Goal Tracking From Basic to Advanced


New member
Jun 6, 2012
Basic Goal Tracking
Use this method if you simply want to define a fixed value for every conversion goal. This is what you would typically do when recording a lead or e-mail signup. For conversion goals where the order amount may change, use the advanced method in the next section. Begin by logging into your Google Analytics
account. On your main page, you’ll see a listing of your active profiles. Click on the one you wish to work with. Then, from within the Google Analytics website, click the “Goals” menu on the left navigation bar If you’ve never set up goals before, you’ll see an introductory page. Click the link at the bottom that reads “Learn how to set up goals and funnels.” You’ll then be taken to your profile settings page. Note: if you’ve worked with goals before, just
click the “Edit” button next to your profile when you log in The section that reads “Conversion goals and funnels” is where you set up your goals. Click the “Edit” link next to any row to set up a goal.
On the next page, you can tell Google Analytics what your goal consists of. I’ll show you how I set it up for the Methuselah Foundation newsletter signup conversion path.
I chose the following settings:
- Active Goal: “On”
- Match Type: I chose “Head Match.”Use it if your URL is the same every time. If your “thank
you” page URL can change, click the help button for advanced options.
- Goal URL: Enter the URL of your “thank you” or “order receipt” page here.
- Goal Name: Here you enter a name that describes what this funnel does. I chose
“Newsletter Signup.”
- Case Sensitive: I usually leave this unchecked. You should only check it if your website
makes use of case-sensitive URLs
You’ll see a page similar to this one prior to setting up any goals.

Goal Value:

Enter whatever dollar value you’ve assigned to this goal. I’ve entered zero, as
I’ll track conversions as a percentage.
The second section of this page allows you to define a conversion funnel for your checkout
pages. A conversion funnel is simply a sequence of pages that you’d ideally like your customers
to follow. It always ends with your conversion goal. For instance, your conversion funnel may
consist of a product page, a shopping cart page, a page to gather account and payment details,
and finally, a goal (“thank you”) page.
Defining your entire conversion funnel here activates a special funnel report in the Google
Analytics interface that may come in handy (more on this in Chapter 8).
Conversion funnel tracking is also useful for segmenting visitors who arrive at the same goal
page from different source pages (this could happen if you have two separate e-mail signup
pages and only one “thank you” page). Each source of traffic may exhibit different conversion
rates, and this is impossible to determine unless you have a means of distinguishing between
them. Defining a funnel and setting the “required step” function will allow you to track your
visitors through each funnel independently of one another

Advanced Goal Tracking
If the amounts of your orders vary, you’ll need to create an e-commerce tracking script to tell

Your Google Analytics profile page allows you to set up to four goals.

Google Analytics what products were purchased, the individual amounts, and the grand total.
You can track other helpful information (such as taxes, the geographic location of the order,
etc.), but for our purposes, we’ll stick with the basics. This method is not necessary if you are
tracking goals that dont directly lead to orders (such as leads or e-mail signups). Instead, just use
goal tracking as described above.
To activate e-commerce tracking, you’ll need to modify your “thank you” page (or ask your
developers to do it for you).
You’ll add tracking for your order amounts by calling two Google Analytics functions
designed specifically for this purpose. The first, _addTrans(), tracks the total order amount. The
second, _addItem(), is used to track individual line items. These functions need to be called after
the basic Google Analytics tracking script described earlier in this chapter.
An example is shown on pages 22-23.
This simple example is sufficient if your order processing takes place all on the same domain.
However, e-commerce tracking tends to be more complicated than that. If you process your
orders through a third-party shopping cart or a dedicated subdomain (for instance,
https://store. webmastersun.com), you’ll need to customize your tracking scripts as described in
the next section.

Use the Goal Settings page to define a new goal, assign a conversion value, and create a

<script type=”text/javascript”>
// This is the standard Google Analytics script
var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);
document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src=’” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’
Google Analytics script
// E-commerce goal tracking script starts here. Insert your account number
// in the _getTracker() function call.
<script type=”text/javascript”>
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-XXXXX-1”);
// This first call records your total order amount and other information.
“1234”, // Order ID
“Authorize.NET”, // Affiliation
“29.99”, // Total
“1.29”, // Tax
“0”, // Shipping
“Chicago”, // City
“Illinois”, // State
“USA” // Country
// This next section of code records the individual line items. This
// is optional, but definitely helpful.
“23883”, // Order ID
“PP2009”, // SKU
“Privacy Protector”, // Product Name
“Software”, // Category
“29.99”, // Price
“1” // Quantity
// This line sends the order information to Google. Required.
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