Two things every new website needs (Google Analytics with goals)

So you’ve got a shiny new website.  And whether you’re trying to sell, get information about your business out there, or just get more viewers on your blog, you want to be able to see how many are visiting your site and if they are taking the desired actions that you want.

If your main goal is to sell products but no one is viewing your store/products, that means something is probably wrong either with your site design or the traffic you are getting isn’t the traffic that you are wanting.  To be able to see this, we need google analytics installed and we need to set up some goals within google analytics.  Once I set it up, I loved watching the real time feed.  I still love it.  People were looking at something I set up!

Best feeling ever

Google Analytics

Now let’s get it set up!  Go set up an account with Google Analytics (very simple).  From there you’ll be provided with a Tracking ID and some javascript.  If you’re using WordPress, all you need is that Tracking ID.  For my WordPress sites I use Google Analytics by Yoast.  Easiest way to find it is probably through the WordPress Plugins.  Once installed, just go to settings and either enter your Tracking ID manually or authenticate with your google account.

If you’re not using WordPress, simple copy the javascript and put it somewhere in your layout (hopefully you have some sort of framework with a layout).  If you don’t have a layout, it would need to be on every page you need tracked.



I always confirm that it’s working by opening an incognito window and visiting the site.  From Google Analytics go to the Reporting tab at the top and then Real-Time, Overview.  Within a minute or two (at most) you should see an active user on your site (you)!


Google Analytics Goals

I really feel that setting up Google Analytics goals is one of the most overlooked but most important steps of setting up great analytics.  Like it is essential.  When you create your website, you generally have a goal in mind and this needs to be tracked so we can test and improve.

Simplest things to track are pages.  If you want people to go to your contact page or you have an “order complete!” page, then you’d definitely want to have a goal for this.  In fact, if you have a cart, I’d recommend tracking the pages where people add something to a cart so you can see how many are creating carts and how many of those are bouncing and where so you know what part of your flow you need to improve.

Go to the Admin tab in Google Analytics and select “Goals” from the “View” column.  You’ll then create a new goal.  There are three steps here and for the first whether you pick a template or custom really makes no difference.  Just pick one, go to step two and change the goal name. Typically “Destination” or “Event” are the type of google analytics goals that I track.

For now, let’s go with “Destination”.  Then on step three GA_goalwe’ll choose the destination that will count as “accomplishing” the goal (client going to our contact page or our “order successful!” page).  Remember that you’ll just want the end of the URL and not the domain name, as seen in my picture.  I generally always change it to “Begins with” in case of query string parameters.  Then we “Create Goal” and we are done!  Yay!  Now we can start to track how many people are going to our goals AND from what source are the people going to our goals.

This is VERY important if you are doing any kind of SEO or PPC work.  You could be getting (and paying for!) a hundred clicks a day but if you don’t have goals set up, you will not be able to know whether any of those clicks were the ones converting (whether that conversion be a sale or just request a quote).  If they aren’t converting, we really don’t want to pay for those clicks.

For example, go back to your “Reporting” Tab, then Acquisition, All Traffic, Source/Medium.  As you can see from my picture, the people that are converting are NOT from my adwords campaigns.  This means that after a little more testing, I will either change my ad or just stop it altogether.


I wanted to leave one final note that Events are also very helpful for using for goal creation.  You can track any click (or any event) that happens and then report that to Google Analytics.  It’s fairly simple JS and if you need help implementing it please drop me a line and I’ll be more than happy.  If you are using WordPress and GravityForms a very simple (but awesome) Plugin is Gravity Forms Google Analytics Event Tracking.  With it, you can simply add which part of the form you want to trigger which event.  Again, I’m not going to go into it in detail but if need help at all, feel free to reach out.

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