Last Updated on June 1, 2021 by Amy Geldean
If you’re not tracking your marketing efforts then you’re throwing money away, it’s as simple as that. How will you know what is working if you don’t track your conversions?
Many businesses make this grave error and then wonder why they are running through their marketing budget but have nothing to show for it. Marketing professionals track all their campaigns because they know that’s how you make a campaign profitable.
While this can seem daunting at first, it doesn’t have to be, and in this article, we’ll help you to learn how to get started with goal tracking in Google Analytics step by step.
Why Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is the most popular analytics software around, and it’s likely that you’re already using it. It works with pretty much every platform that requires analytics, and if you’re using Google ads for your practice, then this will be the most useful product for you. Plus, it’s 100% free to use.
While there are analytics programs that are simpler to use, they don’t provide the kind of in-depth analytics that Google does. If you want to improve your conversion rates and get more sales then you need to install Google Analytics tracking if you don’t have it.
The time you invest in learning to use this software will be well worth it when you construct a tuned machine that tells you everything that you need to know to earn more money.
What kinds of actions can you track with Google Analytics?
Google Analytics allows you to track a wide variety of sales and action data from your website. That makes it a vital tool for measuring the impact of your campaigns, and you’ll likely want to set up tracking for the following actions.
● Email leads collected (People who fill out email opt-in forms)
● Conversions of email leads (Email leads who then hire you after subscribing)
● Conversions by campaign (ie. social, paid, content)
● Consultation requests (Submission of contact forms)
● Downloadables conversions (PDFs, guides, and reports)
● Stats on people who view embedded videos on your pages
● How long people stay on your site and when they leave
The last one is particularly useful, and many people don’t track these metrics, but if visitors are not converting, this is one that you’ll definitely want to inspect to find out why! It should be noted that goal data is not retroactive. This means that when you configure your goals you won’t actually see any data right away. Any traffic which has arrived at your site before cannot be tracked. That’s why it’s important to set up goal tracking as soon as possible for your law firm’s website.
How to set up goals in Google Analytics
To set up goals for your sales funnels in Google Analytics, you’ll first need to navigate to your firm’s account and go to the admin panel. You can get there by clicking on the little gear icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Here you’ll see three columns of menus. Underneath the far right menu titled “view,” you’ll see the goals section. Click on this to begin creating goals for your website.
Step 1: Choose a goal
By clicking on “new goal,” you’ll be able to begin creating goals to track events in analytics. But, first, you need to decide what type of goal you want to track. Analytics has templates available for different goals that you might want to use.
● Revenue goals (User completes checkout or schedules an appointment)
● Acquisition (User creates an account or similar action)
● Inquiry (User submits a contact form or calls you)
● Engagement (User shares content from your website)
Yet, you can also use a custom option to create goals that might not fall within the template parameters. At this point though, you may want to stick with the templates to make things easier until you understand how everything works.
Step 2: Choose the goal trigger
For the purposes of this article, we’ll be setting up a goal using the contact template. Google Analytics will prompt us to choose a name for this goal, and you should make sure to pick something unique or you’ll be lost later when trying to navigate the data that you’ve collected.
The “goal slot” is the number assigned to the goal, and you don’t have to do anything with this. Analytics allows you to create 20 trackable goals using these slots.
But, for this step, you will need to choose an action that will trigger the goal. Google Analytics works off of these triggers, and once a user triggers this particular action it will be counted as a “conversion”.
For example, if this were a sales page, then the trigger would likely be the order confirmation page. If a user gets to this page, Google Analytics knows that they have completed a purchase and reports that conversion and its value to you.
For our contact page tracking goal we’re going to do something similar. But, you could also trigger events based on other actions like watching a video or time spent on a page if you wanted. For this example though, we’ll be choosing “destination” as our goal type.
Step 3: Define the parameters for your goal
Now that we’ve defined the type of trigger that we want for our goal, we’ll need to enter the details and set up our goals parameters.
In this case, we’ll be using the “confirmation page method”, and that means we need to enter the URL for the “thank you page” into the box provided. This is the URL for whatever page your visitors go to after submitting the contact form.
If you’re currently sending your visitors back to your homepage, you should change it to a specific “goal page”, not for goal tracking purposes but also because it can help your conversion rate if you give further instructions. For example, you can tell people to go to their inbox and confirm their subscription or look for a free report or guide.
Step 4: Define a monetary value for your goal
This is optional, and in this case, we won’t be doing this. Yet, if the action that you’re tracking has a monetary value attached to it you can enter the amount here. Since our goal is for the contact form we won’t be doing that though.
Some people like to use this on contact form conversion goals to note how much a lead is worth to them, and to see how profitable their paid ad campaigns are.
Step 5: Add this goal to a sales funnel
You also have the option of adding your goal to a sales funnel. While goals themselves are great, they don’t offer a full picture of your sales process. By using the sales funnel feature, you can track goals within your funnels to see how they’re performing.
Using a sales funnel in conjunction with your goals can help you to identify kinks in your sales process that could be rectified or you can also see which pages are leading to the most conversions for your goals.
In our case, we want to see which content leads people to trigger our contact form goal. So, we’ll be setting up our most popular resources and pages as trackable sales funnels using this goal.
To do this, all you need to do is add in the URLs for the pages that we want to track in the funnel. Name each page as something memorable, so you can easily compare which pages lead to the most contact form submissions.
You can also use the “required” slider here but you don’t have to. If you do this then conversions will only be counted in your reports if people completed this specific funnel.
This could be useful if you want to compare sign-ups from different sources but you have the same “trigger” page. For example, if you have a contact form in the sidebar and at the bottom of your content and you wanted to see which converted the best, then you might set up separate goals for each of them and select the “required” option to keep these conversions separated.
Click save and your goal is ready to begin tracking actions on your website. You can repeat this process for any number of goals to help you get a better idea of how your marketing efforts are performing.
How to track your Google Ads conversions
If you’re using Google Ads to promote your firm, then there are a few extra steps required before you can begin tracking those goals. You’ll need to add your Google Ads account to your Analytics account as a “property” before you’ll be allowed to track that data.
Head to the gear icon again to get the admin area. Under the properties section, which is the center one, you’ll see “Google Ads Linking.”
If you’re using the same Google account for Analytics as you are for your Ads account, then the account should be populated here. click on it to link it to this Google Analytics account.
Choose a title for this account link, and then Analytics will automatically tag any visits from Google Ads in your account reports for you. You can create more in-depth goals in Google Ads itself, but this should tell you which leads come from your ads.
How to set up custom reports for your goals in Google Analytics
Google Analytics is great but sometimes it gives you information overload. There’s so much data that it can get overwhelming trying to see the metrics that you care about.
Fortunately, they have a custom report feature for this which can help you to see only the information that you want to see, how your goal tracking is working out. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Navigate to the custom reports menu
After hitting the “customization” button, you’ll see the option for custom reports. Click on “new report” to get started. You’ll also be asked to create a name for this report, which will be useful if you make a lot of them in the future.
Step 2: Choose a report type
Google Analytics has three different report types for you to choose from. Explorer is the default report option for Google Analytics that includes a line graph and data table.
Yet, you can also use the flat table layout, which is a static report or map overlay, which is useful for examining traffic based on region. Let’s choose the standard option for now.
Step 3: Define your custom report metrics
This step might be a bit overwhelming if you’ve never used reports before, but if you’re interested in a report which tracks your goals, then you can choose those for this exercise.
Click on add metric and then select the ones that you want to be included in your report from the drop-down. You can create different “metric groups” based on the goals that you’re tracking and name them in this step as well.
If you want to get a little more in-depth with your reports then you can also add dimensions. These are a sort of organizational process for custom reports that might be useful if you have a large report where you need to separate out the data that you’re tracking.
Step 4: Add a filter to your report
Filters are an optional step, and you don’t have to use them for your reports if you don’t want to. However, they can be useful for limiting information which is shown to you in the report.
For example, if you were to use a mobile filter then you could see how many conversions you were getting from mobile devices. In this report, desktop conversions would be excluded.
After you hit save, your report will be generated for you. These reports can then be downloaded, exported into various formats or shared with other people in your company. The reports are also saved in your Google Analytics dashboard and you can come back to view them at any time.
However, if building your own custom reports is not something that you’re interested in doing, then you might be glad to know that many people have already created useful report templates that you can use. Google actually maintains a list of custom report templates that can help you to make the most of your data.
What are KPIs and which ones should you be tracking?
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator, and there are a number of them which law firms should be tracking using the goal creation method above.
Lead types There are many different types of leads. You should have goals set up to track not contact forms but also how many people call you, submit information via forms, download PDFs and freebies you have and how many of them are watching your videos
Traffic types – If you’re only looking at the total hits that your website is getting, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity. You should be digging deep to see where all of your traffic is coming from. Make sure you’re using goals to see which traffic types lead to conversions. How many people convert thanks to your blog? How many of them contact you after seeing a link on social media? How many of them become clients after subscribing to your email list? All these are important traffic metrics and you should know which areas are doing you the most good, so you can double down on those efforts and reevaluate, or even cut your time spent on the ones which aren’t performing.
Traffic quality – Everyone wants a lot of traffic, but if that traffic is not high-quality then it is useless to you. Do you know how valuable your traffic is
This metric typically compares the number of visitors to the average page view per visitor. People who spend more time on your site and view more pages are higher quality visitors because they are obviously interested in what you have to say.
Bounce rate – Your bounce rate is an important metric. This KPI lets you know how many people are leaving your site without engaging with it or after a short time. Websites with a high bounce rate are likely not delivering what the visitor is looking for.
This not only means that you have lost this visitor, but if your bounce rate is too high is can actually negatively impact your position in search engine listings because Google takes this into account when ranking websites.
If your bounce rate is too high on some of your pages, then you might consider adding some video content or making your pages easier to read. In many cases, frustrated visitors bounce away if they are overwhelmed by the content.
Total leads and lead collection location – Leads are your bread and butter, and this should be one of your biggest projects when you begin tracking goals. While it’s important to know the total number of leads that your website collects, you should not stop here.
It’s also important to know where those leads come from, and you should use the sales funnel approach that we talked about above to get the big picture.
Collecting leads efficiently requires doing a lot of A/B testing to figure out which methods resonate with your audience the best. Even tiny changes can have a huge impact on your conversion rates, giving you more leads for the same ad spend.
Overall conversion rates and individual conversion rates – While collecting leads is great, the main goal of this is, of course, to land new clients. Do you know how you’re getting your clients? Which step pushed them over the edge and made them hire you?
Tracking the conversion rate of your site is great but you should also have individual sales funnels. In particular, you’ll want to be tracking from pages that you’re paying to advertise and from your email list.
However, you can also track social referrals and those which you’ve received from content marketing. Use this KPI to figure out which marketing efforts are earning you the most money and expand on them.
Conversions by keyword
This one is particularly critical if you are using paid traffic sources. While you might think that all keywords are equal in their potential for conversions, they are not. In fact, you might be surprised at just how well certain keywords perform over others.
You should be using this KPI to make sure that your Google ad campaigns are as profitable as you think they are. You might just find out that the keyword that you’re bidding on is cheaper for a reason!
Make sure to set up a goal which gives you a report of conversions per keyword so that you know which ones are the most profitable. If a certain keyword outer performs a similar one by 2x you’d want to invest more ad spend in it right?
Cost per lead
Advertising is expensive, particularly for law firms where competition for keywords is cutthroat. That’s why you should be tracking your cost per lead data in Google Analytics. This KPI will tell you how much you’re spending for each lead that you acquire.
Setting up a goal for this KPI can help you to see if your tweaks are working. If your cost per lead goes down, then things are moving in the correct direction. If it goes up then you may need to test some of your marketing channels to see if they are still profitable.
In closing, tracking the right KPIs is vital to your firm’s success, and you don’t need to be a marketing or software expert to do it. Once you learn how to track a few simple goals, you should be able to adopt the methods used in this article to track all of your marketing efforts.
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