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Has your website been created with ‘interactions’ in mind, and to be more than just an online brochure to deliver information? Websites present opportunities for your business to grow, with the opportunity to gain quantitative data as well as insights into customer experiences (CX) and consumer behaviour flow through your business. Without goal tracking however, any understanding around ‘engagement’ just isn’t possible.

Insight is key, and without it; you may be receiving orders or queries from customers that you just can’t be quantified. If these goal completions are missing, and you don’t understand how your website is performing this can really negatively impact costs and performance moving forward.

It’s quite easy to wave a finger at the overall look and feel of your website as the sticking point to conversion rates, or to make quick decisions to invest money on adjusting the look and feel of a website. This may also include switching up, adding or removing some of your website content. Quite often though, any rash changes that lack any form of hypothesis or evidence based analysis can in fact prove more detrimental to your business performance, and more costly through the endless iterations being made in an attempt to overcome issues. This is far from ideal and not the best way to optimise your time or business performance.

Throughout this article, we will aim to support your business in understanding the necessity around recording key interactions made and goals achieved through your website. This won’t only support your wider business intelligence, but support your bottom line moving forward.

Users of your website can complete a number of actions across your website during any one session, however, you often won’t see this level of engagement unless you implement more enhanced recordings of user behaviour. The most popular solution to understanding how users behave through your website is Google Analytics (GA), which simply tracks visits to your website as well as what we like to call, soft metrics such as bounce rate, visit duration and pages visited. From Google Analytics, we start to gain an understanding around the top-level engagement with your business website, but this as a basic (expected) step to setup GA on your website really just isn’t enough, as it won’t provide you with actionable insights or enough business intelligence to justify changes to your business website.

What is website goal tracking and what importance does it hold?

Beyond the setup of Google Analytics on your website, goal tracking is the next ‘critical’ element to implement.

Goals are key interactions made across your website which need to be recorded. What do you define as a key goal through your website? For many businesses, it may just be the completion of a contact form, perhaps a recording of the number of visitors hitting a click to call, click to email or ‘subscribe to newsletter’. If you have an e-commerce store (online shop), your goals will no doubt be heavily attributed to the checkout/basket area of your website. These goals will support your understanding of the conversion funnel and in the identification of any potential pitfalls to conversion rate.

Each one of these above can be tracked as ‘goals’ through Google Analytics.


Why should you set up goal tracking?


How do you implement goal tracking?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is lesser-known than Google Analytics (GA), but as critical to incorporate on your website. From our experience, many businesses just don’t have this in place by default beyond the launch of their website. From experience, we will always advocate for your business to incorporate GTM on your website. By setting up goals through GTM, you will start to see goal data appear (actions achieved through your website) through GA.

GTM is straightforward to set up. You can create a free GTM account, and send the link across to your website developer to implement within the website code to get this setup. The beauty of GTM is that as soon as this script (code) has been applied to your website, there should be no further requirement from the web developer to set up goals moving forward. As soon as the GTM script has been embedded on your website by the developer, you and your marketing team have control.


Why is GTM such an important platform?


Google Tag Manager has been set up, what’s next?

Your business needs to determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) and calls to action (CTAs) across your website that achieve these KPIs. It may be a button to submit a contact form, perhaps a click to add to the basket or ‘checkout’. These CTAs (goals) can all be set up through GTM. Below illustrates a simple setup for a ‘click to email’ goal recording.

Example of a tag setup for ‘click to email’ interactions across a website

Click to email (setup through GTM) now visible in GA

As evident from the screenshots above, the number of ‘click to email’ completions is visible. The particular example shown highlights a poor conversion rate through Google Analytics of 0.27%. This data leads us to believe that it’s worth reviewing the ‘value’ of this goal.

If your Business isn’t tracking and reporting on website performance should you be concerned?

So, you have invested money in your business website in the hope that you get discovered online and customers contact you more often. Hope isn’t a tangible metric, and you require actual data to inform you of the following:

Data generated from goal tracking can help you to establish more informed reports and help you to answer the questions above. Such data won’t only help you in the present, but also in identifying how you need to progress your business website to the next step and what need there may be to invest further in improving performance.

If you require support with improving your online business performance and reporting on your website’s performance, please contact our team.

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