This guest post is by Eugen Oprea of EugenOprea.com.
Do you want to build a successful business online?
I bet you do. Now that I have your attention, what is the first and most important step that will help you achieve that?
It’s important to know your audience and to build an awesome website that is fast and secure. It’s also important to have a social media presence and to write engaging articles.
But all of these come after you set up your business objectives and goals.
Setting up your business objectives and goals is the first and most important step towards your success online. Without them, you might as well not start it at all.
Set up goals for your blog
Like business goals, you also need to have goals for your website.
Whether they are simple goals like attracting readers and engaging visitors, or bigger goals, like increasing conversion rate, you need to have them on paper.
Then, once you are aware of what you want to achieve with your website, it’s time to start measuring those goals.
The simplest way to do this is by using Google Analytics. Google Analytics helps you not only see stats about your visitors, but also lets you create and measure your website goals and objectives.
If you are just getting started with Google Analytics, you may want to read more about reviewing your offer, revisiting your conversion funnel, and revamping your communications, or get a handle on the basics of Google Analytics.
But, you likely already have a Google Analytics account, so let’s just dive in to creating the first goals for your website.
For starters, I would recommend you measure:
- Engaged visitors: visitors who stay on your website longer than the average
- Readers: visitors who read more pages on your website that the average
- Email subscribers: visitors who sign up for your newsletters or freebies
- Customers: visitors who purchase a product
- Ad performance: clicks on ads to see which one is performing best, and who sent the traffic that clicks on your ads.
Before diving into each of these stats, let’s see how you can create a Google Analytics goal.
Log into Google Analytics and from your Account Home select the website for which you want to set up goals.
On the next screen you should see the Visitors Overview—this is a good opportunity to check your Pages/Visit and Avg. Visit Duration stats. You will use them later.
Then, select[Admin from the top-right menu, select your website profile, and click the Goals tab.
Now, here’s how you can create the goals outlined above:
1. Measure your engaged visitors
Start with the Goals set 1, and click on the +1 Goal. You will be directed to a window that will help you set up your first goal.
First, type in a name for your goal and make it active.
The you will see a list of Goal Type options. You will learn about all of them in this article, but select Visit Duration for this goal. This will help you measure how engaged your visitors are, and who is sending you those engaged visitors, among other things.
Next, on Goal Details, select visits with Visit Duration greater than your Avg. Visit Duration. For my websites, I use one minute as the duration.
Additionally, you can add a value for your goal, but if you are not sure about this, add 1.
2. Measure your readers
Now, it’s time to set up the next goal and see who are the readers of our website, and which visitors read more articles.
Just like for the first goal, you need to give this one a name and make it active.
Then, select Pages/Visit as a Goal Type, and enter as the Goal Details visits with Pages/Visit greater than your average Pages/Visit.
I use 2 for my websites. Add a value for your goal and you are done with this.
3. Measure your email subscribers
Next, we get to the exciting part: measuring your email subscribers.
Even though it’s fairly easy to set this goal up, it will give you so many insights that can help you increase your conversion rates.
First, though, you will need to have a Thank you page set up to send visitors to after they confirm their email address for you. You are going to use this page when setting up your goal so set it up on your website first. Once that’s done, set up your email marketing provider to direct visitors there after they confirm their email address.
Now, you can create the goal. This time you need to select URL Destination as the goal type and on the Goal Details, you need to set these options:
- The Goal URL: If your thank you page is http://www.yourwebsite.com/thank-you/ then type in /thank-you/.
- Match Type: select Exact Match.
- If your URL is case-sensitive then select the Case Sensitive option.
- Add a goal value.
Additionally, you can set up a Goal Funnel, which is essentially a series of pages that lead to your conversion or thank you page. You can use this option if, for example, you have a landing page for your newsletter.
In this case you can select / as the URL, name it Index and /your-landing-page/, and add a name for it.
This will let you see where your visitors dropped out on their way to subscribe for your newsletter.
4. Measure your customers
Setting up a goal to measure your customers is essentially the same as for your subscribers. All you have to do is create a conversion page where you can send people after they purchase your product.
Then, you need to set up a goal for it in Google Analytics in exactly the same way you did for subscribers.
5. Measure your ads’ performance
Before setting up a goal for measuring your ads’ performance, you need to have a good idea about what event tracking means and how you can implement it.
So, first learn about how you can use event tracking and what it means for measuring your ads’ effectiveness.
Now, once you setup event tracking on your website, you can go and create a goal for each event you’ve set up. To do that select Event as the Goal Type and fill in the Category, Action, Label, and Value for your goal. These values are the same ones you used when you set up event tracking for your calls to action.
You can set up goals for all your events, your most important events or none of them. It’s your choice if you want to see them only in the Events section, or get more insights about how different traffic sources are sending you visitors that complete actions differently.
How to measure your Google Analytics goals
Here comes the most interesting part of this article: measuring the outcomes for the goals you set up.
After you se tup these goals, you will be able to see your engaged visitors, your most loyal readers, your subscribers, your customers or how your ads are performing.
But what do you do if you want to discover who is sending you traffic that converts? And by “converts,” I mean simple visitors becoming engaged visitors, loyal readers, subscribers, customers, or people who click on you ads.
To do that, you need to navigate to Standard Reporting > Traffic Sources > Sources > All Traffic. Then click on Goal Set 1, just above the graphic, and you will see conversion data about your traffic sources.
This will tell you which websites are sending you visitors that convert, and you will know where you need to leverage your presence. For example, you can learn:
- what kind of traffic you receive from a guest post
- which social media outlet sends you quality traffic
- if your press release did a good job
- if the ad you’re paying for is worth it
- and much more…
Finally, you can apply this technique to check most of the reports in Google Analytics. Go ahead and discover more about how your visitors convert.
Back to you
Now that you finished reading, it’s time to take action. Go and set up the goals you learned about and then come back and share with us:
- how much time it took you to complete this
- other goals that you want to measure, or already measuring, in Google Analytics
- what else you want to learn about this tool.
Eugen Oprea helps people convert more traffic into loyal customers using proven techniques that grow your business. Get his Google Analytics course for free to learn more and check his new WordPress plugin Elevatr.