The One Mistake You Cannot Afford to Make When Setting Up Google Analytics

Google Analytics Goals Meme - Hackalogy

One of the first steps for creating a winning digital marketing strategy is establishing business objectives and goals. Without goals, you have no way of measuring success and return on investment (ROI) in any of your digital marketing campaigns. It never fails to amaze us every time a prospective client asks us to audit their website, and we find that they are tracking the wrong goals. Easy and basic as it may sound, failing to set GA goals in the first place is quite common.

Meanwhile, to find out why the client’s paid media or SEO campaign is not performing as expected, we start by auditing their tracking setup and work from there.

Incorrect and Irrelevant Goal Data Lead to Wrong Insights and Recommendations

We believe that the value of the analysis and insights we create is highly dependent on the correct and relevant data we get from Google Analytics. For example, if the purchase goal is not set up correctly, it might lead to wrong or misleading insights and recommendations. Making business decisions based on analysis of irrelevant data will cost you a lot of money and missed opportunities.

Here’s an example of a Traffic Source Report by Purchase from Google Analytics Data in 2021:

Google Analytics Acquisition Report Example - Hackalogy

According to the chart above, 96% of total purchases came from direct traffic. Direct traffic is the amount of web traffic received from users who visit your website through a URL, directly from their browser. It is also traffic that cannot be recognised by Google Analytics, i.e. from users in private-browsing mode. Based on the report, we see that 96% of Google Merchant Store’s conversions came from direct traffic. It looks like they don’t need any digital marketing campaign as their brand is so popular, people visit their website directly to purchase products. And in case you’re wondering, we’re sure that the data is correct and verified since the online store was used by Google to serve as a dummy website for their Google Analytics demo account. But to be on the safe side, if you see more than 90% of your conversion coming directly from your own Google Analytics account, think again. We highly recommend verifying and testing your goals before you make crucial business decisions.

Why You Should Gather Insightful and Meaningful Customer Data

Below is a screenshot of an E-commerce Funnel Visualization Report from Google Analytics in 2021. Based on the funnel visualization, 22% of the total website visitors made a purchase from the website in 2021.

Google Analytics Funnel Visualisation - Example

The report above also shows the pages visited by the user before taking action or converting. The red arrow indicates the number of users that dropped off from the journey at any given stage. Meanwhile, the green arrow that points to the bottom of the funnel indicates the number of users who have successfully progressed to the next stage. Since 2005, business owners and decision-makers have been using data gleaned from Google Analytics to gain user experience insights—ultimately, to serve customers better, achieve business goals, and drive successful digital marketing campaigns.

Let’s say you did not set up Google Analytics goals — how does that affect your GA data?

Goals in Google Analytics are not retroactive. Google Analytics will only start recording goals after you finish the goal setup. So, if you forget to set up goals, this will happen:

Google Analytics Setup Goals - Hackalogy

You will not be able to recover the data you have lost, and you would have missed the opportunity to gain insight into a segment of your customer data that could be essential to your remarketing campaign.

Why It’s Important To Set Up Google Analytics Goals Correctly

Setting goals in Google Analytics not only tells you how many traffic sources you have (i.e., the number of purchases). More importantly, it shows what customers are doing to achieve those goals. In addition, your business decisions are only as good as the information you have available. We can’t emphasize this enough: Install Google Analytics if your website doesn’t have it yet.

And after reading this article, how could you NOT want to set up your Google Analytics Goals correctly? Now, if you want to know how to create e-commerce and lead generation campaigns goals, watch out for our next post!