A Beginners Guide to Website Conversions

“One accurate measurement is worth more than a thousand expert opinions.” Admiral Grace Hopper

Tracking website conversions is absolutely fundamental when determining how well your online presence is performing, and what activities have led to those visits/leads/sales.

In this guide, we will detail why tracking website conversions are important and how to setup your tracking goals in Google Analytics.

What is Website Conversion Tracking?

Before we start going into conversion tracking and how to set it up, let’s begin with clarifying what a “website conversion” is. A website conversion is when a user has landed on your website and has fulfilled a goal that you determine to be a sale or lead. This goal could be a user adding a product to the shopping cart, a user filling in a contact form, or a user who has viewed a video.

Whatever you determine is a sale or lead, is the measurement you need to track as a website conversion.

Why Track Website Conversions?

Why not!? The more detailed measurements you have, the more you can understand what methods of online marketing work best, or if you are split testing landing pages, which landing page brings in the higher conversions.

By measuring your website conversions, you will be able to make changes to web design, content and online marketing activity to increase ROI.

Even if you are currently happy with sales, there is always room for improvement and tracking your website conversions will help you to pinpoint where those improvements can be made.

How to Track Website Conversions

You can track your website conversions using Google Analytics which is a free online tool that tracks many things on your website such as where your traffic came from, which web page those users landed on, how many pages those users visited in one session, and more.

Google Analytics can be a bit overwhelming for those who have not seen it before or are still fairly new to it. However the setup for goal tracking is fairly simple so don’t be put off by it… embrace it, it’ll be worth it!

We have detailed below a step-by-step guide with screenshots (click them to enlarge) on how to set up your goal tracking in Google Analytics so you can start making improvements to increase online sales as soon as today!

1.      Logging In

First step is to go to the log in page here and enter your log in details. Your log in details should be the same as your Gmail details if you use it. Once you are logged in you should see a screen like this:

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For data protection, confidential information has been removed.

2.      Visit Admin Page

After you have logged in, click on the Admin tab at the top of the page (as seen in the image below) you will then come across a page that gives you a list of tools you can use to customise your Google Analytics reporting.

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3.      Visit Goals Page

Once you have reached the Admin page, make sure you have the right website, property and view that you are looking to add the track conversions.

You can now select the Goals tab which can be found under the View column.

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4.      Add a New Goal

Once you have reached the Goals page, you will see an empty table (for this purpose; I have added a couple of goals so you can see what this page will look like once you have added your goal tracking).

To continue setting up goal tracking, click on the “+ New Goal” button which can be found at the top of the table.

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5.      URL Destination Goal

You will now see a Goal Setup page that will have different template goal options for you to choose from and an option to create a custom goal. Opt for the custom goal option and click Next Step.

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6.      Goal Description

You will now be taken to the next step which is to add the Goal Description. Enter the name of your goal, e.g. “Contact Form”. Then choose the option “Destination” and click Next Step.

We have chosen Destination so that when a user fills in a contact form and is directed to a thank you page. This thank you page will become the destination goal as we know that somebody has submitted a contact form and thus has become a lead/prospect.

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7.      Enter Destination URL

The next step is to enter the URL of the destination page into the “Destination” field. Do not add the full URL including http://www, don’t even add the domain name. Simply add the page URL, for e.g. “/thank-you.html” – without the quotation marks of course. Once you have done this, you can click “Create Goal”.

If you know how much each lead is worth, then you can add this amount by turning the “Value” button on. This amount will then later show on your reports.

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8.      Job Done

Congratulations, you have now set up conversion tracking for your website! Once you have clicked Create Goal, you will be directed back to the Goals page where you will now see your new Goal added to the table.

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Tracking Website Conversions

I told you setting up Website Conversion Tracking was simple! Now that you can track conversions, you will easily be able to review how well pages are selling, which marketing efforts are leading to higher conversions and so on. You will see a much stronger ROI with this kind of data… if actioned of course.

3 comments

  1. Alton GillettReply

    Google Analytics is not as complex as it looks, once you get used to it then everything falls into place. Website conversion is a vital aspect as it will tell you what the weaknesses of your website are, upon which you can work on to increase your conversion rate and hence more sale. Thanks for an informative article.

    • MattReply

      Totally agree with you Alton. Analytics has gone through lots of changes in the last 2 or so years and I think it puts people off when they see the layout change. But in reality there are some basic pieces of information useful to anyone, and conversions are very much a part of that.

  2. Aimee GriffithsReply

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I’ve always had problems with Google Analytics especially with the changes that the service has been through and the layout changes, it makes people confused. I’m only a beginner and I found the learning curve of Google Analytics is hard and I’m really grateful that people like you are willing to show people how to use the service efficiently.

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