You ever have a lemonade stand as a kid?
My neighborhood buddy and I had a busy street corner, a table, a sign, cups, a glass jar for money, and store-bought lemonade.
Not a terribly profitable endeavor – pretty sure we charged less for the lemonade then it cost to buy it in the first place – but you know what, we had a goal.
To fill that glass jar up with money.
We knew how to measure that goal as well, a quick visual inspection of the clear glass jar and we knew how we were doing. At the end of the day, the jar was full and the lemonade was gone – we completed our goal.
As simple as that sounds, the same principle applies to your online business.
I know what you are saying.
I have goals. I look at my merchant account or bank account and I know how I am doing.
And that’s a great start.
But where did the web traffic come from that accomplished those goals?
Do you know?
My first piece of advice to any new client or prospect looking for marketing advice for their website is to install Google Analytics. We recently covered this in a post.
Having access to where your web traffic is coming from, how long they stay on your site, and what pages they visit is critical to running a successful web business.
Unfortunately, Google Analytics out of the box does not track goals.
You can login and get a quick visual look at your proverbial glass jar and see how you are doing – but, like back at the lemonade stand, you’re only seeing whether the jar is full or empty. It’s still not telling you exactly which visitors are contributing to the bottom line of your business, where they came from, or how they got there.
Thats where setting up goals comes in.
Setting up your business objectives and goals is the first and most important step towards your success online. Without them, you are flying blind.
Succinctly, they are actions that your users take that you measure as conversions.
They can be a wide range of actions: visiting a webpage, adding an item to a shopping cart, clicking a button, subscribing to email updates, or a certain amount of time spent on your website.
In future posts, we are going to get really granular on goals and will walk you through getting to a ninja level at your tracking, for now though, let’s focus on the basics.
Let’s add some goals to your Google Analytics account that you just recently set up, and add the goals to your Art Storefronts account.
Okay, so I’m at google.com/analytics, the home page, which looks like they’re just updated – nice work Google – and let’s go ahead and sign in to Google Analytics.
So you’ll see, I’ve got my dummy account set up here. What you’ll want to do is click on “All Website Data” – which is your first profile that’s set up. For testing purposes I’m gonna have to click on this one, so don’t let that confuse you.
Alright. Once I’m in Google Analytics I’m gonna go ahead and click on “Admin” here at the top, I’m going to mouse over here to the right and I’m going to go to “Goals.”
So here you see the goal view. I’m gonna go ahead and click this red button here for new goals. And you can see I’ve got a range of options here that I can select from. For our first goal, which is gonna be our checkout goal that gets fired when they visit your confirmation page, your, you know, your purchase complete page, I’m gonna go ahead and select “Buy merchandise,” and I’m gonna go down here and click “Next Step.”
Now you can see, you’ve got to name it – by default it says, “Buy merchandise.” Let’s go ahead and leave that how it is for now, actually, you know what, let’s rename it. I’m gonna go ahead and just name that “Checkout,” because somebody has checked out of the store.
And it’s a destination goal, so let’s go ahead and click “next,” and in this destination section that you can see that pops up, we’ve got “Equals to,” “Begins with,” and “Regular expression.” So what we’re gonna want to use is a regular expression for this.
Now, either in the show notes for this YouTube video, or in the original post, you can see we’ve got this code snippet that you need to paste in here, so I’m grabbing that off screen and pasting it in here. There should be a link somewhere here on the YouTube video if you need to get to it. And we’re gonna go ahead and click “Create Goal.”
Easy enough. One checkout goal. Now, “Past 7 day conversions,” this is just a dummy site so we don’t have any conversions yet, but that goal is complete, so let’s go ahead and set up the next one.
We’re gonna click “New goal” again. This time we’re gonna be a custom goal, so go ahead and click on “Custom,” click “Next step,” name your goal. I think for this one I’m going to name it – I can’t remember what I put in the post – I think I did “Shopping Cart” – let me just go ahead and verify that…
So what we’re gonna call this one is actually “Added to Cart” – let’s keep things nice and consistent. This one is also a destination goal, so go ahead and select “Destination” again, and on to the next step.
So again, we’re gonna go down on this little destination slider we’re gonna go to “Regular expression” and we’ve got another code snippet that you need to copy in exactly and paste in here. And again there’ll be a link here and you can find it in the blog post, and you go ahead and “Create goal.”
Boom, you’re done. We’ve got two goals: “Checkout,” and “Added to Cart,” again “Checkout” is if they’ve completed the sale, and “Added to Cart” is they’ve added an item into their shopping cart, and that just let’s you know that part of the journey is done. So, there you go, two goals. We’ll delve into further detail in future posts, but, nice work.
If watching the video tutorial is not your thing, you can follow the steps in screenshots below instead.
Step 1: Login to Google Analytics and click on Admin
Step 2: Click new Goal
Step 3: Select the Goal Type & click Next Step (not shown in photo)
Step 4: Choose Regular Expression enter in the following text exactly
Then click the blue Create Goal
Step 5: One Goal Down… nice work. Let’s add another. Click New Goal
Step 6: Choose custom goal this time and click Next Step.
Step 7: Name it “Added to Cart” and choose destination and click Next Step
Step 8: Select Regular Expression as the goal type and paste the EXACT code below
Then click Create Goal
Step 9: Congratulations
You created two goals.
Checkout – This will be triggered every time you have a completed order on your site.
Added to Cart – This goal will be triggered every time an item is added to a cart. This will track when folks are putting items in their cart but not completing their purchases so you can begin to understand why.
In future posts, we will go over what you can do with these new goals and the data they provide. In the meantime, they are setup and gathering data, nice work.