Do you know how your website is performing? Is it helping you achieve your overall business objectives? Do you know what you should be doing to grow your business? Google Analytics conversion tracking can help you answer these questions.
In Google Analytics, a conversion is the completion of an activity on your website that is important to your business’ success. Conversion analysis ultimately measures your website’s overall business performance. You can use conversion tracking to gauge whether your website is on track to reach its SMART business objectives. If it isn’t, you can make necessary adjustments.
If you haven’t done this yet, the first priority should be defining the goals you want to measure and having your web developer configure Google Analytics to track them. You must define goals in Google Analytics in order to track conversions. If the goals are not set up properly, the conversions report will show no data.
To determine what goals are worth tracking, you have to be clear on your website’s purpose in the first place. Ask yourself what the website needs to do to reach the SMART business objectives you have defined and then work in reverse. Some examples of possible website goals are purchases, information requests, subscriptions and online registrations. Although you can set multiple goals, don’t go overboard. Track only those goals that are directly beneficial to your business. Irrelevant goals can distort the real picture, lead you to make the wrong marketing decisions and cost you very real dollars.
There are several reports that show goal-related activity in Google Analytics:
- Overview – the overview report gives you a big-picture look at how your website is doing in conversions, including the total number of goals completed, goal value, goal conversion rate, abandonment rate and the breakdown of completed goals.
- Goal URLs – this report shows you the pages of your website that generated the most goal conversions.
- Reverse Goal Path – this report shows the path visitors took by listing the URLs of pages of one-, two- and three-step points prior to the goal completion location.
- Funnel Visualization – the Funnel Visualization report shows you how many people (and what percentage of those people) proceed to the next step of the funnel versus abandoning the process altogether.
The funnel report is an invaluable tool you want to use to continually tweak your website to optimize conversions. For example, a funnel is able to track users through steps of your checkout process. A high drop-off percentage at one of the steps may mean that your customers are intimidated, lead off or distracted.
There are many ways you can apply this concept. You can even have funnels for simpler goals, like a “Contact Us” form. You may wonder: where is the funnel? There is only one form: either users fill it out or they don’t. How about measuring how many people arrive at the Contact Us page (shows intent) versus actually completing the form? This statistic is useful to measure the performance of the form itself. How many people actually completed the form as opposed to those who opened and abandoned it?
- Goal Flow – The Goal Flow report gives you a visual representation of the path your visitors took through your website toward a goal. This report will shed light on your website visitors’ behaviors and will tell you if they are navigating your website toward the goal in an expected way.
If you sell products or services directly on your website, it is imperative that you have your web developer set up e-commerce tracking. E-commerce tracking will let Google Analytics collect and measure data from transactions, such as product performance, purchase amounts, billing locations and more. These reports will give you an understanding of how your business is doing, and it gives you a measure on the return of your marketing dollars.
- Overview – the e-commerce overview report gives you an analysis of your website sales: the conversion rate, number of purchases, revenue, average order amount and quantity purchased, as well as the top revenue sources and your best sellers.
- Product Performance – this report tells you exactly which products your customers buy, the quantities purchased, and the revenue generated by those products.
- Sales Performance – this report provides a breakdown of sales performance by date so you can review the best- and worst-performing days.
- Transactions – this report shows the breakdown by order total, tax, shipping and quantity information for each transaction.
- Time to Purchase – this report gives you insight into the average number of days and number of visits it takes your customers to make a purchase (counting from the moment they arrived at the website initially to the moment of purchase).
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