Recently, I wrote about Google Analytics and claimed that it is a must-have for any serious website. Hopefully some of you took heed and installed Analytics on your own site. With Analytics in place, you can now rest assured that a lot of important information is being tracked. The trick now is making that vast amount of information useful for your business. The easiest way to do this is through Goals.
Goals provide a simple, intuitive way to get a lot out of your web data. After all, every webmaster has goals for their website. Why not track them? In Analytics, we can even go a step further by assigning relative values to multiple goals. Say a blog subscription is worth half as much to you as a lead form submission, but it is worth twice as much as an order form download. Use these numbers as your goal inputs, keeping in mind that they should reflect some economic value to your business.
This opens up a new stream of data in Analytics – and one that should be quite useful for your marketing efforts. Now you will be able to see what kind of value you are getting from your organic search marketing, paid search, and social media. If you notice you get $50 of value for every $20 you spend on AdWords, then consider spending more on AdWords. If you only get $10 of value, then you may need to optimize your paid search strategy.
For more information on how to set up goals, check out a primer from the Official Analytics blog.
And it will be worth your while to read the Godfather of Analytics, Avinash Kaushik, detail his obsession with economic goal values.