Do you have Google Analytics installed? I really don’t want to talk to you until you have it installed!
That’s what I tell my friends and family before I’ll even entertain answering a question. And now I’m telling you that. If you were a potential customer or a professional acquaintance maybe I’d say it a little more nicely, but I really don’t want to talk to you until you do.
You’re going to ask me why your website isn’t bringing in new business, how to better use Facebook or Twitter, how much to spend on Google AdWords or how do you get to the #1 position on Google for the term “refinance”.
Are you watching them?
Look, if you don’t have any idea how people currently using your website, what could you possibly want me to do to help you? Anything I did would be credited to some other marketing activity and you’d feel like I wasted your time and possibly your money.
So unless you and I both know where we are starting from, then we’ll never know if anything we’re doing is working.
OK, now you have your analytics installed. I now want to know if people are doing (or not doing) what you want them to do on your website.
Goals that you have defined as valuable to you and your website. I’m talking about:
- Some magical time on your website. For example: 4 minutes looking around your website.
- Viewing at least 8 pages of your website.
- Filling out a contact form.
- Buying a product.
- Signing up for your newsletter.
- Subscribing to your website’s RSS feed.
- Viewed your “About Me” page.
Sure, web analytics track some great metrics out of the box like:
- unique visitors
- bounce rates
- keywords people used to find you
- and a whole lot more
This brings me to goal of this post: set up goals on your website now. They’re free and can always be deleted later, but you will never be able to recreate them looking back.
In Google Analytics, you can set up 20 goals in each profile and create unlimited profiles.
So create your goals now
- If you want to measure how many visitors spent at least 4 minutes on your website, then choose a goal type of “Time on Site”
- If you want to measure how many people viewed at least 8 pages of your website, then choose a goal type of “Pages/Visit”
- If your visitors fill out a form, then you should have (if not, change your form tool or add the redirect) a “Thank You” page. That page is your URL destination in the goal page of Google Analytics
- If you sell a product, again you have a “Confirmation” page. Use that as your URL destination.
- If they sign up for a newsletter, then have use the confirmation page as your URL destination.
- If you just consider it a success to view your “About” page (who wouldn’t, right?), then use that as your URL destination.
- If you want to track those who subscribe, it gets a little hairier. Ideally your feed supplier will have tracking capabilities linked into that support your web analytics tool. If not, you could create a goal around those that click on the subscribe button (knowing they may never complete the subscription) using onclick=”pageTracker._trackPageview(‘/trackrss’); Check this out for more detail.
We can talk now
Now you’re tracking not just visits to your website, but interactions with your website. But more importantly you are creating a baseline that will allow you to measure the impact of future changes.
If you don’t know where you are today, you’ll never know if you have moved tomorrow.
OK, so now we can talk. Now I’ll take a look around and help you with your goals.