This post is the third in a series of post about using Google Analytics to measure and improve the effectiveness of your online presence. In the first post we talked about improving the visibility of your website in order to reach more potential customers. The second post discussed how to measure visitor behavior once they reached your website. Today’s post covers metrics that help you measure business results or conversions that take place on your website by using Google Analytics Goals.
This category of metrics helps you answer the answer questions like:
- What is the bottom line of all the activity related to my online presence?
- Is my online presence helping my business? Is it contributing to my bottom line?
Goals or Conversions
Google Analytics allows you to define a set of criteria for goal, which is simply an action that a website visitor can perform that you have identified as being important to your bottom line. Completed actions are measured in terms of goal completions or conversions. Assigning monetary values to your goals (more below) helps you focus on the goals that provide the greatest contribution to your bottom line.
Metrics in this category begin with goal completions and then look to determine where your visitors who completed goals came from in order to help you improve your conversion rates. Here are some common metrics to pay attention to in this category:
Goal Completions – are how you tie all of the efforts you put into attracting, engaging, and educating visitors to your business goals. The most obvious conversion is when a visitor is converted into a customer by making a purchase on your website. Google Analytics (as well as other analytics tools) allows you to assign a monetary value to your goal completion, allowing you to express conversions in both instances and values ( 3 conversions valued at $1,200).
Goals can capture much more than just sales; you can create goals for any action you would like your web visitors to complete. You may want to set goals for white paper downloads or requests for additional information. If your sales process includes a free consultation, you would certainly want to set that up as a goal.
I also recommend that you assign a value to each of your goals. So if I know that 1 in 5 people that fill out a form on my website end up buying my service that costs $100, then I may assign a value of $20 to that goal. I’ll cover others ways to assign values to goals in a future post.
Goal Completions from Calls to Action – helps you identify what content on your site prompted a visitor to take action. Example calls to action may include prompts to download a white paper, register for an event, or a request for a free quote or consultation.
Goal Completions from Referrals – help you identify the links on other websites that bring you traffic that converts. Use this metric to evaluate the effectiveness of your link building efforts as well as banner advertising.
Goal Completions Assisted by Social Media – are your social media properties sending you traffic that converts? Use this metric to determine the number and value of conversions from your social media activities.
Return on SEO Spend – are you spending money, either internally or with a consultant, for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? If so, one of the tools you can use to evaluate whether you are getting your money’s worth is the return on SEO spend metric, which is the monetary value of your SEO goals completed divided by the cost of your SEO campaign.
Begin With the End (Goals) in Mind
If you are building a new website, or considering redesigning your existing site, it is a good idea to start with your goals in mind first and then work backwards to help determine the best way to optimize (and test) your website for goal conversions.