This is the fourth of a five part series designed to help you understand Google Analytics, improve your site, and enhance your digital strategy.
This is one of the most advanced modules in Google Analytics which require additional setup in order to show your goals and conversions. What is Conversions in Google Analytics? It is a completion of an activity on your website, and therefore the last step in the Acquisition-Behavior-Conversion (ABC) cycle, as mentioned in previous posts. When an audience member has acted on a behavior and created a conversion on your site or application, a conversion is typically defined as someone filling out a contact form, buying something from your online store, or maybe downloading something from your website.
We’re getting towards the end of our thoughts on Google Analytics, but in case you missed any of the previous posts, here are the links:
- Part 1 – Audience
- Part 2 – Acquisition
- Part 3 – Behavior
- Part 4 – Conversions
- Part 5 – Leveraging Your Data
First, let’s start by describing the meaning of Goals. Setting practical goals are important for helping you to measure how well your website performs. There are many ways to setup goals, and many different scenarios for you to track them. Each time a goal is completed, Google Analytics logs conversions in your account. You may also define a monetary value to see how much that conversion is worth to your business.
There are four types of Goals, and each one of them is used to measure different actions or kinds of content.
|Destination||Specific Location||Thank you page after completing a contact form|
|Duration||Session that last a specific amount of time||5 minutes or longer spend on a specific page|
|Pages/Screens per session||Session with specific number of views||10 pages have been loaded|
|Event||An action completed by visitor||Downloaded PDF or Social button|
This is just a basic introduction and explanation of Google Analytics Goals, but if you would like to learn more Google publishes some great resources.
Same as Goals, this module requires additional setup in Analytics and on top of that, you have to implement a code snippet with ecommerce tracking on your website. What can you track with ecommerce? As an online store owner, you should be able to the following:
- What products users buy
- What quantities they buys them at
- What the revenue is that’s generated by those products
- The revenue
- Quantity information for each transaction
- Time to Purchase
- The number of days it took to purchase
- The number of sessions that it took to purchase
With listed above information, you should get an understanding of how your online store is performing and if your products are best suited for your customer. If you’re interested in setting up this Ecommerce portion in Google Analytics, you can start by diving into this Google Support link.
Every time a conversion happens, it is indicated in the last campaign that aided the user towards that conversion. With Multi-Channel Funnels, we are able to discover the conversion path a user took from the very first channel referral. Basically, you can track which channels users travelled through on your website before committing to anything. You can see data from the last 30 days, and go back 1-90 days with Lookback Window. Listed below are channels included in the conversion path in Multi-Channel Funnels:
- paid and organic search (on all search engines along with the specific keywords searched)
- referral sites
- social networks
- email newsletters
- custom campaigns that you’ve created, including offline campaigns that send traffic to vanity URLs
An attribution model is the rule, or set of rules, which report how each channel of a conversion path is credited for the sale that completed the conversion. Below is list of all available basic attribution models:
- Last Interaction – the last touch point before the conversion receives 100% credit for the sale.
- Last Non-Direct Click – same as Last Interaction, with the exception of not counting direct traffic
- Last AdWord Click – the first and only click through a paid search would receive all credit for the sale
- First Interaction – the first touch point in a conversion path would receive all credit for the sale
- Linear – each conversion channel included in the path would receive equal shared credit of the sale
- Time Decay – the touch points closest in time to the sale would receive the most credit
- Position Based – 40% is assigned to first and last interaction, and remaining 20% is given equally to all middle interactions
- Custom – there is also an option to create and share your custom attribution model
BONUS: Goal Flow
Here’s another great use of the Flow report in Google Analytics, only this time it allows you to visualize the path your traffic traveled through a funnel towards a Goal. It takes you through all the channels involved in the conversion, toward the final step—the goal conversion.
Conclusion of Conversions
We have given you a really broad overview of the Conversion section of Google Analytics, and although it requires additional setup in order to report your data correctly, you should now have a solid understanding of what makes Conversion a great tool to analyze and improve your site. If you read our previous posts you should now also understand the entire Acquisition-Behavior-Conversion (ABC) cycle—or how you acquire users, their behavior after acquisition, and patterns behind conversions. If you have some additional questions regarding ecommerce or the setting up of goals, don’t hesitate to contact an Analytics expert at Manning.
Lastly, for the final part of our series we’re going to give you a broad overview of how all these pieces of the Google Analytics puzzle fit together, and present some recommendations as to how to utilize these valuable tools. So stay tuned and see you next time!