A prior post gave an overview of the 5 most important (in my opinion) things you can measure using Google Webmasters Tools and Google Analytics. Although there is much you can measure, the sheer breadth of what you can know is somewhat intimating, and for someone new to the tools, the learning curve can look very steep.

One of those 5 things is measuring conversion, which is sufficiently involved that it justifies it’s own post.

Within Google Analtyics is a concept of Goals. Goals are defined and measured within Conversions, which is a main menu item on the left side of the screen.

For most conversion measurements, tracking conversion is a matter of tracking what URLs people load. Within Google Analtyics, these are called Destination Goals.

For purposes of this example, let us assume you sell services (Pest Control) and your website conversion is for the website visitor to fill out a Contact Us form.

IMPORTANT>> You want to measure both how often the Contact Us from is loaded AND how often the Contact Us form is filled out. These will be different. If your “completion” ratio is low, you need to make changes, but you must FIRST know it’s low.

With reference to the above point, it is imperative that your Contact Us form appear on one URL, and that after the form is completed and submitted, another screen (Thank You, etc) be displayed on a DIFFERENT URL. Without this, you can not measure form completion.

Create a Goal

Within Google Analytics, go to:

  • Admin (just to the left of the Help in the orange stripe at the top of the screen)
  • Under Profile (right most column), select Goals
  • Select Create a Goal
  • Give the Goal a name, select Destination, then select Next
  • Under Goal details, you need to choose either Equals to, or Begins with. If you know what a Regular Expression is, you’re more advanced than the target audience of this tutorial.
    • Equals to: Use when the URL is always the exact same
    • Begins with: Use when the total URL is not always the same, but the first part of the URL always is
  • Select Create Goal

That is it. The “secret” to using goals to glean useful information is to give them meaningful names, even if they’re long.

The names below are perfect, as they are clear and unambiguous. If you have multiple Contact Us forms for different purposes simply use longer names.

  • Contact Us Form
  • Contact Us Form Thank You Page

Monitoring Conversions

From the main screen of Google Analytics, on the menu on the left of the screen, select Conversion > Goals > Goal URLs. Then scroll down below the graph to see the numbers of times people load the specified URLs.

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