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Convince and convert

December 07, 2016

How to track your conversions using Google Analytics

Digital Strategy

Whether you have a simple showcase site, a complex e-commerce site or an information site, your website must fulfil an objective: it needs to convert.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

In all areas, from online marketing to fashion, it’s important to go back to basics. That’s why we’re going to take a look at how to set up conversion tracking on Google Analytics. Any self-respecting agency should make this one of their top priorities, even before thinking about launching a social media campaign, Google AdWords or an email campaign for their client.

Once you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand what a conversion is
  • Implement conversion (goals) tracking on Google Analytics
  • Better assess the usefulness of your different channels

What is a conversion?

According to Google, “a conversion occurs when a user clicks on your ad, then takes an action that you’ve defined as valuable to your business. This can include an online purchase or a call to your business from a mobile phone.”

In other words, conversion is the ultimate action that you want visitors to your site to take. For instance, your goal might be to get visitors to fill in your contact form in order to receive more information about your product. It might also include:

  • Signing up to your newsletter
  • Downloading your e-book
  • Purchasing a (or several) product(s) on your e-commerce site
  • Watching a product demonstration video
  • Clicking to trigger the automatic chat with your customer services

If you haven’t already done so, take time to think about your website’s objective.

Admittedly, we’d be a little disappointed to learn that you’d only made a website to please your father-in-law.

Your website has an aim: work out what it is.

How to create a conversion goal in 3 steps

Once you’ve worked out what could constitute a conversion for your online activity, you’re ready to set your goal on Google Analytics and start setting up tracking.

To do this, go onto Google Analyticsselect the account you wish to work on, go to the Administration tab, and then in View, select Goals.

(For the following example, we will consider that a conversion is achieved when a visitor fills in the contact form on the following page:

  1. Click on New Goal. The first step involves determining the nature of your goal (N.B. the proposed options can vary depending on the category you’ve attributed to the account in question). 

For this example, we selected the option ‘personalised’.

  1. Describe the type of goal. Because ours concerns signing up to a site in French, we decided to call it “Completed form – FR”, but you can call yours whatever you want.

Next, establish what type of goal you want to meet. 

You have a choice between 4 types:

  • Destination: a user visits/arrives at a selected page
  • Duration: a user spends a particular amount of time on a selected page
  • Pages/screens per session: a user visits a particular number of pages per session
  • Event: a user performs a certain action on your website (clicks on a button, watches a video, etc.)

Because we designed our landing page* for conversion, every time a user fills in and submits the contact form, they are directed to the ‘thank you’ page (

We will therefore select the type Destination as our goal, because each time someone arrives on this page, it means they’ve filled in and submitted the contact form. Therefore, conversion has taken place.

Keeping up? ☺

  1. The third and final step involves filling in the destination URL for your goal. In our case, it’s, the confirmation page. You only need to put the part of the URL that comes after the domain name: /merci in this case.

We haven’t attributed a value to our conversion, so won’t activate the next field.

Lastly, you need to establish your conversion funnel: in other words, you need to tell Google Analytics what path the user must take in order to arrive on the destination page. For our example, it’s quite simple: it’s simply a landing page (/inscription) with a form which, once filled in, directs you to the destination page (/merci). There are only two steps to fill in.

We activate the option Mandatory? in order not to count visitors who go directly to the /merci page without first going through the /inscription page as conversions. This might apply to our developers when they’re testing a page, or to you: you’re reading this article and have direct access to the URL for the conformation page.

Check that the settings for your goal are all as they should be, then click Save. 

Think you can take a breather now? No, we’re not quite finished!

Why set up conversion tracking?

You should feel proud: you’ve already set up a large part of the tracking!

However, setting up conversion tracking only really becomes useful once you start monitoring it. If you’re launching campaigns on different channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google AdWords, email, etc.), you need to know which channel is generating the most conversions or which has the best rate, depending on your goals.

That’s all very well, but how can you access these figures? Well, Google Analytics can show you these too!

There are two ways to find them:

  1. Click on the tab Reports > Acquisition > All traffic > Source/Support
  2. Click on the tab Reports > Conversions > Goals > Overview

We’ll focus on the first of these, which we think is the most interesting.

If you’ve correctly set up your goals, in the Conversions column you should be able to see a drop-down menu showing your different goals. You can choose whether to view the results by goal, or for all your goals.

For the period of time we’re interested in, we can see that we generated 6 conversions, 5 of which came from Google AdWords (google/cpc) and one from direct traffic (direct/none). This data is especially valuable if you’re launching campaigns on various channels and want to know which channels are ‘converting’ (and which aren’t), along with their respective conversion rates.

That’s all for now!

Remember: to find out about visitor behaviour, you need to give yourself the means to measure it.

Now it’s your turn to put all of this into practice: good luck and happy tracking!

More links on this topic


December 9, 2016 at 3 pm 15 min

Hello, Le suivi des conversion est une étape très importante pour déterminer le/les pages à optimiser afin de me mesurer le retour. J'avais rédigé deux articles sur le sujet, mais il faudra que j'y revienne plus précisément : De mon côté avec les petits e-commerçants, on met trop rarement en place ce genre d'action, pourtant c'est indispensable... mais difficile de tout concilier avec un seul budget. Merci de nous avoir partagé ces informations !

Brands Up
December 9, 2016 at 3 pm 24 min

Bonjour Webbax, En effet, encore trop rarement mis en place et pourtant indispensable ! Merci de nous suivre & bon week-end !