How to Set Up Goals in Google Analytics

How to Set Up Goals in Google Analytics
October 29, 2015 Joe Vernon

Measuring a website based on traffic alone isn’t enough for most companies. Yet many companies still haven’t set up goals in Google Analytics. Setting up goals provides your team with valuable metrics to measure, and not just vanity metrics like traffic. But how do you know what goals to set up?

What Goals To Set Up In Google Analytics

Choosing the right goals to set up on your website depends on your business needs. However, we have found that for many businesses, the goals are similar original site. Businesses want to know when web users contact them, be it by phone, email, or form submission, as these are often leads. Or they want to track purchase orders, as these directly lead to revenue. Tracking each of these requires a different tactic.

Tracking Form Submissions or Order Completions

The best way to track form submissions or order completions is by directing users to a “thank you” page after they have successfully completed the form or order. This way, you can track the number of times users view this page and record that as the number of conversions. When doing this you will need to:

  • Block the thank-you page(s) from Google and other search engines
  • Remove the thank-you page(s) from sitemaps

Once you have this set up on your website, you will need to tell Google Analytics to count it as a conversion. To do this:

  • Log into analytics and click on Admin
  • In the View section (the right side) click Goals:
  • Click on +New Goal
  • Name the Goal, select Destination then click next (this example is for form submissions)
  • Add the URL of the “thank you” page then click create goal

Tracking Email Clicks from the Web

While there isn’t a sure way to track whether or not the user actually sent the email with Google Analytics, you can track the number of times users click on email links on your website. To do this, you will need to use event tracking with Google Analytics. If you have access to code, you can add the following script to each of the email links on your website:

ga(‘send’,’event’,’email’,’click’,’email_address’)

Here the category is ‘email’, the action is ‘click’, and the label is ‘email_address’—you can replace ‘email_address’ with the actual email address you want to use. If you are using Google Tag Manager, you will want to create an event that fires anytime a user clicks a link beginning with “mailto:”. You can learn how to set up events in Google Tag Manager here.

Once you have set up event tracking, you will need to tell Google Analytics when to count a user’s action as a conversion. To do this,

  • Log into analytics and click on Admin
  • In the View section (the right side) click Goals:
  • Click on +New Goal
  • Name your goal, select Event, and click next
  • Set the Category, Action, and Label to match the event you created on the website and click create goal

Tracking Phone Calls from the Web

To accurately track phone calls from the web, you will most likely need a third-party call-tracking provider, unless your company is in the telecommunications industry and can set it up internally. A third-party call-tracking provider will replace your real phone number with a dummy phone number on your website. When users call this number, a call is recorded and imported to Google Analytics, and the user is redirected to your real number. We recommend the following third-party call-tracking providers:

  • DialogTech
  • CallRail
  • Who’s Calling

Once you have selected and set up your phone tracking, you will need to set it up as a goal in Google Analytics by going to Admin > Goals > Add New Goal and following the instructions provided by the third-party provider.

What other goals are you tracking on your website?