Chapter 10

Use Goals to Focus on Important Things

By Anna Tomalik

In most of the chapters of this guide we’ve shown you how to track additional data like button clicks, page scrolling, form submissions, and more. This information is important as it shows you precisely how people behave on your website, thereby helping you adjust every little element of it to better serve your visitors. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

Now it’s time to shift our attention to a different perspective. After diving deep into the details, we’re floating back to the surface to think about the goals you have for your website. And when we do that, we can’t help but reflect on the goals of your business.

Whatever your business wants to achieve — sell a product, support software users, or deliver a service — the website should reflect that goal. For example, Clear Bank wants to deliver mobile banking services and software, so their website is all about guiding visitors to sign up. The signup is the website’s goal.

One website can have several goals because different sections can have different objectives, just like different departments in your company have different purposes. For example, a blog wants readers, a career page wants job applicants, a help center wants happy users. So whenever we work with goals for our website, we need to think in detail about which section we’re setting the goal for and what the ultimate objective is for it.

We can measure goals using classic metrics like pageviews, bounce rate, average time on page, and more. We’ve explained how to do that in our previous course, Analytics for Beginners, in the chapter titled Create a Tracking Plan. But when we can describe a goal as an action which a visitor takes — like signing up or sending a form — we can use an Analytics feature called goals to calculate the score. In this chapter we’ll show you how.

Setting up a goal

We’ll begin with creating a goal for the Clear Bank website, which in this case is a signup. Any time a visitor finishes a signup process and gains access to the bank’s app, we treat it as a completed goal. From the website’s perspective, a completion is counted when a visitor reaches the success page of the signup process — https://clearbank/success/.

To create a goal for viewing a page, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics.
  2. Navigate to Goals.
  3. Click Manage Goals.
  4. Click Add new goal.
  5. Name the goal and add an optional description.
  6. Set the trigger for the goal:  when a visitor visits a given URL.
  7. Set the rule for the trigger. For example, where the URL is exactly https://clearbank/success/.
  8. Optionally, change the default counting of conversion from once per visit to more than once per visit. In our specific example, it wouldn’t make sense to change that setting.
  9. Optionally, set the revenue for a goal. For example, a signup may be worth $20. If you assign a value to a goal, Piwik PRO will count the revenue and you’ll see it in reports.
  10. Tip: To change the value for the goal go to Menu > Analytics Settings > Settings > Default Currency for new websites.

  11. When done, click Add goal.

From this moment on, Piwik PRO will record the moment when a visitor completes a goal and show that information in the goal report. Additionally, Piwik PRO will show a goal completion in the visitor log report (Analytics > Visitors > Visitor Log), which we’ll discuss in detail in the last chapter.

Goal report

There are two types of reports you can view for goals — the overview report that combines data about all goals, and a report for each goal, for example, the App signup goal.

To view the overview report with all goals, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics.
  2. Navigate to Goals.
  3. Click Overview to see the report.

To view the report for an individual goal, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics.
  2. Navigate to Goals.
  3. Click the name of the goal to see the report.

Both of these reports are structured similarly, and you can view and analyze data by looking at different types of reports nested inside — goals by referrers, goals engagement, goals by user location, and goals by user attribute. These reports will show you how people coming from a particular referrer or campaign convert, how many people from a given country reach goals, or how many visitors completed a goal using a given device.  

When analyzing data in most of your goal reports, you’ll see the following metrics:

  • Visits: the number of visits.
  • Goal conversions: the number of completed goals.
  • Conversion rate: the number of completed goals / the number of visits * 100%.
  • And, if you’ve set revenue, the revenue metrics.

Additionally, by looking at the visits to conversion report or days to conversion report, you can learn how long it takes for visitors to complete the goal.

Set up a goal for newsletter signup

You can set up as many goals as you want to, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Remember, a goal is the final action a visitor takes that matters to your business. Like in a game of soccer, eleven players are on the field kicking the ball but the event that counts is when one player scores.

That said, we’d like to show you how to set up a goal for newsletter signup, as this is often a goal of a blog. Newsletter signup is tracked by a custom event in Tag Manager, which we’ve described in chapter 8.

To create a goal for newsletter signup, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Menu > Analytics.
  2. Navigate to Goals.
  3. Click Manage Goals.
  4. Click Add new goal.
  5. Name the goal and add an optional description.
  6. Set the trigger for the goal: when visitors send an event.
  7. In Tag Manager, check the category, action, or name of an event that is unique for that event. In our case, that will be the action Newsletter.
  8. Set the rule for the trigger. For example, where the event action is exactly Newsletter.
  9. Optionally, change the default counting of conversions from once per visit to more than once per visit. In our example, it wouldn’t make sense to change that setting.
  10. Optionally, set revenue for a goal. 
  11. When done, click Add goal.

With the new goal set up, you can look at your overview report to see the goals combined together. In this report, data about each goal will show up in a separate column and you’ll be able to compare them.

There are other options for setting up goals like when a visitor downloads a file, clicks on a link to an external website, or anything else that could be defined using JavaScript code. But this last thing is a bit advanced, so if you want to learn more about it, read our article “Setting Goals Manually.”