Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking traffic and pageviews on your law firm’s website. What many don’t realize, though, is that with some configuration, Google Analytics can be set up to track and measure your firm’s actual marketing goals.
By setting and tracking goals, you’ll be able to go beyond the general (and potentially misleading) statistics based on site and page visits to examine more detailed information that can give you true insights into your firm’s digital marketing results. With goal tracking in place, you’ll be able to see metrics such as:
- Lead conversions
- Email subscriptions
- Whitepaper downloads
- E-book downloads
- Consultation requests
In short, the goal tracking features of Google Analytics allow you track actions, and even chains of events, that can give you deep insights into how well your law firm’s marketing tactics are really working.
Setting Up Google Analytics Goals
Getting started with goals is easy:
- Log in to your Google Analytics account
- Click on the “Admin” button on the bottom left
- Click on “Goals” under the “View” section on the far right
At this point you should be presented with a brief explanation of goals, goal types, and creating goals, with a red button on the bottom of the screen, marked “+ New Goal,” to create a new goal.
Google Analytics Goal Types
Analytics allows you to set up four different types of goals to track various user actions: destination goals, duration goals, page per session goals, and event based goals.
A destination goal is triggered when a user reaches a certain page on your law firm’s website. This can be useful to track visitors to a specific landing page, or to gauge how many visitors move from an initial landing page onto a second page.
There are three basic values that will need to be filled in for a destination goal:
Destination URL – This will be the URL that triggers the goal. You have the option of setting URL matching to “Equals to,” “Begins with” and “Regular Expression.”
“Equals to” will require an exact match of the complete URL in order to trigger.
“Begins with” will trigger if the URL begins with the text you enter. This is useful if you want to track a URL that varies because of parameters sent by a form or outside traffic source.
The “Regular Expression” option is best left to the experts. It requires somewhat complex setup that most firms won’t need.
Value – You can assign a monetary value to this goal if applicable. You might decide that each visit to a consultation information page is worth $1, for example.
Funnel – You can specify a path that you expect users to follow in order to reach this goal and use funnel tracking options to see where people enter and exit that path.
This type of goal is triggered when a user has remained on your firm’s site for a specified amount of time. This can be useful to decide how engaging your website content really is. There are only two options that need to be set.
Duration – Duration specifies the amount of time a user has to spend on your site before this goal is triggered. It can be anywhere from a few seconds up to several hours.
Value – If desired, duration goals can also be assigned a value. You might, for example, decide that visitors who stay on your site for at least five minutes often convert into leads and have a value of $5 each.
Pages Per Session
This type of goal is triggered when a user has viewed a specified number of pages across your website. It doesn’t look for specific pages, just an overall count of pages visited. As above, there are only two options to set.
Pages per session – This is the number of pages that must be visited to trigger this goal.
Value – Again, if desired, a monetary value can be assigned to this goal.
Event Based Goals
Although events and event based goals allow you to track incredibly specific actions on your law firm’s website, this ability to do so comes at the price of more complex initial setup. In order to track event based goals, you’ll first need to configure at least one event to be tracked. This Google article explains the basics of tracking events.
Event goals can be tracked based on their category, action, label and value. You can also assign the goal its own value, or use the value assigned to the event(s) which trigger the goal.
Measuring Goals Will Improve Your Marketing
By taking advantage of Google Analytics’ goal tracking options you’ll be able to gather the metrics that make the biggest difference to your firm’s bottom line. As nice as it is to see visits and pageviews going up, those numbers really don’t mean much if you don’t understand what is causing visitors to act — or not act — once they get to your website.
Tracking goals takes a lot of the guesswork out of marketing decisions. Once you have a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not, you’ll be able to see exactly where to concentrate your efforts to drive the best results.