How do I measure conversions in Google Analytics?

If you have read our guide How do I send data to Google Analytics? you should by now have a player that is sending data directly to your Google Analytics account.

This is useful to see how many times your videos were watched or engaged with (to see what data is sent, please see What events are shown in Google Analytics? for details).

You can also measure how interaction with your content is affecting your site’s performance. After all, if you are an online retailer, you want to maximise your ROI. This is done in Google Analytics by defining goals - and optional funnels that lead to those goals.

In this guide, we will describe how we defined a goal (and associated funnel) to track sales of an imaginary product for an e-commerce site.

1. Add a call-to-action

Unfortunately you can’t make an events funnel in Google Analytics, so you can’t follow an event (like ‘Played’) through to a purchase page. However you can use URLs. So we will do that by adding a call-to-action overlay within our video. Since our video features a vase of flowers, we will prompt our viewer to buy those flowers by showing an overlay containing a link to do so.

If you want to find out how to do this, please see How do I add a call-to-action? Having done that, we end up with the following overlay being shown during the video:

Defining Google Analytics goals to measure ROI 9

We have set the URL the viewer is taken to as /buy?from=vabcdefg. This is just a made-up URL to a page that we imagine has the option to buy those flowers. We added the ?from=vabcdefg so that, as a bonus, we could also see which video prompted the click - assuming ‘vabcdefg’ is its unique id. If the only place that URL is used is within this video, if someone visits that URL, we’ll know it was a result of clicking on that link in our overlay.

The video containing the call-to-action overlay is then embedded on our site, on the product’s page.

2. Define a goal (and optional funnel)

Goals let you monitor how well your site is performing. An achieved goal is a conversion. Naturally you want as many as possible. That goal may be an enquiry through your contact form, a certain amount of time spent on your site, or, in our case, a visit to a particular URL which indicates that a user bought our product.

So we will set up a ‘Buy merchandise’ goal. You can do this through the ‘Admin’ section of your Google Analytics dashboard, under ‘Goals’:

Defining Google Analytics goals to measure ROI 1

The next step is to give our goal a name, so we know what it was measuring, and define which type it should be. We want the user to visit a page, so we’ll pick ‘Destination’:

Defining Google Analytics goals to measure ROI 2

The third and final step is to tell Google which page we want to be the goal. In addition, we can also define a ‘funnel’ that describes the path we want to monitor users taking to get to that goal.

In this example, we want to see how many people went on to complete a purchase having watched our video and clicked on our call-to-action. That could then perhaps be compared to what percentage completed/abandoned a purchase if they hadn’t just watched a video to see what impact, if any, the video had on their final decision to purchase.

So our goal - where we want a conversion to be recorded - is our /purchase page. We are going to define the value of someone visiting that page as $10.

We are also going to define a page that we think they will come from to achieve that goal - this is our call-to-action’s URL. So anyone that clicks on our overlay’s URL ‘Buy flowers’ will enter the funnel. We can then see what percentage then go on to click ‘purchase’:

Defining Google Analytics goals to measure ROI 3

So let’s try it.

We’ll watch our video, click on the link when it appears, and then click on ‘purchase’ to buy our imaginary flowers. Sure enough, we get a funnel that shows 1 person entered the funnel (by clicking on ‘Buy flowers’) and 1 person proceeded to ‘Buy Flowers’ (by clicking on ‘Purchase’). A 100% success rate.

Defining Google Analytics goals to measure ROI 5

Next, let’s see what happens if someone clicks on the link to ‘Buy flowers’ (so they enter the funnel), but this time they decide to abandon their purchase and wander off before clicking on ‘Purchase’:

Defining Google Analytics goals to measure ROI 8

As expected, now we drop to a 50% completion rate. We can see that now 2 people entered the funnel to our product page by clicking on ‘Buy flowers’. One clicked ‘Purchase’ and completed the goal (converted). However the user just now did not - they left before doing so.

If you have any questions, please email and we will do our best to help.

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