Want to track your conversions using Google Analytics, but not sure where to start? Google Analytics can be intimidating if you are new to it, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need to get started are the basics. In this post, we’ll share how to track your conversions in Google Analytics, step-by-step.
“Analytics.” That can be a scary sounding word. Many people assume that analytics are only something that technology gurus with multiple degrees can interpret. However, we’re here to tell you that analyzing your website data doesn’t have to be scary or confusing.
In fact, thanks to some free and premium tools (such as Google Analytics + MonsterInsights or OptinMonster), gaining relevant insights into what’s working and what’s not is actually quite effortless.
In just a few simple steps, you can set up your Google Analytics account and create conversion goals so that you can track your email list signups and understand what’s driving your success, or holding you back.
Let’s dig in!
Setting Up Your Google Analytics Account
Let’s begin with your Google Analytics account. If you don’t have an account, then this is the first place to start. If you already have an account, just skip over the first two steps below and start at Step 3.
Here are some simple steps to follow to get up and running with Google Analytics…
Step 1: Create a Google Account
In order to use Google Analytics, you need to have a Google account. If you already have a primary Google account such as Gmail, YouTube, or Google Drive, then you’ll want to set up your Google Analytics account under the same name. Otherwise, you’ll need to create a new one.
Step 2: Sign Up for Google Analytics
Once you have a Google account, you’ll need to sign up for Google Analytics.
Click the “Sign In” link in the upper righthand corner and you’ll see a drop down menu. Select “Google Analytics”. Then you can click on the “Sign Up” button.
On the next page, select “Website” and fill in your details, including Account Name, Website Name, URL, Industry and your Time Zone.
Check the boxes next to all the recommended options, and then hit the blue “Get Tracking ID” button.
You will then be asked to accept the Terms of Service.
After you hit the “I Accept” button, you will be brought into your Google Analytics account.
Step 3. Start Tracking Your Website
Inside your new Google Analytics account, you will see your Tracking ID and your Universal Analytics tracking code. There are several different methods of setting up your website with Google Analytics, some of which use one of these codes.
If you don’t have a WordPress site, you can copy and paste the Website tracking code into every webpage that you want to track. If you are unsure of how to do this, you may want to have your web developer do this step for you.
However, if you have a WordPress site, there is a much easier way to do it yourself. Simply install the Google Analytics by MonsterInsights plugin and activate it.
Next, navigate to the Insights tab in your admin menu and select Settings.
Then click on the “Authenticate with your Google account” button, and you’ll see a dialog box pop up that looks like this:
Click on the blue “Allow” button. Then, you’ll be given a code. Copy that code to your clipboard and close out the dialog box.
Then, paste the code in the other dialog box inside your WordPress admin that says “Paste your Google code here”.
Hit the “Save authentication code” button and you’re all done!
How to Set Up Conversion Goals
Now that you’ve successfully installed Google Analytics on your website, you may be feeling a little (or a lot!) overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of it. Well, you are in good company. That’s why so many people insert a tracking code onto their websites and then call it quits.
Why is Google Analytics so complex? Well, it’s pretty powerful stuff.
“The problem is that an ‘out of the box’ Google Analytics implementation will only get you so far,” SEO expert Glenn Gabe explains. “Sure, you’ll get the basics, but that won’t necessarily help you glean insights that can boost ROI.”
So the bottom line is, you’re going to have to do a bit of your own setup. However, once you do, you will be able to gather some golden insights.
While there are plenty of aspects of Google Analytics that you don’t need to learn or master at this point, you absolutely must familiarize yourself with conversion goals.
You can do a variety of things with conversion goals, but because so many of you have asked us about how to track email optins–and because list building is so crucial to the success of any business online–we are going to focus on tracking email list signups.
Don’t worry– it’s actually pretty simple once you know how to do it. Let’s take a look…
Step 1: Create a New Goal
First, select the Admin tab at the top of the page. This will take you to a page with three columns: Account, Property and View.
Under the View column, you’ll see the heading Goals (third down from the top). Go ahead and click on this last heading.
Once you’re on the Goals page, click the red “+ New Goal” button.
Step 2: Choose Goal Setup
Next, under “Goal setup”, select the “Custom” radio button at the very bottom of all the options and click “Continue”.
Step 3: Enter Goal Description
You’ll be prompted to create a name for your goal and choose the type. Enter any name that will help you to remember the conversion you are tracking, and select “Destination” as the type. Then hit the “Continue” button.
Step 4: Enter Goal Details
Next, you’ll need to enter the URL for your thank you page: this is the page that a new subscriber sees just after they optin. Type it into the Destination field.
Optionally, you can also toggle “Value” on to enter a monetary value to the conversion. Do this if you know how much each email lead is worth to you. (For instance, if you know that the average lifetime value of a customer is $1,000, and your average customer acquisition rate is 1%, then each lead would be worth $10.)
The “Funnel” option is usually more useful if you are tracking a conversion that happens further down your funnel (such as a sale), so we are going to skip that for now.
Then, hit “Save”.
Step 5: Start Recording
As soon as a goal is created, Google Analytics will begin recording data. Now all you have to do is wait.
(You can always pause a goal by changing the recording status to “off.”)
Step 6: View Your Data
Because you’ve only just started tracking your website, there won’t be any data to show. However, you can view your data by going to Acquisition » Overview and selecting your new goal under the “Conversion” dropdown menu.
This will allow you to see your “top channels” which are your top sources of traffic. You will also be able to see a graph of your “sessions”, which is how many times someone has visited your site (each session can include multiple page views).
What you’ll want to look at is your conversion rate in the third section of columns on the right-hand side:
This will allow you to see which channels are giving you the highest conversion rates. And, if you’ve specified a monetary value to your leads, you will be able to see that total number in the rightmost column.
You can use all of this information to determine which channels you should focus your attention on.
You can also change the dates in the upper right-hand corner to view the specific window of time that you are interested in.
The only downside to conversion goals is that, if you have multiple optin forms, you’ll have to create a separate conversion goal to track each one. You’ll also have to make sure that each optin has its own separate thank you page, otherwise you won’t be able to differentiate your conversion goals.
However, if you have OptinMonster, there is a much easier way to use Google Analytics to track conversion rates on each of your individual optin forms. (More on that in the next section.)
Using Google Analytics + OptinMonster
If you are using OptinMonster, tracking conversions on your optins is even easier. You don’t have to create any conversion goals inside Google Analytics, and you don’t even have to use a thank you page if you don’t want to.
To start using OptinMonster and Google Analytics together, go to the Analytics tab from your edit screen in OptinMonster:
In the dropdown menu under “Google Analytics Account”, select “Add new account.” Then, click on the “Generate Authentication Code” button.
A new browser tab will open up to ask you if you will allow OptinMonster to view your Google Analytics data. Click the blue “Allow” button.
Next, it will give you a code. Copy this code, and then go back to the browser tab with your OptinMonster edit screen.
Paste the code into the Authorization Token field. Then, give your Google Analytics account a name in the Account Label (just pick a name that will help you remember which account you are connecting to). Hit the blue “Authenticate with Google Analytics” button.
If you are tracking more than one website within your Google Analytics account, you’ll want to select the website you are currently using under the Website Profile dropdown menu.
Now you will be able to collect data from Google Analytics and view your conversion rate right from within your OptinMonster account by clicking on the analytics icon next to your optin form:
After acquiring a bit of data, you will be able to view a report for each of your optin forms that looks something like this:
That’s it! We hope this article has helped you to learn how to use Google Analytics to track your conversions.
Google Analytics can seem intimidating at first due to all the options available, but it’s actually quite simple once you know what data to focus on.
Creating conversion goals allows you to view the data that’s really important: your email list conversion rates. Or, you can simply integrate OptinMonster with your Google Analytics account in a few clicks and start gathering conversion data on each of your optin forms right away.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out 7 Steps to Optimize Your Facebook Ads for Conversions.