The next couple of fundamental letters in the Adido Analytics Alphabet are some of my favourite. They help make data analysis more accurate and allow you to report on web conversions. These elements are Filters and Goals.
Filter settings allow you to remove, or isolate specific traffic sources, IP ranges or data sets.
The most common and vital filter to apply to any analytics View (profile) when setting it up is an IP exclusion filter. This is so that internal company resources or linked parties (like agencies or partners) don’t skew data interpretation. These people will inevitably behave differently to your customers and prospects so it’s best to strip out this traffic where possible.
For further information on this see my previous post on Exclusions.
Warning: Before filtering an analytics View (profile) it is always worthwhile having a completely non-filtered View left intact, to pick up all website activity. Once filters are applied, any data related to that filter will be permanently omitted from the results. If you are testing on your website, and your IP is excluded, then these results won’t show up in Analytics.
To setup IP exclusions go to:
Admin > View > Filters > + New Filter > Filter Type: Predefined > Exclude traffic from IP addresses that are equal to > [enter IP address]
These steps will have to be repeated for every individual IP address, but the filter can be applied to many profiles on the same account.
Tip: Have 2 Views for every website & GA account you own, so that you can accurately report on your customer activity, and you can also put tests through on the website yourself and check performance.
Every website should have at least one tracked goal to measure success. This goal can be a completed sale, an enquiry or a download, but it can also be a defined level of engagement on the site (target number of pages visited or length of time on site). Every time a user completes a goal it is logged as a conversion in Google analytics.
Whilst there are many different elements of a website which could be defined as a goal (as businesses are keen to assess how different elements are performing), it is important to differentiate between a goal (conversion point) and an event (on-site actions which may or may not be a goal).
Goals should be scoped out and setup according to what the business needs to learn from its traffic performance otherwise interpreting the results can become confusing and time consuming. Start by deciding what the most critical element of the website is.
Setting up a goal is relatively easy. To setup a goal visit the admin section of the analytics view/profile and choose Goals. A goal will require the following information:
- Name of Goal
- Type: Destination (URL of webpage), duration, pages per visit or event.
- Then specify the conditions of the Goal
Setting up goal conditions for the first three types is relatively simple and requires following the onscreen instruction – these can be achieved without any additional changes to the analytics code.
Setting up ‘Event’ goals requires an additional stage which relies on an Event being setup (see Events in the Analytics Alphabet guide for how to do this). Of refer to the Analytics Help Centre for the most up to date code requirements (for Universal Analytics).
Once an event is setup, the same conditions for Category, Action, Label and Value need to be added to the Goal conditions – make sure the field labels match exactly the same as the event field labels. Any discrepancy here will mean that the goal won’t track.
To enable funnel (visualisation) tracking, it is important to define the funnel path when a goal is setup. I’ll cover this in more detail in a future post. Alternatively more information is available in the Analytics Alphabet guide.
There are a few areas within analytics where goal information can be shown – within the Audience and Traffic Source data views (look for the Goal Set 1, Goal Set 2 tabs); and within the Conversions > Goals section.
Note: Be careful when looking at the Goal Set 1 / Set 2 tabs when analysing performance as the Goal Conversion Rate column will add up all Goal Conversion Rates for each goal that has been setup. Depending on the importance of each goal it may be better to review each goal rate individually.
The standard report templates will provide goal conversion rates, from which actual quantities will need to be manually calculated. However within the custom report section there is the option to build a data view which has the actual figures as well as the conversion rates.
Within the Conversion > Goals section there are a few useful reports to understand how users reached the goal, but also where they converted (which is especially useful for Event based goals). These will be important when evaluating how important particular pages are for converting a visitor, and also what page path they tend to follow to reach the goal (Look at the Goal Reverse Path report).
Up next time… from ‘Help’ to ‘Linked Accounts’...