Google Analytics offers great information to websites at no cost. However, many ecommerce sites do not know how to take advantage of the data available. The first step to using these metrics to increase your online sales is to set specific Google Analytics goals.
With goals in place, you can arrange a funnel and see where you are losing customers in the navigation process. You might also add marketing campaigns or revenue data to learn very specific information about the behavior of particular visitors.
Begin by deciding what actions you would like to track. Many sites start by tracking completed sales. To set this goal, you need to know where the customer lands after successfully completing the sales process – usually, a receipt or confirmation page.
You can find the URL for this page by completing a transaction on your site. When you get to the page immediately following the sale, copy the part of the URL that follows your site’s domain name (including the forward slash). If your site is mysite.co, and your confirmation page is mysite.co/thank-you, then you would copy /thank-you to use for setting your goal.
Your URL may contain information that follows a question mark. This is known as a “query string” and will be specific to each user. If this is the case with your confirmation page, you do not need to include the information that follows the ? in the URL for your goal.
Setting Your Goal In Google Analytics
When you are ready to set up your goal, you can go to the Google Analytics account dashboard for your website. Click on Goals in the left column. Below the text description on the goals page, click on the highlighted phrase Set up goals and funnels. Beneath your profile settings, you will see a section labeled “Goals.” Click on the highlighted text Add goal located on the right side of a goal.
Now, you are on the page where you set up the actual goal. You can give it a name, maybe something like “Completed Sale.” You can set a position for your goal, though if you only have one goal at first, this isn’t necessary. The type of goal for this example would be “URL destination,” and choosing this will open up an additional form. Enter the “Goal URL” you have chosen and click on the Save Goal button at the bottom of the page.
Once Google Analytics is tracking this goal, it will collect information specific to those visitors who have completed a sale on your site. You will be able to view reports that show you conversions by source or country of origin, which will help you make better decisions to increase revenue.
Goals Are Key to Analytics
Measuring the actions you want visitors to take will help you understand where you can make changes to improve conversions. If your ecommerce site has not set goals in Google Analytics, you may be missing important data that could help you increase online sales.