When website owners begin using Google Analytics to track traffic to their site, there is much to learn. A Google Analytics tutorial helps site owners become familiar with this tool and what it has to offer. After providing a basic overview of the interface, the tutorial usually delves into the subjects of goals and funnels.
A goal is a site page, on-page action, or file download that serves as a conversion for the site. A company overview page, news article, purchase confirmation, or receipt page is an example of a conversion goal. Some site owners create a thank you page following form submission, which also serves as a goal. This page can track contact or job application forms, email list subscriptions, or newsletter signups.
The path that visitors are expected to take as they convert to the goal is called the funnel. By defining the relevant pages, site owners can view how frequently site visitors abandon goals as well as where they go when they do this. Using an eCommerce goal as an example, funnels could include the first page of the purchase checkout process, the shipping address information, and credit card details pages. The Funnel Visualization report indicates the funnel path that visitors take.
Google analytics cannot calculate goal conversion metrics unless the site owner creates at least one goal. To set up a goal, the site owner should have a name, a defined funnel that includes up to ten pages, and the goal value. This value is used to calculate metrics including average score and ROI. A rule of thumb for valuing a goal involves evaluating how frequently visitors reaching the goal become customers. Each goal should have a different value based on this approach. Goals are set up through the account profile and can be turned on and off as desired.
Time on Site, Pages/Visit, and URL Destination are the three available types of goals. Time on Site provides data regarding a specific type of behavior on the site. It is useful for measuring activity on sites that feature different sections. Pages/Visit yields information about how engaged users are with the site. For example, when used on a catalog site, it allows site owners to see how many pages users click on before they make a purchase.
The URL destination goal allows the site owner to specify a goal of a Web page with its own URL. If this type of goal is selected, the site owner can define a funnel after entering goal information. The first page of a conversion funnel should be one common for each user working toward the goal. Site owners may specify whether each URL is a required step in the conversion process.
A Google Analytics tutorial goes into much more detail regarding goals and funnels, walking users through the setup process. With goals and funnels in place, site owners can track conversion metrics that provide insight into user behavior. Understanding how users navigate through the site helps the online entrepreneur to guide them to the desired outcome.