Google Analytics: Using Goals and Funnels

SPROUT Content Contributor

Written by SPROUT Content Contributor on Thu, Feb 07, 2013

SPROUT Content is an inbound marketing agency that specializes in performance content for businesses in "unglamorous industries."

googleanalyticsUsing Google Analytics goals and funnels can provide valuable insight to the way your visitors see your website. Including goals in your content marketing strategy is a good way to keep your content evolving and provide the best experience to potential consumers.

Here are some of the need-to-know tips about setting up goals in your Google Analytics account.

Choosing Goals to Track

  • URL destination - When you setup an URL destination goal, a visitor must view a defined URL, such as your About Us page, to fulfill the goal. This metric helps you track the effectiveness of key landing pages.

  • Time On Site - Say your goal for the month is to increase the amount of time visitors spend on your website from :30 seconds to 2 minutes. This metric shows how well your information captures visitor’s attention.

  • Page/Visit - This goal is completed when visitors view a defined number of web pages in one visit. A higher number means site visitors are engaged and that your content is drawing them down the funnel to take action.

  • Event - This is probably one of the most important goals for content marketers. An event goal can be set up to track when people complete actions such as clicking a social sharing button, subscribing to your blog or submitting a form.

Setting up Goal Funnels

Goal funnels give you a glimpse into the actions your visitors take while visiting your website. Setting up funnels helps you evaluate the trends and patterns of your visitors and suggest pages that you need to focus on. Visitors don’t necessarily take the path you intend for them to take and setting up funnels gives you an insight to their traffic patterns.

The information you get from goal funnels can be used to refine certain pages leading up to events. For example, if you want to lead a visitor from your about us page to a contact form, you might include calls to action on About Us that leads them to your Products page.  Then, from your Products Page that leads them to your contact form. The goals is only considered complete if a visitor moves from your about us page, to products page to contact page.  If they get stuck at the products page, you know the content needs to be reworked to get people to continue down the funnel.

It is important to know that goals only count once per visit per goal. If someone subscribes to your blog three times in one visit, it only counts once. Similarly, if you have funnel requirements set up, the goal is only completed if all of the steps are followed.

Using Google Analytics is a must for content marketers and website owners. The amount of information can be overwhelming but the results are worth the effort. One of the most under rated features is the Goals section in the Conversion area. Setting goals helps you keep track of when visitors to your website complete a certain action, such as filling out a contact form or subscribing to your blog.

How do you use Google Analytics Goals and Funnels?

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