Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | Analytics, SEM, SEO, Video | February 3, 2016

How to Test Goals & Conversions in Google Analytics

Hello Fellow Advertisers! Welcome to another episode of my video blog series. Today I will be showing you how to test goals and conversions in Google Analytics. Enjoy!

Full Transcript:

Hello, everybody and welcome to another episode of my video blog series. I am your host, Nick Rennard. Today, we are going to be going over how to test goals and conversions in Google Analytics. Let’s get started. All right. For our tracking overview, the title of this is How to Track Goals and Conversions in Analytics. It’s a little misleading because goals and conversions are pretty much the same thing. In Google AdWords, they call them conversions. You can see the first point here, but in Analytics, they have something called Goal Completions which is essentially the same thing, but they call them Goal Completions. Those two words can be used interchangeably, but yeah, we’ll refer to them as either one depending on what platform we’re talking about.

Now, with regards to the tracking code in terms of tracking on either AdWords or Analytics, you can actually track through either one of the platforms. The difference is … Well, I guess I’ll go over the similarities. The similarity between tracking on either platform is it’s pretty much the exact same process. There is a snippet of code that tracks the conversions that you’re wanting to track whether it’s a form submission or a call or a quote form submission. I guess it’s the same thing as a form submission. There’s a snippet of code you insert on your site on the page that has the conversion. Once that code is in place, then it will start tracking and import in those goals into either AdWords or Analytics, whichever platform you use. Now, the AdWords Tracking is it’s a little bit simpler. Again, you’re just going to have to put the code on the site.

The reason that it’s simpler is that you’re only using one platform which is AdWords. If you use Analytics, Analytics is actually an advertising platform, so if you do your tracking through Analytics, then you can import goals over to AdWords, but you’re going to have to be bouncing back and forth between AdWords and Analytics, so you will have to know how to use both of those platforms. If you just do it through Google AdWords, you get the advantage of not ever needing to learn how to use Google Analytics, but I highly recommend that you … You’ll see in the note here, it says that Analytics is much preferred which is very, very true. Any kind of tracking, any kind of remarketing code, anything, I always do it through Analytics. I already know how to use both platform, so I have that benefit that I don’t have to worry about having to learn a new platform, but yeah, Analytics is just, it’s significantly more granular. We can be … I hate to use the word granular again, but we can be significantly more granular with the types of list that we create for remarketing or anything like that. Analytics is just a better platform when you’re talking about analyzing your users, and just digging up information about your accounts. AdWords is kind of the vanilla 101 version of Analytics. Anyways, that’s the difference between the two.

In Analytics, the way that we track our conversions is by using UTM codes. People who have even used Google Analytics before may not really have … Well, I guess if you’re an experienced user, you definitely should have used them by now, but a lot of the UTM codes are automatically imported from AdWords already. There’s a setting that defaults to import that data for you so that you don’t have to actually manually input it. However, there’s a lot of other things that you’ll want to manually import your UTM codes in order to know where your traffic is coming from. If you’re using something like Bing or Amazon or another platform or even if you’re using Google and you just don’t have that default setting there or you want to track your campaign separately as supposed to all coming in it’s just from AdWords, then you’ll have to use UTM codes. There’s a handful of different types of UTM codes that we use. The first two main ones are right here, source and medium. Source is the platform that you’re coming from. That’s going to be Google, Bing, Amazon, eBay, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Then the medium is going to be … it’s going to differentiate whether it’s coming from organic traffic, whether it’s paid traffic, whether it’s somebody just typing in the website directly. We call that direct traffic. There’s quite a few different mediums that people can come from. Then there’s a handful of other ones that we can use to track the type of traffic that is coming from those advertising campaigns. For example, you see the one here that says term. We could track the keyword that triggered that traffic. We can get that on what keyword are performing well. There’s one for we can track content. If we want to track the different assets or websites that we’re sending people to or … Then the last one here, campaign is similar to content. We can track the campaign that it’s coming from. There’s a lot of different things that we can … I mean, if you want to do a little … This is just a 101 overview on UTM codes. If you want to learn more about it, I suggest looking it up, and learning how that stuff is … how it’s implemented and how it works. Let’s go ahead and move. Actually, in the picture here, you can see the source medium. You can see in this account here it says, direct slash none. Direct means that they’re directly typing in the website. Here the second one is Google CPC. This means that they came from Google, and that it was a paid click. If for example on the third one, the difference between these two is the number two here is someone that paid for the traffic or you paid for that traffic, and then organic is you didn’t pay for that traffic. Anyways, let’s move on here. UTM codes, what do they look like? UTM actually stands for Urchin Tracking Module which I’m surprised how few people know that. It’s like when you ask people if they know what SUV means even though they own an SUV, they don’t know what it means. It’s the same thing for UTMs. People just refer to them as UTMs, but it’s a format that’s used specifically by Google to track your unique URLs. There are other types of tracking that you can use. A lot of other platforms are going to use things that are different than UTMs, but in the concept or in theory, everything is the same. It’s just tracking where your traffic is coming from. You can see a good example of what a UTM code looks like in the middle of the screen here. It says Then you can see that there’s these little question and ampersand signs, UTM source equals Google, UTM medium equals CPC, UTM term equals keyword, UTM content equals dental, UTM campaign equals IND which stands for Industry short tail. You could see that we’re tracking that is coming from Google. It’s a paid click. It’s tracking the keywords, so whatever keyword they trigger to get here, it will autofill with that. The content is dental, so must be sending them to some dental asset. Then industry short tail is just the name of the campaign in AdWords. That’s what it looks like. If you ever pay or if you ever click on a paid ad, and you get to the landing page, and you see all these mambo jumbo jargon at the end of the URL, those are tracking parameters. It may not be UTM, it may be something different than UTM codes, but it’s the same thing where it’s just tracking where your click is coming from and populating. That’s there whether it’s Analytics or whatever platform they’re using to track their traffic. All right. You see the example here. The UTM source equals Google, UTM medium equals CPC, how it’s tracking that, and then you could see this picture from the previous slide. All of these data when someone clicks on an ad and gets to this website with these UTM codes, then it populates that or I guess it segments that within Analytics so that you can break it up to see how much traffic is coming from Google, how much traffic is coming from Bing, how much of that traffic is paid, how much of that traffic is organic, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. All right. The original name of … I tended it there just explaining a little bit about UTM codes, but the original name of this blog or vogue was called How to Test Goals and Conversions in Analytics. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. What we’re going to do is we’re going to use the UTM codes to test a conversion that you want to track on your website. If you have a website, I’m going to use an example here for a dog training website that I just made up. For those of you who don’t know, I used to do dog training as my career, so I use a lot of dog training examples. We’re going to pretend like we have a website where we have a contact request form for a dog training. This is really typical. You’ll see this on sites of people saying, “Call us today,” or “We’ll send you a free quote if you give us your information,” or something like that. This is a similar type of thing where you enter your name, your phone number, your e-mail, and you click a button, and we track that as a conversion. The way that Google differentiates, because let’s say you get 30 conversions in a month, the way that Google differentiates where those conversions came from is through the UTM codes. What we’re going to do is we’re going to manually replace all of the UTM codes with a test code, and it’s going to populate in Analytics with how … You’re essentially going to run a fake test conversion to see if it works. I’ll show you how that works in a second here. We’ll move on here. Normally, your URL would have the UTM source equals Google, UTM medium equals CPC, blah, blah, blah. These parameters, they tell Analytics where the traffic is coming from, but to run a test conversion to know whether or not that conversion tracking is working, we’re going to change those parameters to … It really doesn’t matter what you change it to, but in this example, you can see here how I changed the URL from UTM source Google and UTM medium equals CPC, and I changed it to UTM source equals Nick, and UTM medium equals test conversion. What we’re doing is we’re changing the source to Nick or test or whatever you want to use for your test. Then you change the medium to test or something else as well. What that’s going to do is it’s going to bring up the same contact request form whether you type in this URL or this URL here. It doesn’t matter, but when you submit the form, Analytics is going to differentiate those two form submissions as one being from Google Paid, the first one is going to be from Google Paid, and the second one is going to be from Nick test conversion. Sounds weird, but that is exactly how Analytics is going to import it, and I’ll show you that here on the next couple of slides. You’ll need to submit a form. On your website, wherever your contact form submission is, go ahead and fill in the UTM codes with the … replace Google and CPC with your test ones or replace it with test and test conversion. Then in Analytics, after you’ve submitted that, go ahead and fill out the form and click the Learn More button on your form. In Analytics, if you go to acquisition all traffic and source medium which is where we view where the source and mediums from our traffic are coming from, then it’s going to come up under that section. You’re going to have to do a couple of other things here. You’re going to have to type in the name of your test parameters. I’m going to go ahead and skip ahead a slide because there’s an example of what it looks like. On the screen in Analytics, you can see under source medium if you use Nick for your source, then all you do is type Nick into the search, and all of the traffic that came from that source is going to filter out. It’s going to get rid of all of the other clicks on the website besides the ones that have Nick because that’s what you’re searching for. Make sure when you do that that you’re displaying the proper conversion. If you’re doing a test conversion on a quote form, make sure that under the conversion drop-down box that you … I can’t tell you how many times that somebody is confused in Analytics about why something isn’t showing up, that they just … Number one would be the date range. They’re always looking at a wrong date range or the goal that they have selected is the wrong goal. Make sure you’re selected on the right goal and the right date range. The last note says, allow up to 24 hours for these conversions to register. The reason that is is just because sometimes Google has a bit of a lag time when importing that data into Analytics. If you give it 24 … If you don’t see it right away, just wait a day, check it tomorrow, and it will be there. This example here is a set of conversions that I ran for one of our clients that we are testing to see if all of their forms were working. What I did is I typed in the URL for the form that we want to track, and then I changed the source to Nick, and I changed the medium to whatever. I actually changed it to the name of the campaign that we’re testing it from. You can really fill in medium with whatever you want. In this case, I used it to separate them so that way I could see which … What I wanted to do in this particular example is I wanted to see if any of these goal completions came up zero as not meaning, it didn’t actually go through or didn’t actually register. Then I would be able to trace backwards to see, let’s say number eight here came up with a zero, then I would know that the remarketing campaign here, it says test remarketing in here, I would know that that was the culprit for the one that wasn’t working with the conversion tracking. It’s a weird way of tracking or testing your conversion tracking, but you can see how by altering the UTM parameters and then doing the form submission with the altered UTM parameters, we can essentially run a fake conversion and import where that conversion came from in Analytics by going through this process. That’s pretty much all I have. It is a complicated process. If you have any questions about it, feel free to go ahead and post in the comments section. Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for next week’s episode, and I’ll talk to you guys then. Thanks.

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