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?