Posted by Monish Vora
July 02, 2013
We are living is a world where almost everything could be tracked and finding data to simplify your business decisions is quite easy. However, shaping the same data into a sensible fact for your business is not that easy.
This post will throw light on how to define and set your goals in Google Analytics, which is considered the most powerful tool for tracking the user behavior coming to your website. The first step is to decide the goal that you want to achieve.
What is a KPI?
A KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, is a way in which your success is measured. As you have defined your goals, a Key Performance Indication tells you if you have reached you goals or not. For example, if you are looking to create a website that is user-friendly, one of the good KPI to test the success of your goal is a low bounce rate.
Which KPIs should I use?
This varies on the basis of your goals, but some very good KPIs for online businesses include:
• Uniqueness of the visitors (the number of new individuals who have viewed your site)
• Total number of visitors (the total number of times that your website has been viewed)
• Page views (total number of pages viewed by your visitors)
• Visit duration (how long someone has stayed on your site)
• Conversion rate (the total percentage of visits that has leaded to a transaction)
• Bounce rate (how many people have visited your website and then left without clicking on anything else)
• New visitors vs. returning visitors (visitors who are totally new to your website vs. those who come back more than one time)
• Abandonment rate (how many online shopping carts have been abandoned rather than being purchased)
• Average value of online transactions
How do I determine if I am achieving my goals?
Now comes the main part. Before setting up any goals, you must sign up for Google Analytics which will give you the tracking code and the same should be inserted in your website’s code.
Now, login to Google Analytics and go to “All Website Data”. Once in the reporting dashboard, click on “Conversions” on the left hand side, than “Goal URLs” and then click the “Set up goals” button.
If there are no goals set up yet, click on the “Create a Goal” button.
While creating a new goal, you will have two options. The first is that you could use a template given by Google. These templates are based on the category of your website and will show you different goals that are relevant to your industry niche. You can also create a custom goal.
Once in the “Goal description” section, you could give a name to your goal and choose the way you would like to measure it. You will see 4 different goal types:
“Pages/Screens per visit”
You could use the “Destination” option to see the number of people who view a particular page on your website or blog. “Destination” could also be used to track a particular landing page that is seen by people each time they complete a desired action on the website.
“Duration” is a setup which will tally the visitors viewing your site for at least an amount of time specified by you.
“Pages/Screens per visit” will give you a tally of all your site’s visitors who have viewed the amount of pages specified by you.
“Event” is a powerful tool which helps in tracking where people are clicking on your website, however the setup for this is rather complicated. Unless and until, you are proficient with programming, you will have to seek a developer’s help.
Another, very helpful feature that Google Analytics provides is the ability to track the goal’s value. For example, if the average online sale is worth about $10, you could put this value in field while tracking a sales confirmation page. If you are unsure if this value is of any worth to you, leave this option toggled “off”.
With the “Funnel” option, you could track from where people are coming to your site to get to your desired page.
You could also verify your goals to see the number of people who have performed an action on your website in the past seven days. It may be too higher or lower than what you expect, so it would be a good idea to take a look and ensure that your goal is realistic.
So, you’ve just set off with your first goal! If you wish to learn more, Google has a checklist for getting the best out of its analytics.