How do you set up a goal in Google Analytics?

So what’s the best way to set up and use Google Analytics to get more out of your website? Answer one important question and you can be well on your way to understanding more about how your website is working for you and how to adjust it for the future.

Why does your website exist?

If you say, “because people need to find us on the web.” Well, they can do that if you use Facebook, or Twitter or Linkedin.

No, I think your website was meant for more. I consider a website my home base on the web or my “death star.” I have full control (and it is always under construction) and no social network founder can change how it functions for me for the betterment of users.

If I have full control, then I should be able to put up a “Call To Action” on the website, and be able to measure if it is being successful for me. Whether the call to action is getting their email or selling a product.

Now that I know what my goal of the website is – getting their email or getting them to buy my product – then I can set up a goal inside of Google Analytics to be able to track the success of my goal.

How do you set up a goal in Google Analytics?

google-analytics-select-website

First, go into GA and select your website.

First make sure you have added Google Analytics to your website.  If you have, then it will appear in the list here when you log in.  If you haven’t added Google Analytics to your website, here’s a post on how to add GA to your website.

Select your website and then select the button at the top called Admin.

google-analytics-select-goals

Select Admin at the top right – then you should see Goals on the bottom right hand list.

Then on the bottom right hand list (there should be three columns), you will see “Goals”.  Click on this.

google-analytics-create-goal

Click on “Create A Goal”.

Once you are on the Goals page, you can create up to 4 goal sets with up to 5 goals per set for a total of 20. – You can’t delete a goal so don’t just create them willie-nillie.  You can adjust goals as well.

You’ll want a mix of both your macro goals (large goals – capture email, buy stuff) and micro goals (smaller calls to action – watch a video, download an info graphic, share on social media).

You can set up for a destination – specific web page.
You can set up for duration – a time on site.
You can set up for pages/screens per visit.
You can set up for a specific event to happen – watch a video or download an ebook or share on social media.

google-analytics-goal-detail

This is a destination goal – I want to track after people sign up for email.

Once you have some goals set up – if you can put a money value to these goals all the better but that takes knowing what an email is worth acquiring – then you can actually start measuring how your website is performing.  We’ll go over the Google Analytics dashboard and which reports are worth watching and making adjustments for in upcoming posts.

Do you have any favorite goals for your website?

Internet Marketing 101: How do I set up Google Analytics?

While I’m waiting for the answers from my friend, I hooked up Google Analytics to their site.

Setting up Google Analytics

1. You have to have a gmail account.  BTW, I love gmail.  I switch off Microsoft Outlook in Jan and I won’t be going back.  It’s like when I switched from skiing to snowboard.  With the flexibility and ease of Gmail, there’s just no going back.  And you should also have a Google profile.  They are easy to set up and you can link to your websites and other profiles on the web.  Check out mine at Don Schindler Google Profile.

I would also recommend that you set up a gmail for your business.  I use this gmail account for lots of different pieces like Adwords, Adsense, Analytics, Checkout, etc…because then you don’t have to worry about mixing personal and business accounts.

2. Go to Google Analytics.

Go to Google Analytics

Go to Google Analytics

3. Do the whole “Sign Up now” thing.

Google Analytics Sign Up Page

Google Analytics Sign Up Page

4. Then put in your root website like http://www.yoursite.com/ and your time zone.

Put in the URL of your website

Put in the URL of your website

5. Fill out your personal info and select your country.

Put in your Personal Info

Put in your Personal Info

6. Agree to their Terms of Service.

7. Then fill out the rest and Google will give you a code.  It will look something like this.

<script type=”text/javascript”>
var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.&#8221; : “http://www.&#8221;);
document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));
</script>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
try {
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-7611885-1”);
pageTracker._trackPageview();
} catch(err) {}</script>

Google will give you the code.

Google will give you the code.

8. Then you take this code and put it on every page of your site.  This can be done through a footer file or part of your template (as long as it is not inside a frame).  Or you will have to put it in manually on every page.

9. Once you’ve put the code in and uploaded the file or all the changed pages onto the site, then click “Continue”

10. Status should change if you’ve set up the code properly.  This one doesn’t because I don’t own http://www.yoursite.com.  If yours doesn’t change, then click Edit and then click Check Status on the top right of the page.  This will allow you to ping Google and check the status of the page.

Google Analytics Report Page

Google Analytics Report Page

If you still have problems here, go out to your website and click on “View” in your browser, then select Page Source.  Do a search for “google-analytics”.  If it doesn’t show up, then you don’t have Analytics on the page and you need to check your code.

That’s basically it.  Once it says, your status is OK then you should start seeing visitors.  Here’s a look at the dashboard of my friend’s site.

Google Analytics Dashboard Top

Google Analytics Dashboard Top

Next time, we’ll discuss how to read Google Analytics next time.