How to set goals for your website
To be confident your business website is functioning as well as possible, you should be setting (and achieving) regular goals.
Business goals are important. They create roadmaps by which to achieve success, reach KPIs, and track your progress along the way. Ensure you’re achieving what you set out to accomplish by setting relevant and useful goals with Google Analytics.
Creating goals with Google Analytics
Free to use, easy to install and boasting brilliant number-crunching capabilities, Google Analytics is the go-to program for reviewing your website's performance.
If you don't already use Google Analytics, you'll find it's very easy to get started. Google offers some simple advice for adding the tracking code to your site so you can begin.
Next, you need to decide which goals are most appropriate for your business to track. Google Analytics offers four separate goal types:
- Destination: To keep track of specific URLs.
- Duration: The set amount of time spent per session.
- Pages per session: The number of pages viewed in a session.
- Event: The action (a click-through, ad play, etc.) that is taken.
The goal types that will be most effective for you to track will depend on your business model. For example, if you own an e-commerce site, you're most likely to be interested in tracking destinations, as you can set a goal that triggers whenever your customers land on a 'thank you for buying' page.
Once you've decided which goals will be most valuable to your business, you can either set them using one of Google's templates or you can create a custom goal (the templates have been designed with business goals in mind and are fully editable, so they are likely to be all you need when starting out).
Be sure to give your goal a recognisable name and provide your business with a target to hit (this can always be adjusted later if you aim too high or too low initially).
Staying on top of goals
Setting goals is great, but even more important is measuring them. That's why Google Analytics adds your goals to a number of reports. The most straightforward report to view your goal progress is the ‘Conversion > Goals’ report, but you can also add them to other regular reports you might have for your business, including the ‘Conversions > Attribution’ report and the ‘Acquisition’ report.
The information you glean from regular reporting is very useful in informing your decisions for future marketing designs. For example, if you're consistently failing to hit certain destination-page goals, there's something wrong with your funnel. Similarly, if you're always behind on event goals, you may need to put more effort into tempting people to click.
Measurable goals are an excellent incentive and a useful way to track and improve performance. How do you currently measure your online success?