I’m a big fan of Google Analytics. It’s great at revealing how people came to your website, where they came from, and most importantly, what they did once they got there.
It’s this last point I want to chat a bit about today. Under a standard installation of Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see what pages your visitors saw and which actions they took on your site. However, in most cases, not all pages and actions are created equal. For example, someone visiting a VDP page to look at a particular car is more indicative of shopping behavior than someone just browsing your home page. This is where having Goals really helps.
What the heck are Goals?
Goals are pages or actions on your site that you declare to be valuable. The goals you can set up in Google Analytics include a destination page, (i.e. /thankyou.htm), duration of a visit, number of pages during a visit, and an event (i.e. clicked on “Click to Chat”). You can also set up a Smart Goal, which is based on what Google thinks is important.
Basically, Goals are a shortcut to help you measure the visits to your site.
When you set up Goals, you tell Google Analytics “These are the actions or pages that I really want people to take or visit on my site.” These can include thank you pages for scheduling a test drive, the VDPs mentioned earlier, or even chatting with a sales rep.
Of course, some Goals are easier to track than others. For example, with a basic implementation of Google Analytics, someone clicking to call on their mobile phone won’t be visible. However, if you set up event tracking, you can make that click a custom Goal. This has the added benefit of giving Google Analytics a more refined view of bounce rate and time on site – a click to call would otherwise just look like an exit from the site.
Once you set up Goals, Google does a bunch of the math for you to help you identify well-performing campaigns.
Let’s see how this looks in practice by taking a look at the analytics behind the Google Merchandise store (https://shop.googlemerchandisestore.com/).
You can see below they’ve set up five goals, including registrations and sales:
Now, since they’ve told Google Analytics the five things they care about by setting up Goals, Key Performance Metrics such as conversion to these Goals are automatically calculated by Google. That makes it easy to see which of their ad campaigns are performing well. For example, in terms of Purchases, “AW – Dynamic Search Ads Whole Site” seems to be doing much better than the other campaigns- pretty neat, eh?
We’ve done a lot of research on the best goals for dealers to set up on their site, and we’d be happy to set them up for you.