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Marketing

Minimally Viable Google Analytics Conversion Tracking

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Have you heard of Google Analytics? The amazing free tool that lets you know exactly what’s going on with your website traffic? From where your visitors are coming from to what they’re doing on your site to where they’re leaving?

If you have, then you know that Google Analytics can give you a lot of amazing insights into your business.

Google Analytics can tell you where your customers or leads are coming from, but it doesn’t come setup out-of-the-box to do that for you. It requires a little tweaking.

And let’s be honest, if you’re not using Google Analytics to tell you where the leads for your business are actually coming from, what are you using it for?

Minimum Viable Setup

Let’s talk about minimally viable Google Analytics, what that looks like, and how to set that up.

Minimally viable Google Analytics is a Google Analytics setup that’s tracking at least one type of conversion for your business.

Minimally viable Google Analytics is a Google Analytics setup that’s tracking at least one type of conversion for your business.

Let’s take the most common one: customers or clients reaching out to contact you about your services or product.

Where you do your prospects reach out to you from on your site? Most likely your ‘contact’ page. What does that look like? Do you have a phone number listed? an email address? Those things are nice, but they’re harder to track in Google Analytics.

Instead of just listing your email address, let’s make your visitor do something we can track, such as: fill out a simple contact form.

Wait a minute, I hear you saying, "can’t we track the click of an email address on my site in Google Analytics?" The truth is that yes, we can; But we can’t track whether that person actually ended up sending that email; Nor can we track whether they copied and pasted or simply typed the email address into their email client.

We need a guaranteed action we can track. This is where the contact form comes into play. Plus, with a contact form, your visitor doesn’t leave your website.

How Can You Set Up a Contact Form for Your Site?

If you’re on Wordpress, you can do this with a number of contact forms, like Fast Secure Contact Form.

The key to using the contact form correctly with Google Analytics is to make sure that contact form redirects to a “Thanks for your message” page on your site. That’s the “success” page we’re going to track in Google Analytics.

What if you’re not on Wordpress? How can you do this?

One that I recommend often but isn’t completely free is Wufoo. It’s free to sign up, but one of the crucial elements to make this work (redirect after form submission) is a paid feature.

Sidenote: do you have a favorite free form creator that lets you add a redirect after form submission for free? If so, Let me know in the comments!

Step 1

First, let's sign up for an account. You can sign up for free via this form at WuFoo.

1-wufoo-account

Step 2

After you’ve created your account, you’re ready to start building your first form. Simply click the +New Form button on the next screen (your Form Manager screen).

Step 3

Let’s build your first form!

We don’t have to reinvent the wheel here - click on the Wufoo Form Gallery, which is the blue link to get started with a Wufoo Template. Now choose the Contact Form template (#2):

Simply hit the green Customize button to get started.

Step 4

The first edit we need to make is to require the visitor to enter their email address (how else will we be able to reply to their message?) Click on the Email Address field on the right to see the options for that field.

Check the Required box in the blue options box on the left.

Step 5

Under Form Settings, select Redirect to Website.

Warning: this is a paid feature of Wufoo. You don’t need to use Wufoo for this piece if you have a tech person on staff to create forms and redirect for you, or if you know how to do this yourself. (Remember in Wordpress, you can use a plugin like Fast Secure Contact Form).

Step 6

The pre-step here is creating a new page on your site that simply says “Thanks for your message!” and maybe explains how long it might be until they hear a response or what they should do now that they’ve contacted you (join your newsletter or like you on Facebook).

Once you have that thank you page set up, add it in as the Redirect to Website option in Wufoo (or in whichever contact form you decide to use).

Step 7

Once you have your form and redirect page set, head back to the Form Manager and click on Notifications for your form (the yellow envelope):

And enter your email address to be emailed about any form submissions:

And hit save.

Step 8

Now head back to your Form Manager and hit the Code button to grab the code for your form:

Select Embed Form Code to grab the code you need to add to your contact form page.

Once this is added to your site, consider removing your phone number or email address from your contact page (or moving them to below the form, and smaller - we’re trying to encourage use of the contact form when possible, but not discourage inquiries from real leads who might prefer to call you).

At this point, we can move to setting up conversion tracking for this form with Google Analytics.

How to Set Up Conversion Tracking for Your Contact Form

If you’ve followed along so far, you have two things in place on your site:

  1. Contact Form page
  2. Thanks For Contacting Us page

Now, we have to tell Google Analytics to track the form submission.

Step 1

If you don’t already have it installed on your site, do that first. (Need help? Check out my all-inclusive post on installing Google Analytics on any and every platform.)

Step 2

Sign in to your account and head to the Admin panel.

To track contact form submissions, we need to add the contact form as a Goal in Google Analytics.

Step 3

Once in the Admin Panel, select your Account, Property and Profile that you want to add this goal to. Now head to the Goals tab.

Step 4

Hit +New Goal to arrive at this screen:

Give your goal an appropriate name like “Contact Form Submission” and select URL Destination as your Goal Type.

Under Goal URL, enter the URL of the Thanks for Contacting Us page you created - except delete everything before the first /. (As Google Analytics explains, for the goal page http://www.mysite.com/thankyou.html enter /thankyou.html for the goal page).

Skip down to Goal Funnel and check the box that says Use funnel.

Under Step 1, enter the URL of your actual contact form page (again only keep the last bit of the URL). Give it an appropriate name like Contact Us Page and select Required step.

Take note: do not enter this page as a step if you have multiple instances of your contact form on your site (your footer, another sales page, etc.) - this will only work if it’s the only instance of your form on your site. If you have more than one instance, do not check the Use funnel checkbox.

Hit the blue Save button.

Testing Your Contact Form Goal Setup

Step 1

Once you’ve saved your goal in Google Analytics, ask a friend to fill out your contact form as a test. After you receive the form submission, wait 24 hours and log into Google Analytics.

Step 2

Head to your Reporting panel.

Step 3

And to your Conversions report > Goals > Overview:

Step 4

Make sure the timeframe in the upper right includes the date your friend filled out your form.

Do you see a flat line or do you see Google Analytics counting your form submission? Flat line? Double-check your contact form URL is in your goal setup. Also, make sure your friend wasn’t blocking cookies or visiting your site incognito when they filled out your form.

Do you see a conversion counted? It’ll look something like this:

Then you’ve got success!

Step 5

What to do about it? Start to monitor where your leads are coming from. In that same screen, you can scroll down to see the source of your form submissions. Here’s what mine looks like:

Do the traffic sources that are converting for you match up with where you’re spending your time? Yes? Good work! No, not exactly? Start cutting the fat in your marketing -- do more of what’s actually working and less of what’s not producing any results.

Easy-peasy, minimally viable Google Analytics. Now get to it!

Over to You

Have you ever setup a goal in Google Analytics? How do you track the sources of your leads and customers? Did you find this post useful? Let me know in the comments!

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