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Google Analytics: Part 1 (of many) Goal setup

I originally wrote this article intending it to be a comprehensive guide to Google Analytics. But as various aspects of Analytics has already taken me about 3 weeks to write, I think it makes better sense to focus on this one part at a time. So I have no idea how many parts this is going to come in, but let’s start from the beginning:

One of the key factors behind the success of any website should be regular analysis of the behaviour of the visitors to your website to see if where they are finding your website, what they are doing on your website and more importantly, are they converting to paying customers.

Every hosting company offers a web analysis software to their customers. This can give you a basic idea, of the origin of visits to your website (what country) what the most popular pages are and how long they spend on your website. Which is a good start. But to get a better idea of what’s happening on your website and how you can improve your visitors’ experience, then enter Google Analytics.

It is reported that Google Analytics is used by over 10 million websites and for the time it takes to register with Google (if you haven’t already) and add a couple of lines of script to every page in your website, its worth the while (and I should also point out that its free).

What are your goals?

Before doing any analysis, the first thing to do is to set up your goals: What is it you want to monitor on your website? Let’s say for example say you wanted to monitor how many sales you were making on your website, you would now need to add every single page in your checkout process and of you merely wanted someone to register for your newsletter or send an enquiry form, again what path would they take?

First of all, just go through the how process of a goal on your web page: Make a note of every page you visit, or if more applicable, how long are you on that page for?

To set up a goal, give your Goal a name and give the destination URL: basically the final page of the path you would like your visitor to take. Of course, this could just be one page.

Goal overview

If its more than one page, then you would beed to add to the goal funnel all the other pages in the process (as illustrated). When you’re done click Save.

Goal Detail

A quick note about Events

A recent feature was added to Google Analytics where Interaction can also be recorded. Not all goals on your site include paths through your site, such as:

  • printing a page
  • liking your site on Facebook twitter et al
  • watching videos or listening to sound
  • downloading PDF’s
  • commenting/reviewing articles/goods
  • requesting further information
  • clicking add to Basket (if applicable)
  • interacting with site tools, eg a slideshow or a visibility increaser etc.

As I said this is a new development that I may have to cover in the future, but to get you started is a good place to start.

Now you have set up the goals to your website, you need some good statistics to be able to analyse. So go and get a nice cup of tea, and wait for at least a week or so. Hopefully just enough time for me to write the second part.


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