Sat. Oct 1st, 2022
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
~ Tony Robins
“Goals measure how well your site or app fulfills your target objectives. A goal represents a completed activity, called a conversion, that contributes to the success of your business.”

Why You Need Them

Imagine two scenarios with a new Adwords account in which you need to provide a progress report to your boss.  The first doesn’t use goals and conversion data, the second does.

 

Scenario 1: No goals are set up and Adwords is running and being optimized to improve the Click Through Rate (CTR).

You: We’ve optimized our Adwords account to improve the quality of our paid traffic.  We also discovered some issues on our landing pages that were barriers to conversions.  We fixed those and now conversions are up 3%.  Our Adwords traffic is still not converting as well as we like, but the account is new and we see improvements every week.  We’ll continue to identify new keywords and drive more traffic to the site, while continuing to optimize. This is targeting primarily new visitors that would not have otherwise found our site.

 

Boss: We’re starting to see the increase in leads. I was doubtful about adding Adwords to our budget, but it looks like it was a good decision. Keep up the good work.

cenario 2: Goals are set up in Analytics and pulled into Google Adwords.  The keywords and ads are being optimized to improve Conversion rates.

You: We’ve optimized our Adwords account to improve the quality of our paid traffic.  We also discovered some issues on our landing pages that were barriers to conversions.  We fixed those and now conversions are up 3%.  Our Adwords traffic is still not converting as well as we like, but the account is new and we see improvements every week.  We’ll continue to identify new keywords and drive more traffic to the site, while continuing to optimize. This is targeting primarily new visitors that would not have otherwise found our site.

 

Boss: We’re starting to see the increase in leads. I was doubtful about adding Adwords to our budget, but it looks like it was a good decision. Keep up the good work.

The skeptic in you is probably saying “yeah, right”, but if goals aren’t set up on your site then you are operating blindly.

When using Pay Per Click (PPC), remember that Google’s goal differs from yours. Google’s (or any other click-based advertising platform) wants to get more traffic through your ads. More clicks = more advertising spend.

Your goal is to target only those that are REALLY interested in your product and most likely to complete a goal on your site.  You don’t want just a visitor, you want a quality visitor. Even though CTR is an important metric, it is secondary to conversion data.

Do Not Rely on Standard Traffic Data

It’s very difficult to improve traffic on your site without identifying what a successful visit looks like.  Standard data such as time on site, average pages visited, and average time on site doesn’t tell you much without an established goal.

“People spend an average of 1.6 minutes on our site.”

And?  Did they find what they were looking for? Did they do what you wanted them to on the site?

Without a defined purpose there cannot be a defined success.  When goals are established, the data will tell you what is successful and what is not.

Creating Purpose

Every website has a goal or it wouldn’t exist.  The goal of that site should reflect the objectives of the company.  If it doesn’t then there is a huge disconnect and the site should be restructured to reflect the goals and values of the company.

The completion of forms on your site should be a goal.  If there is a question of how important a form is, then perhaps it shouldn’t be there.

For example, your site may have a subscription form, but never sends out newsletters. There’s no value placed on the completion of the subscription form because nothing is ever done with them.  This form is just clutter on your site; remove it.

If your site does ecommerce then a transaction is an obvious goal, typically the most important one.

Lead generation sites want phone calls or request forms filled out.

Informational sites want social media shares, articles read, and subscriptions.

Micro Conversions

Once you have the main purpose of your site identified, don’t forget about the micro conversions. These are small goals that typically lead to the completion of the primary or macro goal.

For example, an ecommerce company may offer free samples. They discovered that for every 4 samples they sent, 1 resulted in a sale. So while the main objective is still the purchase, there is a strong likelihood of a sale if a visitor requests a free sample.  So this becomes a micro conversion. 

If you create only a macro goal, you may eliminate or disregard valuable traffic that would lead to the main objective. This would cause you to make decisions on only a portion of the important data.  So do not forget to identify the secondary goals of your site.

Too Many Conversions

The flip side of only having a macro conversion, is having too many goals identified.

For instance: there are five different types of forms on the site, ecommerce, document opens, video views, social media events, time on site goals, article reads, and number of page visited events.  Before you know it, every single visit is identified as a conversion, while the macro goal becomes stagnant.

Too many goals spreads you too thin and blurs the meaning of what is really a successful visit. If your company has too many goals identified, list them in order of importance, drop the ones with the least importance.

We prefer three to four goals, anything over six starts getting cumbersome.  Google Analytics allows a maximum of 20 goals, though this can be pushed with the use of events if you’re willing to do some manual data collection.

We would prefer too many goals over too few, because you can always disregard or pause goals that turn out to be ineffective or unimportant.

Conversion Data Usage

Even if you don’t anticipate ever running paid advertising, your site should still have goals set up.

Goals can be used to:

  • identify converting organic keywords
  • eliminate targeted keywords that never convert
  • find and fix broken funnels (step by step conversions, such as a cart)
  • eliminate extraneous forms
  • find and fix conversion barriers
  • identify best performing emails and other alternative advertising
  • provide data to support budget changes
  • identify best performing products/area of site
  • provide results for a/b testing

If you don’t have goals set up in your Analytics account, do yourself a favor, make it a priority and get them added. “Once you have website goals, you can start making decisions to help realize them.”

“It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t.”

~ Stephen Kellogg


We have many years of experience and maintain Google certifications to give you piece of mind. We offer several competitively priced service packages, that fit the needs and budgets of most businesses, with custom quotes available for companies that require more. Request an appointment to see how we can help you bring better traffic to your site.

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