Guest post by Karol Gajda of Ridiculously Extraordinary
If you’ve got a Web presence (blog or otherwise) that you’re monetizing this may be one of the most eye-opening articles you read this year.
If you’re selling anything or collecting e-mail subscribers (or you plan to eventually) and you don’t know your conversion rates you’re running blind.
Thankfully Google makes it very easy for you to track your stats. A seemingly little-known feature of free Google Analytics is something called Goals.
I’m not going to show you how to set up Google Analytics, because Google will do that for you. Essentially, you sign up for an Analytics account, create a Profile for your Web site, and install a bit of code that Google provides onto that Web site.
Like I stated, we’re going to talk about Google Analytics Goals.
To access the Goals editor, login to Google Analytics, and look to the far right of your Web site profile where you will see this:
Click Edit and from there you’ll see the Goal Sets. Here is what mine looks like:
As you can see I have 2 different Goal Sets. Goal Set 1 is for non-sales such as my “Freedom Fighters” eCourse subscribers, and various goals based on time on site or page views.
Goal Set 2 is for sales of the two different versions of my How To Live Anywhere course.
To set up sales tracking for the Long Haul version I clicked on Add goal and filled out the page to look like this:
If you’re setting a goal with a thank you page (for a sale or an e-mail subscriber) you have to make sure to click the URL Destination.
In the next section of settings we have:
For Match Type you should use Head Match.
For the Goal URL type in the thank you page. This should be the page your buyer is redirected to immediately after purchasing. Paypal, e-junkie, 1shoppingcart, and Clickbank all make defining your thank you page straightforward. Whichever thank you page you used in your shopping cart is the one you should type in here.
Your Goal Value is the cost of the product.
As long as you have the aforementioned Google Analytics code installed correctly on your thank you page Google will start tracking your sales immediately. I’ll show you that in just a second.
First, let me quickly show you what your Goal page should look like if you want to set Pageviews or Time on site as a goal.
As you can see, in this screen shot I’ve set it up for Time on site of 4 minutes. That means if a visitor spends 4 minutes on my site Google Analytics tracks that as a Goal Conversion.
Now let’s get into the sales stats!
To find your sales stats go back to the Google Analytics home page and click on View report for your Web site profile:
Once you’ve done that you’ll have a plethora of options to look at. For this example I’m going to drill down and use traffic referred by Corbett’s Free Pursuits blog to my site in June of 2010:
As you can see, in June 2010 FreePursuits.com sent me 160 visitors.
Now let’s look at the Goal tracking:
So, from 160 visitors, with a 2.5% conversion rate you can figure out that FreePursuits sent 4 sales of How To Live Anywhere Long Haul Edition. As you can also see, each visitor FreePursuits sent me was worth $2.75.
The 29.38% Goal Conversion statistic includes all the goals, including the Pageview and Time on site goals I set up.
That may have seemed a little complicated, but I assure you, once you get into Google Analytics and do it, it is very easy. And more importantly, once you have Goals set up, you’ll know exactly which sites are bringing you sales. With that knowledge you’ll know where to focus your efforts.
Have you used Goals in Google Analytics? Do you know how much your visitors are worth? Let’s talk about it in the comments. If you have questions I’ll be happy to answer them below.
photo by CrazyFast