Right, so we’ve covered the basics of Audience, Traffic and Content Reporting in Google Analytics. Now, in the final installment of our 4-part publisher guide we’ll be looking at Goals and Conversions. (Don’t worry folks, we’re nearly finished!)
Figure out what you want to track: Before you do anything with Conversion Reports you need to consider the purpose of your website. Think about whom you want to visit and what you want them to do when they get there. It may be that your goals involve visitors completing specific events like buying a product, signing up to a newsletter or downloading a piece of music. Or perhaps you are more concerned with increasing user engagement, in which case your goals might revolve around length of visit or number of page views.
We recommend that you begin by making a list of all the important actions your visitors can perform. GA allows you to track up to 20 different goals, (although it might be best to just focus on a couple of the most important to start off with, you can always add more later).
Goal Types: Once you decide what your website goals are, you need to understand which ‘goal categories’ they fall into. There are 4 different types of goals that you can track;
(To reach the goal settings; go to your Google Analytics standard reports – click on the “Admin” button in the top right – click on “Goals” – from one of the Goal sets, click “+ Goal” (goal sets are just a way for you to easily group goals). If you need help on configuring your goal settings, here’s an excellent Google tutorial.)
Funnel Visualisation: Once you have set up your goals it can be useful to track where your visitors are entering or exiting along a chosen conversion path. For example, you might have a 3-part process that visitors need to go through to complete a questionnaire and you want to see if people are dropping off before they get to the end – this is where the URL goal tracking that we mentioned above comes in.
When you set up a URL Goal destination you will get the option to specify the series of pages that you want people to visit in the lead up to the goal conversion. The funnel visualisation will show you how your audience is traveling along this path and allow you to identify possible reasons why they may not go on to complete your destination goal.
Analysing your goals reports: Once you have Goal Tracking configured, Google Analytics will provide you with a wealth of information about whether your visitors are actually doing what you want them to do once they land on your site.
You can use advanced segments to see a top-level view of all traffic sources by conversion goals. You might notice for example, that you are getting a lot of traffic from Twitter but only a small percentage of those people are converting, whereas, maybe you get less visitors from Facebook, but those people are engaging more with your content.
If you drill further into the organic search reports you’ll be able to view conversions by keyword, landing page, search engine, etc. You can also look further into the referring sites report to see conversions by website and referring URL or use the campaign traffic report to view conversions by ad content, keyword, or destination URL.
All this information can help you identify not just how to drive people to your site, but how to get them to do what you want them to once they arrive.
Hopefully this 4-part series has given you some useful things to think about when it comes to optimising your website. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to make money from hosting ads on your site, why not check out our Publisher pages for details on how you can join the Viral Ad Network and make money from hosting fun viral video ads.