As an SEO Company measuring conversions is essential and is a key performance indicator for clients. Increased conversions is the true goal of any SEO campaign and ultimately how we, as an SEO Company is judged.
What surprises me is, on a a regular basis is how many websites I come across that don’t already monitor conversions. I’m not talking about E-Commerce conversions (that’s for another blog post) but conversions from a non e-commerce website. Its probably one of the easiest and important reports to set up in Google Analytics.
What is a conversion on a non e-commerce website?
It’s a phone call, a form submit or any other action that you intend your users to take (such as engaging on a blog or social network). In this example we’re going to keep it simple, and assume you want to track form submissions but there are methods to track any interaction.
Why would I want to do this?
You need to understand what drives conversions on your website. If you understand what drives a conversion you can improve your website and maximise your conversions. If you currently have an SEO campaign, you need to understand how effective it is and what your Return On Investment (ROI) is.
Lets do it!
Step 1. Get the information. You’re going to need the URL of the “thank you” page your website produces when a form is submitted. (You can take this much further but again, we’ll cover that later in another blog.)
Step 2. Head to Google Analytics > Conversions > Goals and then hit “Set Up Goals” You’ll then see the below options – Just hit +Goal under Goal Set 1.
Step 3. Complete the page just like the below (we’ll keep it simple for your first time!) Then hit save. That’s it!
Lets See Goals in Action
This report is an overview of the “Goals” this example site has received over a period of a few days In this case, the two metrics we are look are:
Goal Completions: Number of times our form was submitted.
Goal Conversion Rate: Percentage of visitors to the website that converted (in this case a form submission)
So great, we know we have conversions, it’s a pretty average percentage but not too shabby for this type of site. But what prompted the conversions? Let’s look at it a little more closely:
By clicking on the “View Full Report” button in the bottom right corner you’ see further details.
Hit the secondary dimensions and select “Goal Previous Step – 1”. This is the page the visitor completed the contact from on.
Hit “Goal Previous Step – 2” This is the page the visitor was on, prior to sending the contact form and is potentially the reason they submitted the form in the first place.
You can also see all steps at a glance by hitting the “Reverse Goal Path” report in the left side menu under conversions. This is a very useful report as you can clearly see the path that led to the Goal completion.
Goal Flow Report
Another helpful report is the “Goal Flow” report (also found in the left menu). Hit that and you’ll see where your converting traffic is coming from e.g. Google. In our example, its a nice simple report but as you develop your Goal Funnels (More of that in a future blog) and your site grows bigger, its a great way of understanding the conversion process at a glance.
Using the drop down at the top, you can select other metrics, such as “Keyword” so you can see what keywords within search actually resulted in a conversion.
Goals are a very simple and fast way of setting up basic conversion monitoring on your website. Use the information these reports provide, change your website and measure the results, rinse and repeat until your conversions increase.