This article is the last article in our four part series on measuring your organization's intranet with the free tool, Google Analytics.
If you're just getting started with Google Analytics, please see Setting up Google Analytics on your Intranet. For information on user data and comparing content, see Understanding Internal Audiences and Measuring engagement with your intranet's content.
Introduction to Google Analytics Goals and Events
Consider an employee handbook. Employees can go on the intranet and download the complete handbook in PDF format. They press a download button, the file downloads, and they are brought to another page letting them know the download was successful.
How many times this series of events happens is both interesting and useful to know, and a great way to measure how well internal resources are being utilized. We can set up a Goal in Google Analytics to do just that.
In this article we'll cover how to measure the completion of specific events on your intranet, such as the download of a document or the creation of an account. To do this, we'll use Google Analytics' Goals features.
Types of Goals you can use in Google Analytics
There are a number of types of goals and ways that they can be triggered in Google Analytics. For example:
- URL Destination Goals measure how many times a specific page was reached
- Time Goals measure how many times users stayed on your website for a minimum set amount of time
- Pages/visit Goals measure how many times users viewed a minimum set amount of pages before leaving
- Events allow you to programmatically track the completion of actions like button clicks
For this article, we'll focus on destination goals -- that is, tracking completion of activities by their URL destination on the intranet.
It's a lot simpler than it may seem, and this feature will give us the ability to track the most important activities on an intranet, including downloads of files.
Viewing Goals in Google Analytics
We'll cover how to set up goals below (feel free to skip ahead), but it's useful to first see what a properly configured Goal looks like.
The Goals Overview reports can be accessed from the left-hand menu in Google Analytics, similar to the Audience and Behaviour reports we looked at previously:
In the report itself, you can use the Goal Options drop down to select a specific existing goal or look at cumulative data for all goals at once (in the example above we're looking at how many accounts were created).
The main metrics here are the number of times the goal was completed and the percentage of all sessions that resulted in that goal being completed (the Conversion Rate).
Note: Throughout the Google Analytics interface, you'll often see dollar values and references to ecommerce data. Defining user actions on your website in terms of a monetary value is common for websites which sell product and can be omitted as it is likely not relevant in an internal comms context.
Viewing goal completions on your intranet
Once Goals are set up, you'll be able to get two other important pieces of information about any goal you've defined:
Goal Completion Location
While viewing the Goals > Overview report, scrolling down reveals the top locations where a specific goal was completed. This is useful for Goals which can be completed across your intranet or appear on multiple pages:
Goal Source / Medium
Switching to the Source / Medium option on this page shows you the top traffic sources that resulted in the goal being completed:
This report allows you to measure the top channels (for example social or email) which lead to employees completing the Goals you've defined on the intranet.
Setting up intranet destination goals
Goals sound pretty awesome right? Let's go through the steps and set up a destination goal on an intranet to track how many new accounts are created on the site.
The first step is to access the Admin panel on the main Google Analytics toolbar. Here you can find configuration options for your intranet:
Clicking through to Goals brings up a list of existing goals, including one that has already been set up to track downloads of an employee handbook:
Once you click + New Goal you'll have a number of templated and custom options:
For a URL destination goal, select Custom and then Continue:
Here you can select the type of goal and give it a name. All options for goal type are explained in the beginning of this article.
Note: In this step, it's also necessary to define the Goal slot ID. Your analytics account will let you track 20 goals simultaneously, in four sets of five individual goals. If you're looking to measure multiple related goals, it's best to group these into the same Goal set. This makes reporting on a set of goals possible and looking at more advanced reporting easier.
Finally in the last step, you can insert the specific URL on your intranet that is loaded once the goal is completed. For this type of goal, this will normally be a "thank you" page which is displayed once an action has been completed:
Here's how our two goals look after being configured:
Both goals will keep track of how many times each of these actions are completed, and populate data in the reports outlined above!