Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Track the Source of Goal Completions with Google Analytics

It's perhaps the most basic of questions for a internet based business:

Where are my customers coming from?

So it's a little odd that you can't tell this in Google Analytics without a little (and I mean little) work. Most everyone knows about goals in Google Analytics. You set them up, and a little script to your "goal page" and then every time someone hits that page, Google Analytics records a Goal. For example, you may have a "thank you" page that shows up after someone signs up for your web app. That's your goal page. There are a few more custom options, but that's really the meat of it.
But how do you tell where the users who hit your goal page came from? Thankfully, it's pretty easy.
Once you have a goal set up, click the "Custom Reporting" link in the sidebar:
Then click the "manage custom reports" link, which will take you to a list of your reports (you have none). Click the link in the top right corner labeled "+ Create New Custom Report".
Now you're on the report creation page, which uses a nice drag and drop interface to make reports. 
First, find the blue "metric" called "Goal 1 Completions" (or the metric for whichever goal you want to track). Drag it from the  sidebar over to the first dashed blue box on the report.
Next, find the green "dimension" labeled "Source"and drag it into the first dashed green box on the report.
Edit the name of the report (there's a link next to the title), and you're done!

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