Lead Tracking: Setting up Google Analytics for Smart Tracking of Form Submits

By Max Thomas

We’ve all faced the question of whether an online campaign is “really” working. Or, another version of the same question is “What is the campaign’s ROI?” With the exception of ecommerce sites, most companies determine whether or not a campaign is working (or ROI) based on how many leads are generated. By “leads,” I mean phone calls or form submisssions.

We get this question enough that I’m going to devote several posts to how to track non-ecommerce leads. In this post I’ll focus on form submissions.

Tracking form submissions involves two primary factors: 1) tracking the quantity, traffic and keyword (if via search) and 2) tracking the actual submission through a CRM or sales pipeline.

Let’s look at tracking the quantity/traffic/keyword of form submissions. Google Analytics makes it easy to track form submissions by setting up “goal tracking.” The following outlines the steps:

1) Setup Goal for form submission – Google Analytics tracks a goal via the unique url that comes after a user has submitted an online form (this is typically the “thank you” or follow-up url). Analytics can track 20 different form submission goals. Because Analytics references the “thank you” url, simply use that url when setting up a goal:

Google analytics goal setup

1.1 Click “Goals” and follow instructions for setting up new goal

1.2 Click “Add Goal” to setup first goal

1.3 Enter Goal Name and select URL Destination for Goal Type

1.4 Select Match Type – click ? for more instructions on which type is appropriate; Enter Goal URL & select Goal Value if appropriate; Setup a Funnel to track the visitor path and pages where the user abandons the goal path.

2) Confirm Goal is Being Tracking – now that the goal is setup, check to see how many forms have been submitted.

3) View Form Submissions by Traffic Source and Keyword – Custom Reports makes it easy to setup a saved report that shows the quantity of form submissions, as well as traffic sources and keywords. To set up this style of report:

3.1 Click “Custom Reporting” and then “Manage Custom Reports”

3.2 Click “Create New Custom Report”

3.3 Click “edit” next to Custom Title to name the report (“Goals by Source & Keywords” is a good example)

3.4 Under “Metrics”, select “Total Goal Completions” and move to the first “metric” box under “New Tab”

3.5 Under “Dimensions”, click “Traffic Sources” then select “Source/Medium” and move to the first sub dimension box, then select “Keyword” and move to the second sub dimension box; click “Create Report” when done.

3.6 Now you can see the number of form submits, as well as which traffic sources drove leads.

3.7 To see which keywords generated form submits, click “organic”, then select “Keyword” from “Source/Medium” drop-down menu.

4) Compare Over Time – Analytics makes it easy to compare results over time. To add this feature, simply click the down arrow next to the date range (upper right), then click “Compare to Past” to compare current results to the past period.

4.1 Now, we can see the change in submits as well as the change in traffic sources…

4.2 And the change in keywords (for form submits from search).

Now that we know the quantity and source of leads, the next step is to look at the conversion data in the CRM to determine how many of these convert, as well as which leads and keywords have the highest conversion rates. This is essential data when creating a PPC, paid-channel or SEO campaign. Also, focusing on actual goal conversions helps keep everyone on the same page, and helps keep metrics like keyword rankings, site traffic and the like in perspective.

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Max Thomas

By Max Thomas

Max is a nationally recognized digital marketing specialist who is an expert on search engine optimization and data-driven digital marketing who has spoken at SMX and SMX Advanced, LMA Southeast, LMA Tech in San Francisco, WordCamp and other industry recognized conferences. As the founder and CEO of ThunderActive, Max has lead his team (with offices in San Diego and New York City) to success for clients in legal, real estate, life sciences, consumer goods and new tech. A Columbia undergraduate with a Yale MBA, Max is an Impact Circle Member for The Trevor Project and is an advisor to start-up companies and angel investment networks, including Gaingels and Serval Ventures in New York.

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