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.
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.
If we can't teach you, no one can!