Goal – an element necessary to chart the right path for your business. Defining the goal allows for setting priorities, allocating resources, as well as controlling and modifying the path so as to achieve the best results. In the online branch of the business world, the goal is inextricably linked with Google Analytics – a tool that allows for in-depth analysis of many aspects of your website.
An effective website allows you to achieve the intended goals, and thus – also profits. Creating such a website requires a lot of work, focused not only on the correct coding of the website, but also on adapting it to the user or the requirements of internet search engines. Each of these elements undergoes many changes – in a given period, users will focus their attention on some subpages, and a few months later – on others. The same applies to the rules governing search engines.
Analytics allows you to effectively catch places where traffic is higher or where it drops. By locating these “hot spots” you can improve them and increase the chances of conversion. Correct counting of conversions in Google Analytics also makes it easier to determine the level of fulfillment of a given goal and to mark its measurability.
Goal types in Google Analytics
In internet marketing, “goal” is quite a broad word. Underneath it, however, there are more specific slogans, characteristic of different types of websites. No wonder – in fact, the goals related to the operation of the online store will be different than those on which the blogging activity focuses.
In Google Analytics, the goal is the performance of an action, i.e. conversion. Actions can include going to a specific page, spending a certain amount of time on it, displaying a specific screen or performing the desired action.
Target – The goal is for the user to reach a specific URL, such as “thank you page”. The target related to a given URL facilitates the analysis of data related to free bonuses or trial accounts, filling out a form or subscribing to a mailing list. These types of targets are also used to count transactions.
Duration – amount of time spent on the website. This goal allows you to analyze the involvement of users on the website and is often set on pages such as support or FAQ. The target allows you to study two groups of users – those who stay on the site longer than the time set for the purpose and those who quit faster from being at a given URL.
Pages / screens per session – this goal allows you to check how many subpages the user saw during a single visit to the site.
Events – specific interaction with the website, eg clicking the “download” button, turning on the video. Before setting the goal, it is necessary to define the event.
Are you looking for other solutions? Smart Goals are based on a traffic analysis performed by a machine learning algorithm that finds the events most likely to convert. The algorithm evaluates the session and assigns an intelligent target to those it deems “best”.
Not only one goal
Analytics allows you to set multiple goals for one website. Thanks to this, we can observe user behavior on many subpages, each of which plays a different role.
Each of the goals can have a specific value – expressed in the currency you use. Based on the number of goals achieved and the related transactions, it is possible to determine the value of each conversion. Example: Every 10th contact from the site ends up selling about $ 100. The value of one conversion – contact via the website – can be estimated at about $ 20.
If it is difficult to specify the specific amounts assigned to a given conversion, the value may play a different role – the weight of the given goal. Their value will depend on how important they are for a given business – the more important higher value can be assigned, and the less – lower.
The goals set in Analytics can also be used in Google Ads.
Correct counting of conversions in Google Analytics
Correctly setting goals and using the information they provide allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of the website and marketing activities. Unfortunately, the collected data is not always correct. Errors can have several causes:
A. Incorrect tag configuration – some errors related to data collection result from incorrect tag placement, eg pasting it in the wrong place. The use of an incorrect tag can also cause problems. Some of the problems are due to our inattention or “printing imps”, which sometimes happen when we paste code from a text document. Formatting is implemented in your documents that may cause changes to the code syntax – for example by removing or adding extra spaces – autocorrect has different priorities than keeping the tracking code valid. You can also use the old GA code as a misconfiguration, which is still present on some sites. It is worth using Google’s recommendations and switching to new products suggested by them, which usually bring greater possibilities in the field of website control and analysis.
B. Errors also happen during the configuration of the Tag Manager – Here, the problems are mainly due to incorrect settings of the Exclude / Include filters, the assumption of which is to screen out information about unwanted data in the visit statistics. Too rigorous use of any of the filters can cause problems with proper data collection. Among other common problems with gtag.js, there is no container published (the publishing process is longer, the latest changes may not be available immediately) or problems with handling too large HTTP requests.
C. Using another account – the tracking code is associated with a specific account – in the case of incorrect data, it is worth checking if we are trying to analyze from an account that is not connected to GA.
D. Custom Code Placement – Analytics code should be in the <head> section of the web page. In the case of niche CMSs or less popular plugins for pasting external codes, the final localization may deviate from Google’s guidelines and as a result may not work properly. It is worth taking advantage of the possibility of pasting the code directly into the website template or using proven plugins.
E. Incomplete conversion data may be caused by the lack of code on all subpages within the domain. You can catch missing subpages.
F. Lack of internal filters – clicking on your website or shop may disrupt the statistics – eliminating internal traffic will allow you to obtain information about conversions that will be more reliable.
G. Inaccurate setting of the goal – the conversion is counted at the moment of achieving the goal, however, incorrect setting of the final moment means that it is not valuable, and the intended goal has not been met. Example – the purpose is to send a form, but the code is placed on the “Contact” tab and as a result, the conversion is counted at the moment of entering this subpage. The form is not sent, and the data collected by the tool does not reflect the number of actually sent forms. Putting the code in the right place – for example on the send button, and even better – on the “thank you” page, displaying information about the correct sending of the message, will allow you to collect real data.
Errors that make it difficult to correctly count conversions in Google Analytics can be due to many reasons. Some of them are trivial, and thus – easy to identify and remove. More complicated cases may require changes to the page code – but it is worth investing the extra time and obtaining the correct data.
Objective settings should be checked from time to time and modified if necessary. It is also important to test your settings and proper billing of conversions, especially after making changes to the site, such as modifying URLs that were related to your goals.
Tracking movements in online stores may be different to what happens on other types of sites. Analytics allows you to count transactions, their value, and so on. Controlling this data by an external application allows you to fill in “white spots” that may appear in reports from the store engine. In addition, combining this knowledge with other information about the page will allow you to spot the moments when sales are going the best and those where they drop sharply.
Correct conversion counting is the key to analyzing and planning further development of online stores. Google Analytics enables an in-depth analysis of user behavior and the choices they make. It also allows you to evaluate various sales channels and is invaluable when you need to make a decision to develop or eliminate one of them.
Ecommerce tracking should be included in your reports, and code should be placed within your website to collect more detailed data. Due to the more complicated structure of the code, its introduction will require cooperation with a programmer who will take care of its proper implementation. Next, in the Administration tab, in the appropriate data view, there is the E-commerce settings item, which you must enable and save your selection.
The data collected by e-commerce tracking is transaction and product specific.
Information about the transaction consists of a transaction identifier, which allows it to be counted only once per session (the lack of an identifier could result in the same transaction being counted multiple times, e.g. when reloading the thank you page by the user), affiliation – understood as the store where the transaction took place, revenues – transaction amount, delivery – delivery costs and tax.
The product in Google Analytics also has similar values – transaction ID, product name, SKU code (unique product code, assigned in the internal company database), the category in which the product is located, price and its quantity.
In addition to the transaction identifier, and in the case of the Product also its name, the rest of the parameters are collected optionally.
Standard reports can be used
to analyze the data collected in e-commerce tracking:
– an overview, which is a general summary of the information collected,
– product effectiveness,
– sales effectiveness,
– time to buy.
E-commerce – data that sells
Extending the sales statistics with data from Google Analytics will allow you to adjust the sales method to the current trends and customer expectations. Detailed analysis of user behavior – incl. analysis of the time that elapses from entering the website for the first time until the moment of making a purchase may initiate the rebuilding of the store and the introduction of improvements that will help him make the final decision.
The online store has much more than just the shopping cart in which the transaction data is collected. Analytics allows you to observe customer behavior across the platform – e.g. checking articles in the blog section – e.g. which ultimately make the customer allow himself to buy a given product. Controlling traffic in the store also allows you to catch problems on the platform – e.g. bugs or places that, for unknown reasons, load slower, causing customer frustration and cart abandonment.
Comprehensive monitoring of activities also facilitates further planning of the strategy and selection of the most effective way to maintain and increase sales in the next period. Using the available tools, their correct implementation and data analysis allow for taking more effective actions that save time and money. Greater knowledge about the movement and steps of customers will allow you to choose more effective solutions, tailored to the needs of customers. Being ahead of the competition and reaching customers effectively also allows you to leave the competition far behind.
Correctly counting conversions in Google Analytics and using all available program options facilitates quick response to trends and changes in the market, which are a natural phenomenon in the case of E-commerce. The knowledge gathered by Analytics allows you to create Google Ads campaigns that sell.