How to identify Goals and KPIs for your website in Google Analytics

by Jens Sorensen on January 9, 2011

This post focusses on why, what and how to set up goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in Google Analytics.

When delving into the world of web analytics it can become overwhelming, very quickly. You have a lot of questions, you’re expecting answers to those questions, and you’re expecting it to solve all your problems. But instead you find a plethora of metrics and reports and it’s difficult to know where to start.

But where you start is really quite simple. It always starts with one thing, your goals. What are you trying to achieve? This is the first rule of analytics. Think about what your business is trying to achieve and then align this to your analytics package:

Goal/KPIMetric in analytics
To get visitors to engage with the site more• Percentage of visitors who download a whitepaper/PDF
• Percentage of visitors that leave a blog comment
• Percentage of visitors that complete a contact us form
• Average time on site per visit
• Average number of pages per visit
Improve the customer experience• Percentage of visitors that bounce
• Percentage of internal site searches that produce zero results
To cross-sell more products to customers• Average order value
• Average number of items per transaction
To gain more traffic from search engines• Percentage of visitors from search engines
• Percentage of conversions from search engine visitors
To sell more products• Percentage of visitors that add items to the shopping cart
• Percentage of visitors that complete the shopping cart
• Percentage of visitors where the shopping cart is abandoned

So you’ve decided what your goals/KPIs are and decided how these can best be aligned to your analytics package. Then you hit the first hurdle; meauring these KPIs do exactly that, measure and report on what is happening, but do nothing to tell us if what we see is good, bad or whether we should do something about it.

The next post in the series is about taking that next step; setting up goals and funnels to derive insight.

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  • Joseph Ruiz

    Really practical post. Thanks for providing a clear and straightforward connection between goals and metrics. I have subscribed to your post

  • Anonymous

    Glad you found it useful Joseph. And thanks for the subscribe!

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