As the weather has turned from summer to fall I’ve watched the trees in my back yard slowly shed their leaves, which means that I need to rake up said leaves. Given that the weather has been cold and wet I wasn’t excited about the prospect, but it has to be done so that my lawn can look green & lush come spring next year.
I’ve also been helping a client audit their Google Analytics setup and we’ve been looking at two main areas: Goals & Funnels. Both areas have been worked on over the years, leading to 8 goals on one property and numerous broken funnels across properties. So, it was time to rake up some leaves!
Goals are the foundation of your Google Analytics. In my opinion they’re just as important as making sure the code is placed correctly because even if the code is in place you won’t know if people are taking the desired steps if you haven’t set up your goals to measure it. So first, you’ll need to navigate to the Admin section, select your account, profile and view, and then click Goals. Here is a visual:
Once there you’ll see a full list of all goals created in that view. There could be none. There could be a lot. The site I was working on had 8 goals set up. That seemed like a lot given what I knew about the website and the business, but the more telling information was that while all 8 goals were “On” there was only one goal that had registered conversions in the past 7 days. Check it out:
If you couldn’t guess, this was a problem. Further digging showed that we only needed Goal 1, which was working and all the other goals were superfluous. This is a great place to start your cleanup. Turn off goals that aren’t working. You may find 2 goals tracking the same thing. De-dupe them. The objective is to correctly track all goals that are valuable to your business. No more. No less.
Funnels are an extension of your goals. With a goal you determine what constitutes success by defining the last step. A funnel is set up to track all the preceding steps that culminate in that final step. A funnel can have one step or lots of steps. The site I was working with was an ecommerce site so they start at a product page, add products to the cart and then complete checkout. Here is what it looks like after you click on the name of the goal in the previous screen and then the “Edit” link for Goal Details:
The first step is to enable the Funnel tracking. You need to toggle that option to “On” like you see above. Then you’re given the ability to add as many steps as you want to the funnel. Since this site is running on Shopify, these are the standard funnels steps for a Shopify store. To make sure you’ve done it correctly Google Analytics has this little link below your last step that will say “Verify” or “Re-verify”. This will check the current settings before you save them and tell you what it would have returned. This is extremely helpful when you’re setting up funnels to ensure you’re tracking correctly. Once you see that you’re tracking correctly, hit Save and we’re all set up.
Cleaned Up & Ready For Spring
Fortunately you don’t have to wait all winter to see the fruits of your Google Analytics cleanup. Your data going forward will be able to grow and flourish like a lawn in springtime.