Posts Tagged ‘google analytics’

Measuring Goals with Web Analytics

Besides wanting people to engage with the content on your organization’s website, you probably would like if they completed some action.

Here are some examples of goals –

  • sign up for your newsletter
  • make a donation
  • buy tickets
  • submit a volunteer form
  • join your facebook group
  • follow you on twitter
  • etc

It’s easy to track those goals with your web analytics program, whether you use Omniture, Unica, Google Analytics or any other.

All you have to do is configure goals. Each program has different set up instructions, but the idea is generally similar.

I’ll use Google Analytics for the example below.  Google allows a maximum of 4 goals per profile, but you can get around that by setting up multiple user profiles.

Goals with Google Analytics

Goals with Google Analytics

When you click Edit under the Settings column, you get a screen like this

How to set up goals in Google Analytics

How to set up goals in Google Analytics

All of you have to do is enter the Match Type (Exact, Head, or Regular Expression), Goal URL, and Goal Name.

If there a several steps to the goal process, GA also allows you to create a funnel so you can see where people drop off.  The URL can be a made-up URL that just triggers goal competion “on click” if the Goal Page is not within your domain.

For example, if you use Feedburner to manage your email subscriptions, the “Thank you for subscribing” page is on the Feedburner website, so it cannot be tracked by your web analytics program.

If you are collecting donations through your website and want to know which natural sources generate the largest donations, you can use the eCommerce set up to track donation values.

If you have a live online marketing campaign and want to track which sources generate donations, you can use campaign tracking, which comes with standard with most analytics programs.  Please see an earlier post on campaign tracking for more info.

If you need help setting up goals, feel free to ask.


Google Analytics Campaign Tracking Mishaps


I just signed up for a sprint triathlon online and noticed a misuse of Google Analytics campaign tracking –

Look below at the Registration Website and Race Website… 


Triathlon website with misused Google Analytics campaign tracking

Triathlon website with misused Google Analytics campaign tracking


My hunch is that they wanted to  track incoming traffic from an email they sent out to their list serve.  Looks like they tried to use the same URL for website traffic.


Couple of major things wrong with this:

  1.  Campaign parameters without a proper URL does nothing for your business.  Users can’t even get to the website to accomplish their task, let alone give you any info on where they came from. 
  2. Using the  same campaign parameters for email and website traffic doesn’t distinguish where the traffic is coming from because it will all be lumped together.  This basically defeats the purpose of campaign tracking.  Without more info about their campaign setup, this is the observation I make.  


Here’s my guess of what the URL could have  looked like :


With this URL, the marketer can track:

  1. Medium = Email  (utm_medium=email)
  2. Source = Buzz (utm_source=buzz)
  3. Campaign = Buzz09012 (utm_campaign=buzz09012)


I would have some feedback on the way they have spelled out the campaign parameters, but I’ll leave that for another post.