Google Analytics conversion tracking allows you to see which marketing channels are driving the most leads and engagement. In this guide, we walk you through the basics of conversion tracking and show you how to get started in Google Analytics.
If you’re not using Google Analytics to track your conversions, you’re essentially missing out on valuable insights that can drastically transform your business.
With conversion tracking in Google Analytics, you’ll be able to judge the performance of your sales and marketing efforts and make smarter decisions about where you should be spending your time and money.
In just a few simple steps, you can set up conversion tracking to identify where your leads are coming from and determine which channels deserve the most credit for your results.
Topics we’ll discuss:
Firstly, a conversion is an important action that you want your users to complete. Google Analytics lets you track conversions on your website. Any action or engagement that happens on your website can be tracked and labelled as a conversion.
Think of things like:
A “conversion” in Google Analytics is essentially any action that you define as being valuable to your business. You can create Goals or Events inside your Google Analytics account to ensure you’re tracking every conversion that’s valuable to your business.
In the next section, we’ll walk you through exactly how to track conversions using Google Analytics.
So, you’ve installed the Google Analytics tag on your website. The next step is to start creating your goals to ensure that you’re tracking the metrics you need to measure your performance. Here’s how to create Goal conversions.
Step 1: Go to your admin panel
Firstly, you’ll need to head to the “Admin” section of your Google Analytics account. You’ll find it in the bottom left-hand corner of your Google Analytics account.
Step 2: Within the relevant view, go to “Goals”
Then, head to “Goals“. If you already have different Views you’ll need to ensure you’re in the right view, as Goals only apply to the View you create them in. We’ll assume you’re using a View that’s relevant to your needs.
Step 3: Create new goal
This is relatively self-explanatory. Assuming you have no existing Goals (or are new to Google Analytics), you’ll see a big red button saying “+ New Goal“. Hit that, and you’ll be on your way to setting up your first goal.
Step 4: Choose your goal type
Google Analytics includes templates for a range of Goal types. If one of these fits your use case exactly, then you can use it. However, the “Custom” goal option gives you the flexibility to set up your conversion goal precisely as you need it.
Step 5: Describe and select your goal type
Next, you’ll need to give your goal a Name. Make this something clear and descriptive enough that you know what it is at a glance. If you anticipate having a large number of goals, consider spending some time to come up with a logical and easy to read naming convention, as it’ll save you time and energy figuring out what your Goals are tracking in the long run.
Step 6: Add goal details and verify the goal
Finally, you’ll need to add in the details about your goal. There are a few options for this. The goal can be based on someone visiting a particular URL, which can work well if you have a “success” page for actions like visitors booking demos or after they complete a purchase.
If you want to make sure things are working before you save your Goal, you can hit “Verify this Goal“.
Google will then see how many of your visitors over the past seven days have taken actions that would be defined as a conversion.
It’s quick and easy to see if your goal is set up correctly.
Once your conversion goals are created, you’ll be able to see an overview of them and how they’re all performing over the past seven days from the Goals overview.
It’s important to remember that Google Analytics conversion goals are forward-looking and will only give you data on conversions that happen after the goal creation date.
If you’ve recently switched to Google Analytics 4, then you will have noticed that Goals are no longer a viable option to track conversions.
Instead, to track and measure key actions on your website, you’ll need to create a custom event in Google Analytics and turn that into a conversion.
First, click “configure’ and select ‘events’.
You’ll see different events. All of these are options predefined by Google Analytics.
You can, however, set up a unique event to track a specific conversion. There are two ways to achieve this.
The first option is to create a new event based on an existing option in Google Analytics. For example, we could take the predefined event “page_view” and trigger a conversion whenever a user lands on a specific thank you page. Here’s how to get started.
The second option is to configure a new tag in Google Tag Manager that will successfully capture and report a unique event in GA4.
This method gives you a lot more flexibility and control over your conversions. For this example, let’s say you have a form on your website that doesn’t redirect to a new page.
You could configure your event in Google Tag Manager to track the submission button as a conversion instead.
3. Afterwards, you’ll need to click on ‘Triggers’. Here you’ll want to create a generic form submission trigger. This will allow you to see the form submission event inside of Google Tag Manager, and you’ll know which form id to fire your tag and conversion event in GA4.
Once complete, go into preview mode, type in your domain and fill out a form. If successful, you should be able to see the form submit event and your variables in Google Tag Manager. You’ll want to scroll down to Form ID and make a note of the code as you’ll need this later on in this set up.
Google Analytics can track any visit to your website, including users that come from an offline promotion or advert. If your offline advertising campaign triggers a visit to your website, then you can use Google Analytics to track and analyse the performance in a few simple steps.
We already have a guide on tracking offline conversions in Google Analytics that lists every step you need for tracking print, radio and TV advertising campaigns. So make sure you check that out for further instructions.
If you regularly engage with new clients through inbound phone calls, you’ll need to make sure that you’re tracking those in Google Analytics.
Otherwise, you run the risk of underestimating the value of your marketing channels. Google Analytics doesn’t have call tracking built-in, but you can use a tool like Ruler Analytics.
Ruler is an official Google Analytics technology partner and enables you to see data for all of your conversions, online or offline, so you can accurately track your marketing ROI.
This data can be viewed within Ruler Analytics, or sent directly to your Google Analytics account and displayed there.
Ruler’s call tracking uses dynamic insertion to assign a display of a unique phone number to every website visitor.
Then, when that phone number is called, Ruler will attribute the offline conversion to the marketing channel that the visitor arrived from.
Here’s an example so you can see Ruler in action.
Sara lands on your website after clicking on a Google Ad. As it’s her first interaction with your website, Ruler will track Sara as an anonymous visitor. Ruler will collect key marketing data such as her source, keyword search and the pages on your site she visited during her session.
A few days later, Sara returns to your website via an organic brand search. Sara doesn’t convert, but Ruler still keeps a record of her interactions.
After a week, Sara clicks on a retargeting ad on Facebook, lands on your site and converts into a lead after making a phone call. Ruler tracks all of this information and maps the phone call to Sara’s marketing touchpoints.
Now that Sara is a visible lead in Ruler, all of the information captured on Sara is sent over to your CRM. When you log into your CRM, you’ll see Sara as a new lead, as well as the marketing channels and keywords she used along the customer journey.
Naturally, Sara will move through the sales pipeline as she learns more about the benefits of your services. In Ruler, you can keep track of Sara’s progress in the opportunity stage report.
Sara finally agrees to sign a deal. The revenue is sent to Ruler and assigned to the marketing touchpoints that assisted in the customer journey. For example, if you opted for first click attribution, then all the revenue would be assigned to Google Ads. If you went for last click attribution, then Facebook would receive all of the value from your CRM.
Remember that Sara converted over the phone? As we’ve already discussed, Google Analytics can’t track phone calls on its own. Ruler, however, allows you to integrate with Analytics to create goals for phone calls, allowing you to track call and revenue data against all your
Pro tip: We have plenty more information on how Ruler works. Download the guide on why you need Ruler and see how it can help you go beyond basic marketing reporting to gain a single view of your leads and customers.
Tracking goal conversions in Google Analytics is vital if you want to assess how well your marketing is performing and how visitors are engaging with your website and content.
Without accurate conversion data, you’re flying blind.
Setting up Goals in your Analytics account is a great first step to having actionable information that you can use to make smart decisions.
Once you’ve created goals, you’ll be able to track your online conversions with ease. If you need more insight into offline conversions such as phone calls, you’ll need to use a tool like Ruler Analytics.