Understanding Goals, Conversions, and E-Commerce Tracking

Marketing goals do not end in generating leads or making sales. It is also a continuous work and commitment to maintain and grow the amount of leads and sales as time goes by. To make this happen, user’s activities on the website including the things they get from it and send to the company through it must be recorded, measured, and analyzed. This process gives a lot of opportunities including:

  • Finding out which areas of the website and the business need more attention compared to the well-performing ones
  • Learning why the other PPC clicks are not generating leads and/or sales
  • Getting a better overview of the results that your website is receiving
  • Receiving detailed and quantifiable report of the performance and results of the website
  • Evaluating the overall performance of the marketing efforts

Goals and conversions are the major points that play vital in achieving these opportunities. In this article we will explain and provide the complete scope of goals, conversions as well as eCommerce tracking to let you better understand how we can boost your leads and sales and increase the number of your potential and target customers.

This topic was discussed in our Google Analytics In-Depth webinar last November 2. Here are Angeli and Adele delivering the segment:




These are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for your website. In the essence, it is your online business goals that help determine the difference between the success and failure of your website. It is reported back in 2013 that 72% of the business websites received a failing grade of 59 or lower due to undefined business objectives. Therefore, goals are used to drive development and improvements on the site.

From a marketing point of view, the website goals should be aimed at attracting and engaging prospective customers, generating leads, and re-engaging existing customers. For websites whose main objectives revolve around marketing, the website goals should focus on generating more qualified leads, improving lead conversion rates, and increasing brand awareness. And from a sales point of view, the goals should be directed to validating and supporting the Sales Team’s communications and assisting in closing deals.



A conversion is an action taken by a website user that leads or directly results to the ultimate objective of your business. It is basically an indicator of every marketer’s success.


For brochure or lead generation websites, conversions are the completed inquiries and webforms wherein a user submitted his or her information and for eCommerce websites it’s the confirmed order purchases. Subscription to eNewsletter, application or software download, account registration, video plays, and a lot more of various user actions are also counted as conversions.


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Feel free to contact us if you need assistance on determining and setting up goals and conversions in Google Analytics and AdWords!



Micro Goals and Conversions


Micro goals and conversions are the actions that are a few steps away from accomplishing a lead or sales conversion. It can also be described as “potential sales" or "potential leads”. These events provide the full potential of the web visitors’ behavioral data which leads to determining the right strategies for the improvement of website and development of other marketing efforts. To name a few, micro goals and conversions are the page views, number of times the page was printed, video plays, RSS feed, social sharing, and even the incomplete purchases and contact forms.


Macro Goals and Conversions


Hitting a macro goal or conversion is the primary objective of a business website. This is often called as "end goals" because it serves as the bottomline of a business. For brochure websites, the macro goals and conversions are inquiry and other web form submissions as well as phone calls. For eCommerce websites, it’s the revenue or transactions. Account registrations and e-Newsletter sign-ups are also considered as macro goals and conversions.


Analytics Goals

Goals can be measured through Google Analytics. This measurement shows how well your site or app fulfills the target objectives. It represents a completed activity, known as a conversion, that contributes to the success of your business. Some of the Analytics Goals that we set up for our clients are leads, trial sign-ups, account creations, newsletter sign-ups, white paper downloads, and e-book downloads.

There are 5 types of Analytics Goals:

  1. Destination
    A destination goal keeps track of specific URLs or pages. It is triggered when someone views the page. Examples of this are the thank you pages and confirmation pages.

  2. Duration
    Duration goal keeps track of how many people stay on your website for a certain amount of time. This is useful for measuring level of interest or engagement.

  3. Page/Screens per Session
    Pages or screens per session is a goal type that is similar to visit duration goals. It tracks the number of pages each visitor sees before leaving the website.

  4. Event
    Event goals are used to measure specific actions that do not involve thank you pages. Examples of this are Add to Cart clicks, Read More clicks, external link clicks, downloads, video interactions, and social media button clicks.

  5. Smart Goal
    This type of goal is Google-generated data that uses your website’s “best visits” as conversions. It harnesses aggregated conversion data from Google Analytics-enabled sites that do not have another way to track and optimize for conversions. Smart goals are meant for visitors who don’t have enough conversions to use the AdWords optimization tools. However, it doesn’t measure specific actions taken on an advertiser’s website. Instead they use anonymous conversion data from other websites that use Google Analytics to identify visits that are most likely to convert based on Google’s model.

    Our best practice is never to use smart goals because the data collected from it doesn’t provide your business with anything valuable. Enabling smart goals and using those conversions for your AdWords advertising is basically putting your targeting on autopilot and letting Google spend your thousand dollar budgets as they please without you having any say.


AdWords Conversion

This event is tracked through Google AdWords. It happens when someone clicks on your ad and then takes an action that is valuable to your business. For example, a user clicked on your banner ad and that user eventually makes a purchase from your website or downloads your app, regardless if it's not the product that's being promoted in your ad.

AdWords conversion tracking is highly significant in PPC campaigns. Aside from understanding and measuring the ROI, it also allows us to determine the best way to optimize campaigns accordingly, see how many customers interact with your ads and which device and browser they used, learn the keywords, ad groups, and campaigns that drive customer engagement as well as the insights concerning PPC spending.

AdWords Conversion has 4 types:

  1. Website
    This type of AdWords conversion is used to track purchases, sign-ups, and other form of submissions.

  2. App
    An AdWords conversion type used to track installs of Android or iOS applications as well as the purchases and other activities that occurred within the app.

  3. Phone Calls
    Phone Calls conversion is used to track calls that came directly from ads or ad extensions, calls to a phone on your website, and clicks on a phone number from your mobile website.

  4. Import
    A type AdWords conversion which tracks customer activities that begin online but are completed offline. An example is when a customer clicks an ad, downloads a brochure, and later buys the product in the physical store. This is done by uploading data from another system.


Goals vs. Conversions

There are two simple things that you should remember to distinguish Goals and Conversions:

  • AdWords Conversions can’t be made into or imported as Analytics Goals but Analytics Goals can be imported as AdWords Conversions.
  • Conversions are always a Goal.

Quick Tip: It is always good practice to set up both Analytics Goals and AdWords Conversions within AdWords.


E-Commerce Tracking

E-Commerce tracking allows website owners to collect and analyze purchase and transaction data. It is only through Google Analytics eCommerce tracking that you can correlate your sales data with website usage data like sessions, bounce rate, traffic sources and mediums, landing pages, and more. Setting up eCommerce tracking is a multi-step process that requires code updates to product pages. For proper and careful implementation, you will need to reach out to a developer to help you make updates to your product page codes.

Enabling eCommerce tracking allows Google to get you special reports that provide different and helpful data such as conversion rate, number of transactions, total revenue, average order value, data to transaction, and number of unique purchases. Analyzing these reports can tell you which products sell well, which ones are best suited for your customer base, and which items are supported by your best marketing efforts or even how long it takes for customers to make purchase decisions.

Google has two types of E-Commerce Tracking which are Traditional E-Commerce Tracking that helps analyze product performance by quantity sold and revenue, and Enhanced E-Commerce Tracking that focuses on the pre-purchase shopping behavior of users and actual product performance. Additionally, you can also get additional reports with Enhanced E-Commerce Tracking including sales and product list performance reports.

Understanding goals, conversions, and ecommerce tracking is an advanced step in ensuring the generation of leads and sales of your business. The reports that support this are also the best reference for our clients to see how their business is performing in the digital platform.


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