We all set goals for ourselves and our business. A business managed without goals usually leads to nowhere. Therefore, it always shocks me that 90% of the Google Analytics Profiles we review in our free GA Scan come up blank in this area so here is your opportunity to jump above the rest!
Why Setup Goals? Goals allow you to see what % of users perform certain activities within their session. This may seem like gibberish but it makes those vanity “out of the box” metrics actually mean something.
If you are a content media blog (Food, Lifestyle, Travel…) you might be thinking:
“My goal is to get people to my site, and here they are, I don’t have additional goals.”
Sure, you are getting folks to your website…but…
Are they really reading your content?
Are they spending a fair amount of time engaging (scrolling, reading)?
Is the website even visible (ever opened up a tab in a new window and then not opened it after all?)
Are they signing up for your newsletter so you can get more views out of them?
Or maybe you are selling online (a service or a product)
“We have a Purchase Goal and a Lead Form Goal setup, so we are good.” – PARTIALLY I have to say, applause is due. 90% of our Google Analytics scans have no goals (initially) set up. But that is not ALL you want them to do. It is like a shop owner not paying attention to anything about his store, other than the till. (What are the other 90% of the users NOT converting doing?!)
Which lead sources are working the best?
Are my visitors lost or really engaged?
Are users interacting with my other content marketing pieces?
Let’s take the Aquisition / Channels report, for instance, when we look at this report without goals it paints a fairly “clear” picture … we are ROCKING it with Social Media. While the bounce rate is not thrilling … it is about the same as every other channel.
Let’s keep going, right?! WRONG!
When applying page engagement goals you can see a very clear difference in behavior.
Sure, you are getting a lot of Social Media Traffic but is this really the traffic you want to go after?
(1) – Social Media brings in the volume, but a great majority of the users are clearly not that interested
(2) – By enhancing your Organic Search Results you may start to gain traction with visitors that will spend some time on your site, perhaps provide their email address, and keep coming back!
In summary, don’t be placing all your eggs in one basket and don’t chase shiny objects! Use Goals on your website to truly decide what you should be optimizing and what you should be growing.
Goals can be used in almost all of the reports within Google Analytics including New vs Return Visitors, Device Usage, Aquisition Reports, Landing Pages and much more!
Types of Goals in Google Analytics
You got me! How can I set these up?
There are four types of goals one can set up within Google Analytics, two of which can easily be setup by you.
– Destination Goals = a user navigated to a certain page (think your thank-you page or confirmation page)
– Duration = did a users session last x amount of time
– Pages / Screens per session = did a user see x pages during their session
– Event = did the defined event fire during the users’ session
Duration and Pages / Screens per session are the easiest to setup so we will walk through those here.
Setting up Duration Goals in Google Analytics:
While we are not huge fans of how the Session Duration time is calculated within Google Analytics, this will help you guage how long certain users are staying (vs. relying on averages). We recommend setting a few durations up to see the differences.
1) Give the Goal a Name (Visits > 5 min)
2) Choose Duration
3) Press Continue
Setting up Pages per Session Goals in Google Analytics:
If you are a service oriented website, eCommerce or site where you feel users need to see a couple pages before you can consider their visit successful, set these goals up to see how far users are getting. (NOTE: These can also be setup as segments and then used for remarketing audiences!)
1) Give the Goal a Name (Viewed > 6 pages)
2) Choose Pages / Screens (used for mobile apps) per session
3) Press Continue
MashMetrics Enhanced Google Analytics Goals:
MashMetrics has made starting this process a piece of cake with our curated 15 goals to get you started (Google Analytics has a limit of 20 goals per Profile View). Think of the MashMetrics Enhanced solution as your personal trainer, setting your performance goals and giving you some direction.
To make it easy to compare against each other, the pre-configured MashMetrics goals are placed into 3 “Goal Sets”:
Goal Set 2: Measures users interactions on page content
Contact Link Clicks – Clicks on email address or phone number
Form Submits – A form was submitted (could be a comment form, email form, or any form=submit function on the page)
Affiliate Clicks – Users clicks on affiliate link (set to Amazon as default)
Social Media Clicks – Users clicks on Social Media links (yummly, stumbleupon,flipboard, pinterest, instagram, facebook, youtube, twitter, and linkedin by default)
Downloaded Files – User clicks on a PDF, XLS, and many other file types
Goal Set 3: Measures on-page engagement
User scrolled 75% down a page – User scrolls through 75% percent of the page from Top to Bottom.
User spent > 2 min on a Page – User has the window active (open) for more than 2minutes
User spent > 45sec on a Page – User has the window active (open) for more than 45 seconds. (This also triggers the Bounce Rate)
Video watched 10% – User passes through more than 10% of content
Video watched 50% – User passes through more than 50% of content
Goal Set 4: Measures overall site engagement
User visits more than 5 pages – within a single session
User visits more than 10 pages – within a single session
User visits more than 20 pages – within a single session
User spends > 5min on site – within 1 or many pages in a single session
User spends >10min on site – within 1 or many pages in a single session
Get these goals, all the events they are based off of and more with the MashMetrics Enhanced Google Analytics Solution!