Many Nigerian small businesses have no idea how they track their online statistics, most people just track sales, visits, ROI per visit and most just use logic to understand what their metrics in an excel sheet.
Here are a couple of things you need to work on when building a google analytics funnel
Adding Goals to Track Conversion
Now that you have the basic tracking installed in your page you now need to set up Google Analytics so you can start tracking conversions.
With goals you can figure out how many people did a specific action. E.g. Bought an item, signed up for a newsletter, read a specific page, etc.
To properly use goals you will need a link to your “goal” page. A “goal” page can be any page where you want your user to go to. It can be a thank you page after a user signs up for your newsletter or it can be the receipt page after someone orders a product from your site.
To get started with setting up a goal, first go into your Google Analytics home page and click on “edit”.
In the profile settings page two boxes down you should see the “Conversion Goals and Funnel” box. Click edit on an empty Goal. If you are new, just click edit on the G1 row:
You should now see the Goal Settings Page. Let’s go over the “Enter Goal Information” section first:
Active Goal: This activates/deactives your goals. So to start turn this goal on by choosing the “On” button.
Match Type: There are 3 types of match types.
- Head Match: Use this type if your webpage uses dynamic URLs. For example, let’s say your goal page is an order receipt page and the links look something like this:www.wsiaxon.com /checkout.cgi?page=1&id=9982251615 where the &id=XXXXX changes dyamically.
- Exact Match: Use this type if your thank you page is a static page such as:www.wsiaxon.com /1/thanks.html.
- Regular Expression Match: This option uses regular expressions to match your URLs. For many eCommerce website the “thank you” or “receipt” page is a dynamic URL with different pages with OrderID or CustomerID variables and you will need to use this match to track the URL instead of a static domain page. Using regular expressions with wildcards are out of the scope for this beginner tutorial. We will write a post specifically tackling the Regular Expression Match soon.
So choose the correct match depending on your “goal page”
Goal URL: Enter the directory and file of your goal page. Do not input your entire http:// link. Simply just write the directory and file name from your root perspective. E.g. “http://www.wsiaxon.com /thankyou.html” enter “/thankyou.html” or “http://www.wsiaxon.com /newpage/thankyou.html” enter “/newpage/thankyou.html”.
Goal Name: This is for your use. Name the goal to whatever you want.
Case Sensitive: Check this if URLs entered above must exactly match the capitalization of visited URLs.
Goal Value: Input what each conversion is worth. Let’s say each book is worth $1.70 then input that into the goal value. If there is no static monetary value then you can just leave it as zero.
The next section is the “Define Funnel”. A funnel is a series of pages that leads up to the goal. If you have a eCommerce site it may consist of 3-5 steps “checkout –> information input –> CC Page –> Review –> Submit” etc. You can define these pages in the funnel section to know exactly how your traffic is reaching your goal page and in which steps they are leaving.
Seeing the funnel is extremely helpful is realizing how your users traverse through your pages to do the action item. Make sure to always use this even though it may be only a 1 step process as the funnel system allows you to easily see your true conversions.
In our example, we want to know how many people sign up from our contact.html page. So our Funnel is:
So we define the funnel like this:
Like the goal URL in the “Enter Goal Information” section make sure not to include the entire link, just the directory and file.
Make sure to check the “required steps” if you want to track your real conversions. When this is checked goals are only counted when the user goals to our contact.html first. This is important as I’m sure many of our users will go directly to our thank you page in this step by step guide and we don’t want to count those as conversions.
Once that’s done, simply click the “Save Changes” button. Congratulations! You’re now correctly tracking your conversions!
Understanding Google Analytics Report
Now that your site is correctly being tracked, it’s time to see all the cool reports that Google Analytics can show you!
(Pretty, isn’t it?)
Everything is pretty self explanatory and intuitive so I won’t go through every single reporting link. The one item that I do want to talk about is the funnel report in the Goals section as it is the most important part in your conversion tracking.
First click on the goals tab then the Funnel Visualization link:
Once there you will see this:
The above example is a pro bono optimization we’re doing for a charity. We are specifically optimizing their membership page. The funnel is simply, “Membership Page” –> “Membership Buy Thank You Page”
On this day you’ll see that they had 625 visitors go to the membership page and 47 people who bought a membership to this charity organization for a conversion rate of 7.52% which is our true conversion rate.
This is the most important page to understand what is going on with your traffic and find out how you can best monetize it as well as find “conversion leaks” if you have multiple pages in your funnel.
Now what if we didn’t use the optional funnel and wanted to know our conversions? This is what we would have seen from this client:
We would see a .18% conversion for these days…
Why? Because Google Analytics determines the conversion rate as [Goal Visits / Total Visits to the Website].
This charity organization gets TONS of traffic from all over the place to different pages on their site. Most people don’t even view the membership page. So the conversion rate above is incorrect in letting you know how your specific page is converting and you should not rely on this. The only way this report would be correct is if you have just a simple landing page and buy page.
So remember, ALWAYS USE GOAL FUNNELS.
Well, I hope this beginner guide has helped many of you get started in correctly tracking your conversions with Google Analytics. Remember if you have any hiccups at any stage of integration, reporting and implementing google analytics and it’s report on your website, just contact a digital marketing expert below.
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