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Are All the Goals Accounted for?

| Posted in category Analytics Google

GA NinjaWe’ve already covered goals set up in earlier posts for Google Analytics Ninjas. Since then it seemed to be quite a depleted topic until Google team introduced the updated version of Google Analytics.

Above all other goodies the new GA enables web analysts to set Events as Goals and track even more interactions with the website. If you are still missing on this opportunity – read on!

It is easy to neglect some user interactions with the website that present high level of engagement and may indirectly lead to a conversion at a later stage. Such actions or Events include: viewing video presentations, listening to the audio, liking/ twitting/ commenting/ sharing, downloading white papers and presentations. Imagine a situation when you are trying to generate leads using a landing page with a video presentation but you don’t know how many (if any) visitors are viewing it, and for how long. In such case you have no basis to compare the performance of various traffic channels against each other and your efforts are potentially sub-optimal.

By default Google Analytics tracks page views only, i.e. any other events are missing out. However, it is possible to fine tune GA (we’ve discussed it in Google Analytics in very Plain Language. Part III) so that it tracks valuable data about user behavior.
Once Event Tracking is set up and GA collects the data, you may create a new set of Goals:

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account and switch to New Version (if you haven’t done this yet).
  2. Select the account that you are going to edit.
  3. Click Settings button in the top right corner of the screen.
  4. Give a descriptive name to your goal
  5. Select a combination of Category / Action/ Label / Value properties to describe the goal. There are three match types available that begins with, that is equal to, that matches. The match type names are pretty self explanatory. Value is used to set a numeric threshold for the goal. The goal may be triggered if one of the following conditions is met: the value is greater than, less than, or equals to the Event value.
  6. Save the goal. The new goal will now appear in standard GA reports.

Event Goals have only one major drawback – you can’t set up conversion funnels for this type of Goals, which makes it more difficult to diagnose problems along the conversion channel.

However, there is a roundabout solution that may make for this lack. You can create custom segments that will include the information only about those visitors who completed specific goals associated with the events:

  1. Go to My Site > Reports screen
  2. Click on Advanced Segments to open advanced segments screen.
  3. Give the segment a descriptive name.
  4. Select the relevant metric (Event Goal Completions)
  5. Set the value threshold to Greater than zero.
  6. Preview the segment to see if it works fine and then save it.
  7. You may now compare the behavior of those users who triggered the events vs those who didn’t.

    If you have any questions on the implementation of event tracking and goals set up in Google Analytics – feel free to post them in the comments section. As always your ideas and insights are welcome.

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