Why do you need conversions?
Conversion? And what is that? And what is it for?
A conversion is "a completed activity (online or offline) that is important to the success of your business," or you could say that it is an interaction with your website that is valuable for you. They are broken down into macro conversions, such as purchase or booking, and micro conversions, which involve a step broker, such as signing up for a newsletter, and may result in macro conversions. Google Analytics has a built-in option to set up goals and collect data in separate reports.
– But why do I need conversions counted by a separate program? – asks Mark already known from www.mybeautifulsearesort.com. – I know how many people sent me an e-mail.
– I know what customers ordered and in what quantities, confirms Anna, who runs an on-line store. – I even have their names and addresses, which Analytics will not give me.
Why put more effort into it?
And here we go back to the beginning. Analytics gives us information about website traffic, it collects data about browser traffic, i.e. where customers came from, when they did it, from which locations and using whichdevices. All this information complements the basic data already collected by you. You know who sent you a contact form, but do you know how they found out about your site?
Jolanta, who runs a psychology micro company, make advertisements mainly on Facebook. She publishes posts on her fanpage and in groups, but recently she has also tried paid ads. It turned out that the key information to her now is not only how much traffic "enters" from her Facebook page, but above all which appointments for visits and which emails from potential customers are from paid and which from unpaid traffic. In other words, does this ad pay off? Sure, it is not as obvious as clicking on the ad and making an appointment right away, but this data is very important.
Mark from MyBeautifulSeaResort cooperates with magazines and blogs on tourism. Some relations are barter-based, while in others he additionally buys advertising. Thanks to the information where his potential customers found out about the Resort before they wrote to him, he knows which news channel works most effectively.
Yes, it can be useful to measure conversions. And what conversions be valuable for your website?
The common conversions
Below are examples of typical conversions for several popular types of sites. Most likely, you already have an idea of your own in mind, so take it as a form of inspiration. And if you want to add something from yourself, write to me - I will be happy to add your examples so that they can also be shared to others.
On-line store: a click on the "Add to cart" button, displaying the cart, displaying the order confirmation page, contact form submission, starting a chat with customer service;
Blog: viewing an article, displaying more than two pages during a session, spending as much time on the site as it takes to read/watch a blog/vlog, start a movie, sign up for a newsletter, register for a webinar, a click on the "send comment" button;
Portfolio: a click on the e-mail address, a click on the phone number, display the Contact page, a contact form submission.
Daily press: displaying more than one page during a session, spending as much time on the page as it takes to read/watch the blog, a click on a link leading to articles, subscribing to the newsletter;
Company site: displaying an offer, displaying a contact page, displaying a price list, downloading a file with information, a contact form submission, a click on an e-mail address/phone number.
Let's see how to set them. Most of them are really simple to implement.
What to configure, or types of goals in GA
Conversions are measured in Google Analytics by setting up goals. You can find them in Administration [gear in the lower left corner] > View [right column] > Goals.
There are five types:
Duration: During setup, you define how long a session you want to count as a conversion should last. If an engaged customer is the one who spends at least two minutes on your website, set two minutes here, and every two-minutes-long and longer session will be collected in your conversion reports.
Pages / screens per session: during setup, you specify how many pages at least the user should visit during one session. When we talk about pages, we mean separate URLs such as mywebsite.com/contact, mywebsite.com/offer, and so on. If you have a one-page site, this goal won't be useful to you.
Destination: here you specify the address of the page that you consider as a conversion, for example /contact or /offer. Before you fill in the address field, make sure what it is exactly the page, preferably copy it from the address bar in your browser.
Event: Tracks a user's interactions with the page code, i.e. clicks, form submissions, and other actions that do not change the URL of the page. It requires a separate implementation of a piece of code to an HTML element in the page or creation of a tag in Google Tag Manager. Sometimes the site itself sends events that can be used here. This is where the Chrome plugin, Google Tag Assistant, comes in handy, showing the category, action, label, and event value, ready to be copy-pasted into your target setup.
* Smart Goal: Available for Analytics views with at least 500 sessions in the last 30 days. This goal does not need to be configured, only enabled. The algorithm selects the "best" sessions from among all the sessions, which means that they can potentially convert most efficiently. This is a big shortcut, so if you are intrigued by this type of target, I highly recommend you reading the source article in the Google documentation. (https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6153083?hl=pl)
A bunch of practical information:
After setting up the goal, and before pressing "Save", click "Verify this goal" - you will be informed how many percent of sessions from the last seven days (until yesterday) meet the condition you specified. If you see 2.7% or 5.3% that's all right. If it is 0% or 100%, then check the configuration again, because something went wrong.
You can test your finished event and destination goals on the page and see the results in the Real Time > Conversions report. You will not find the results of time spent on the page or pages per session there, as they are based on the basic session data collected in Analytics and there is no technical error possible in the setup.
Each data view has a limit of 20 targets, so choose wisely. A target cannot be deleted, but it can be turned off, turned on, and modified. So, if you expand your basic offer with new categories with separate website addresses, do not worry, because you can change the original address in the destination details and then add another target.
You can find the data from the collected conversions in the left menu > Conversions > Goals > Overview (and others).
If your Analytics is linked with an Ads account, you can import ready-made goals into Ads and use them for campaign settings optimisation. Keep in mind that while Analytics shows you all of your Goals, Ads will only present the ones from traffic from your Google Ads.
A few words about E-commerce
Ecommerce is a special type of conversion, separately configured in Administration > View > Ecommerce Settings. It requires additional implementation so that detailed transaction data from the website can be transferred. What is it useful for?
Standard e-commerce collects information about Transactions (this is what it calls its conversion), and a transaction can be a purchase or, for example, a reservation. The e-commerce tracking code is placed on the order confirmation page. However, it needs to be adapted to your website, by filling in the variables that retrieves data related the product ID, transaction ID, its value, etc. For popular solutions such as WooCommerce, plugins with ready-made solutions are available. A web developer will come in handy for custom-built websites.
Enhanced e-commerce collects data not only from the order confirmation page, but also from the shopping funnel steps, i.e. displaying the product, adding to the cart and placing the order. This means more code, because at each of these stages you have to add it, but the variables are usually the same, so it's just a matter of filling in the formula ;) Here also the popular website platforms have their plugins.
This type of conversion also has its own reports reflecting the data sent from the website. You can find them in the left menu > Conversions > E-commerce > [reports to choose from]. Among other things, you can see a list of best-selling products, transactions that bring the highest profit, and see where those customers came from, what location they are from, and even on which days of the week are the highest sales. This information gives us a magical feature called the Secondary Dimension.
While Ecommerce is not set up like goals, Transactions can be imported into your linked Ads account in the same way. Again, only the transactions from your Google ads will be visible in Ads, while all of them you can see in Analytics.
Mark didn't think long.
- Instead of looking in several different reports, I have the most important activities of my potential clients gathered in one place. Okay, where do I have an instruction of implementation?
Documentation from Google recommended:
And if you want me to help you, take the "Google Analytics from scratch" course (registration here) or drop me a message at: email@example.com.
If you have questions or topics that are not covered here, and you are particularly interested in, send me a message, I will be happy to help.