How to Tell if your Website is Converting Using Google Analytics
It’s all to easy as a soloprenuer to get caught up in your day-to-day workies, that you slowly lose touch with the health of your own business, and inevitably fall into a deep pit of overwhelming despair and loneliness.
Cue the sad trombone.
After all, as business owners, we all wear lots of “hats,” and personally, I’m not just the Owner of Natalie McGuire Designs, LLC, I’m also Creative Director/Designer/CFO/Account Manager/Project Manager/Marketer/Social Media Manager/Bookkeeper/CPA/Web Developer Liaison/SEO Guru/Copy Writer/Blogger/Janitor/Party Planner/Human Resources/And… and… and…
Maybe you can relate.
And because I’m All The Things™, I get swept up and overwhelmed in how I feel about the state in my business, whether or not it’s based on actual reality.
For example, I look at other Designers I admire, see their enviable products and programs, their gorgeous work, and constantly-on-vacation-in-a-tropical-country Instagram feed, and I think “Geez. I suuuuuuck.”
Or maybe a week goes by that I don’t get an inquiry from my contact form and I start to think “OMG! I need to update my resumé and start applying for ‘real’ jobs again!” Or maybe my e-mail opt-in list is only generating a trickle of leads and I think “Ack! I need to make a new opt-in gift STAT! And advertise on social media! And create a new marketing plan! More! Things! TO DOOOOO!!!”
While I’m busy freaking out Ally McBeal-style, I overlook the fact that, oh wait… I’m booked out for the next six months, expanded my design packages, and raised my rates. Maybe that’s why no one has e-mailed me in a week asking for me to work with them…
But before I jump to conclusions, I like to hop over into my good friend, Google Analytics, to get a clear, data-driven picture of what is actually happening in my business and website before I spiral out of control and lose my freaking mind.
What is Google Analytics?
It’s a free a service offered by Google that tracks and reports about all things website traffic. It’ll tell you a ton of things like:
- How many people have visited your site and where they came from (like a Google search, a referring website, an e-mail campaign, social media post, etc…)
- What device and browser they’ve used to view your site.
- How long they stayed on your site and which pages they viewed.
- And most importantly: What your conversion rate is!
What’s a Conversion Rate?
It’s the number of people who completed one of your desired actions. Such as, join your e-mail newsletter, make a product purchase, contact you for a free consultation, etc… To get your conversion rate, you divide the above total number of conversions by the number of visitors to your site, and because math is annoying, Google Analytics does the equation for you, IF you have your Conversion Goals set-up.
How to Set-up Conversion Goals?
Let’s say you want to set up a Goal to track how many people contact you to book a service or a free consultation. You would:
- Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
- Click “Admin.”
- Under “View” (in the far right column) click “Goals.”
- Click “New Goal.”
- Name your Goal “Contact Form,” or something similar, so you know what the Goal is.
- Specify a “Type.” In our example, the “Type” would be “Destination”, then click “Continue.”
What this does, is specify that when Users land on a specific page, like a “Thank You” page, after submitting your Contact Form, Google Analytics would record how many submissions of that form you’re getting, since people can’t navigate to the “Thank You” page unless they’ve submitted the Contact Form.
- Next, we’ll specify the Goal Details. Under the “Destination” drop down menu, you’ll select “Equals to” and enter in the URL for your “Thank You” page, if you have one set-up. (If you don’t have a “Thank You” page, take the time to create one if you have a WordPress or some other CMS-based website.)
- On this screen, you can specify a dollar amount “Value” of this conversion (super helpful if you have a product-based business where each product is a specific dollar amount), and even specify a “Funnel” if you want to track that too.
- Click “Verify this Goal” to see how often this Goal would have converted based on data from the past 7 days.
- Click “Save.”
You can make as many Goals as you want within Google Analytics, and can re-create these steps for tracking how many people are joining your e-mail opt-in list. Then, the next time you check out your Google Analytics, you can see what your website’s conversion rate right from the Dashboard, (the first screen you see when you log in.)
Having data like this will help you to make informed choices about your marketing, goals, and strategy moving forward, so you can stay on top of your business and stop second-guessing yourself when you’re up to your eyeballs in feelings.
Another thing that can help is a Customer Interview + Website Review Report. When you’re not sure why your website isn’t quite bringing in the customers and prospects you thought it would, it can really help to have a pro’s fresh perspective on your materials, with clear eyes as to what’s working and what’s not. From the design of your website’s pages itself, to the digital strategy behind the site itself, a new set of eyes can bring clarity, advice, and action steps that can set you up for some digital success moving forward.
Hi, I'm Natalie McGuire!
I'm a website designer + digital strategist who believes in design with strategic ease. Meaning, gorgeous design is informed by customer insights that make your business a whole lot easier. If you want to stop losing customers by having "just another pretty website," work with me.
Stop losing customers by having
“just another pretty website.”
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