efforts, both online and offline. These six goals that we highlighted are relevant for a wide range of small businesses. Take some time to consider which are the most relevant to you.

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