Website Analytics January 13th, 2010
I’m very excited about this post for 2 reasons! Firstly, because monetizing your site provides a HUGE difference in the level of reporting that you receive within Google Analytics, and as we all know; better reporting means more analysis insights and therefore better data driven decisions. Secondly because it is so EASY to do it! To add a simple goal value (which is what we are really talking about here) takes 30 seconds!
Let's get the 30 second setup out of the way and then move onto the benefits you receive. You need admin access to your profiles to do this, and let me stress that this applies to a lead generation style site, rather than an ecommerce. If you are tracking ecommerce transactions then sales data is used to monetize your profile, so DO NOT add a goal value or you will mess up the ROI reporting!
Thats it… 30 seconds right?!
Now let me complicate things a little. There are different ways to approach the dollar figure you use for this setting:
Approach 1 – Assess all leads the same and apply the same nominal value to each. (Recommended for the majority of sites).
Approach 2 – Assess different goals with a separate nominal value that tries to represent the actual business value of that goal being reached. Calculating this will take longer than 30 seconds.
Careful! It is advisable to keep this goal value consistent over time so that when you pull reports you do not receive skewed cost reporting, For example, if you drop the value of an email lead to your site and then compare traffic source per visit value before and after this change then you are going to see a subsequent drop in results for the same number of leads. You might therefore assume that your source or site is suddenly performing poorly, but it is because less money is being applied to that traffic source.
Remember our analysis is all about actionable reporting right? By setting goal values in Google Analytics your data will include more metrics including 'Per Visit Value', $index and extra Adwords metrics such as revenue per conversion and ROI. With these extra reporting tools you are able to better report on traffic sources, campaigns and the value of your content pages. Each time a goal is triggered the value of that goal is applied to the traffic source that the visitor came from. Also value is applied to the path of pages that led the visitor to complete the goal. Therefore, when we pull reports we are able to see a monetized version of the your websites success.
Let me show you a few examples…
Per visit value is an extremely valuable metric for understanding where your most valuable visitors come from. It is calculated automatically within your profile (total source value divided by total number of visitors).
The report below shows a time comparison for a Pay-Per-Click traffic source. It demonstrates the positive effects of a campaign daily budget change. An action to draw from this report is to have confidence that the change was positive, continue to apply this increase and consider a further increase.
The report below ranks the US states that have resulted in conversions for TechWyse so far this year. We can see a huge number of calls to our Pay Per Click telephone number has skewed the value a little for Massachusetts but it definitely puts some food for thought into our geo-targeting for the next little while.
An action that we might draw from this report is to increase our ad budgets in DC, Missouri or Wisconsin to bring the number of visitors up and hopefully sustain the conversion rate.
Pages that have been viewed on a path to a visitor converting are assigned value. By ranking pages by $index you can gain an idea of the part they play in a visitor converting. The report below demonstrates the benefit that the “case studies” page is providing on a newly launched site.
A suggested action to draw from this information might be to run an optimizer test with a version of the site template with a case studies button in the left column. Measure the results and place it live if it increases conversion!
In conclusion, monetizing your website using goal value can provide an additional level of detail that can really help in making improvements to your content or marketing strategy.
Best of all it takes 30 seconds to implement!