Over the past few weeks, I’ve posted a few blogs about how to use Google Analytics for your SEO campaigns. Today, we will cover the final part of the series: setting up a new profiles in Google Analytics, blocking specific IPs, and setting up conversion goals. Each of these items is highly beneficial for their own reasons, enhancing the data you are collecting on your website and helping to organize it in a way that makes it more valuable to you than what you get by default. This setup takes little time up front and pays major dividends down the road with little ongoing management (just updating goals here and there). Before we jump into the setup, let’s first establish our reasoning for spending the time to set this stuff up.
Setting up a separate profile (or view) in Google Analytics?
This gives you a separate place where you can try things out, exclude specific IPs, add conversions, etc. without affecting your original view. You can also invite another Google user to view a specific profile without giving them access to the entire account. This could be helpful when collaborating on a campaign with a 3rd party when you want to give them access, but not too much access. It also allows you to limit the access of accounts that would otherwise have full administrative access. There’s also more advanced stuff like Content and Channel Grouping, but we’ll get into that some other time. For now, I think we can agree that setting up a separate profile view is worth your while.
Blocking specific IPs?
Consider this scenario: You have an office where someone is posting blogs on your website. This person is very interested in how their blog posts are performing and they are constantly clicking around and refreshing to see how many social shares they have achieved. Now you log into Google Analytics and notice that your blogs are getting considerably more traffic than you are accustomed to seeing. After drilling down, you are able to deduce that the traffic was from your office, but you did waste a decent amount of time figuring that out. Filtering out your office’s IP address would have negated this before it even happened. It is also much easier to do it this way than to manually take into account the extra visits when viewing specific dimensions, such as organic search traffic or specific demographic information.
Setting up conversion goals?
Let’s look at another scenario. You have a contact form on your website. You also have a way for visitors to subscribe to your marketing emails and forms for patients to download, print and fill out before they come into the office. How can you keep track of all of these conversions? You could check your individual contact form-generated emails, then head over and check your marketing email list to see how many new names have popped up, then take a deep dive into your server logs to see how many patient forms have been downloaded. Or you could set up conversion goals and monitor all 3 of these seemingly unrelated actions within Google Analytics.
Now let’s get into the actual setup.
Setting up a new Google Analytics view
Start by logging in to Google Analytics. Click the Admin tab at the top of the page. Here, make sure that you have the correct Account and Property selected, then on the View drop down, select “Create new view.”
The next page is fairly simple (no screenshot required). Make sure “Website” is selected for “What data should this view track?” Add a name for your view under “Reporting View Name” and make sure you have the right time zone selected in the drop down. Click the “Create View” button at the bottom and voilà! A new view has been created.
Filtering IPs in your Google Analytics view
We should now be back at the Admin tab screen where we started. Make sure you have the correct Account, Property, and View selected, then click on “Filters” underneath the View section. Click on the “+ New Filter” button at the top of the screen. NOTE: You should NEVER do this with your default view. You will lose traffic data that you can never get back. Always create a separate profile which you are filtering traffic from. You should see something like this on your screen:
For Filter Name, just choose something that makes sense, like “The Office.” The Predefined filters are good for our purposes, so leave that selected. Make sure the first drop down reads “Exclude.” The second one you will need to change to “traffic from the IP addresses,” then the final one should remain “that are equal to.” Input the correct IP address into the IP address field, then click the “Save” button. If you’re not sure what your IP address is, assuming that you are at the office, head over to Google and search “what is my ip address” (or click here). If you aren’t at the office, either have someone at the office do it, or just wait until the next time you are there to set this up.
You should set these up for each location that you have people consistently working on your website. Getting the IP address can be a little tricky but it is worth it.
Setting up Conversions
There are 4 different types of goals you can set up:
- URL Destination – This goal is triggered every time someone lands on a specific URL. It is useful for example if someone signs up for your newsletter and then lands on a “Thank You” page. If you add the URL of the Thank You page as a goal, you will know whenever someone has signed up for the newsletter.
- Visit Duration – As you may have guessed from the name, this goal is triggered whenever someone spends a certain amount of time on your site. At a very basic level, the longer someone stays on your site, the better. However, I could leave my browser open after navigating to your site then walk away from my computer and it would still trigger this goal. That is not to say that this goal is completely useless, but it must be used creatively to benefit from it.
- Pages/Visit – This goal is based on the number of pages a visitor views in a session on your website. Traffic that has viewed more pages would logically be more valuable than traffic that is just hitting the homepage.
- Events – These goals are a little more specialized. They are triggered by actions like playing a video or downloading something from the site. Suffice it to say that you will probably need a qualified web developer to get one of these set up.
The most important goal to go over is the URL Destination Goal. Visit Duration and Pages/Visit goals should be easy to figure out if you can handle the URL Destination setup. As I said before, Event goals are a little outside the scope of todays discussion as they will require a developer to set up an Event before you have anything to track.
Let’s go ahead and set up a URL Destination Goal that tells us when a contact form has been submitted. First, you will need to create a specific page on your site where a user will be redirected after they have submitted the form. This page can’t be any old page on your site. If people can navigate to it without submitting a contact form, your numbers will be skewed. Second, you will to add a little bit of code to your contact form. We use Contact Form 7 on our website and highly recommend it. It has an “Additional Settings” field at the bottom of your contact form. If you add the following code to it, it will redirect people who have submitted it to the thank you page.
Other contact forms, if used from plugins or modules, will often have other ways to redirect and need to be handled on a case by case basis.
Back to Analytics. In our main Admin tab, underneath View, select “Goals,” then click the “+ New Goal” button at the top of the screen.
Select the Destination Type and fill out an appropriate Name, then click Next Step.
Input the destination URL in the Destination field. This page also gives you the option to apply a monetary value to your goal and/or apply a Funnel level if you have a sales funnel set up already. You can also click Verify this Goal at the bottom to see if the Goal is set up properly. Once you are ready, click Create Goal. Now you should have a fully functioning Destination Goal set up.
With profiles created, irrelevant traffic filtered out, and goals set, you should now be able to more effectively track the ROI of the traffic to your website. I realize that we got a little complicated there towards the end. If there’s anything that I can clear up, feel free to reach out and I’d be happy to talk you through it.