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Correct targeting and conversions in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager
Webamp / Academy / Introduction to goal setting and conversions in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager

Goal setting in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager

Through your exposure channels, you may have some goals you want to achieve or keep track of. For example, you may want to keep track of how many enquiries you receive by phone, email or contact form.

This is particularly beneficial when you are advertising on various search engines - but in fact it is also relevant when we are talking about organic traffic to your website. Without this, for example, you won't have the opportunity to evaluate your company's online marketing campaigns.

Webamp The team
- Specialist
Last updated: 12. dec. 2022

1. What is a goal in Google Analytics?

A goal is a key element of any online data analysis. It helps to clarify when certain actions are being performed. You can think of it as a goal you want to have met and work towards.

A goal in Google Analytics can be: 

  • A purchase that the user makes on a webshop 
  • Submission of contact form 
  • Table reservation on your restaurant page 
  • Press phone, email or other measurable element on your website 
  • ... and much much more! 

A goal can be applied to everything from page visits and clicks - to events and table reservations from an external site, such as dinnerbooking.dk. A monetary value can be specified in any measure. This allows you to sort your goals by how much value they have and focus on the most valuable conversions. 

However, a goal is different from what is called an event (interaction). When a user performs an event on your website, it doesn't necessarily have to be a goal - but it can be! 

Events happen all the time on your site. For example, when a user navigates from the front page to a subpage.

You probably have no interest in tracking that particular event, but if a user clicks on a phone number, there may be potential to turn it into a measurable conversion. 

2. What types of targets are there?

In the admin panel of Google Analytics, you can select four different types of metrics:

  • Destination → Measures a specific location, such as the thank-you page after form submission is complete.
  • Duration → A session that lasts for a specified period of time
  • Pages per session → A user who views a certain number of pages
  • Event → An action that is triggered that is defined as an event. 

I would often recommend using ''event'' as the target type, as it gives the best and most accurate picture of your tracking. 

Why do you ask?

At Webamp we often find that new clients, whether in the PPC or SEO, have had errors in their existing targeting set up by their previous "data-driven" agency. 

It's often seen that the easy solution has been made when it comes to conversion tracking - namely tracking via a URL destination or clicks. 

The idea is fine, but if the URL (or even the click) can be triggered multiple times, the number of conversions in Google Analytics and the actual number the website has received can easily be wrong. 

For example, if there is the possibility to update a 'thank-you' page several times, this will automatically trigger a conversion in GA. The same could happen if form tracking is done via a clickable element without ensuring that the form is submitted first. 


In general, just remember to check and validate your target set-up so that mistakes don't happen in the future. In short, it can have big consequences if your conversions are not right.

Here is an example from one of our clients, Copenhagen Airtaxi, who had targets set up by an external agency, which unfortunately had errors ↓

Google Analytics audience

Let's review what we see in the picture:

First of all, it has been possible to track the number of general enquiries. However, it can be seen that the intention has been different, as other targets were set up at the same time to track other types of form submissions. 

If we dig a little deeper into the setup, the following information comes up:

Google Analytics setup

From the setup it seems that the form tracking is based on destination and not the actual amount of requests that have been submitted. This can be critical, since via a destination page, one cannot be sure that a form has been submitted. For example, if you forget to fill in one of the fields - or if you refresh the page twice, which actually tells Analytics that two requests have been received, even though only one has been sent.

In the above example, if a user lands on the landing page without filling in a form, it will also be counted as a conversion, even if it is actually an error. The same can happen if you track your conversions via a button click, even if the form is not submitted. 

This is due to tracking by click or destination, which unfortunately means that there will be inaccurate data in relation to the actual number of enquiries. 

Therefore, if you want to set up proper tracking of form requests on your website, it is first of all important to find out which form provider you are using. Is it Formstack, NinjaForms or something else? Next, you can start the setup based on the given provider. 

To conclude the example, we were given the opportunity to set up the different measures correctly so that they corresponded to the actual number. Surprisingly, this gave a more accurate picture of the number of conversions - even though the number is actually lower.

Google Analytics form

If we also take a look at the target set-up, which deals with a taxi offer, this has also changed. Instead of converting via a specific URL destination, it is done via an event. The setup looks as follows: 

google analytics setup

The incident is based on the fact that the contact form on the website is made in HubSpot. Therefore it should be tracked via the specific HubSpot form which is intended for taxi flight inquiries. Since several different HubSpot forms appear on the website, we need to find the specific ID of the correct form and enter it under "Label" in the target setup. In doing so, we tell Google Analytics that a goal is being met when a specific form is submitted - in this case, taxi flight inquiries. 

In order to track enquiries via HubSpot form, we have used Google Tag Manager. Through this, it is possible to insert your own HTML codes, tags and other relevant for a website in terms of tracking. In this case, we could insert a special HTML code that focuses on tracking HubSpot form requests.

3. Interaction with Google Tag Manager - Why?

Using Google Tag Manager is a must if you want to know what your users are doing. It is a tool that has become more relevant in online marketing in recent years. Not only because it is free, but also because the interaction with Google Analytics (and many other Google services!) makes it easier for you to set up proper tracking. 

You can also insert your own JavaScript or HTML code - without breaking anything on your website. BUT... more about that later!

So why use Google Tag Manager?
The simple reason is that you'll find it much easier to add, tailor and create targets with just a few clicks - rather than copying a piece of code into your page yourself.  

Using Google Tag Manager is not only safer. It's also generally easier when we're talking about goal creation. Everything is automated. That means you don't have to enter each goal into Google Analytics yourself. 

Let's take a brief, but quick and superficial, example.
On your website you have two phone numbers that users can call - one for private and one for business. As a committed business owner, you want to keep track of how many people click on your phone numbers. 

This must be set up manually for each target if you are using Google Analytics only. However, if you also use Google Tag Manager, you actually only need to set it up once, after which the Tag Manager will be able to create different metrics based on specific clicks. 

It is therefore quite simple to set targets for tracking clicks on email and phone numbers. You can read more about this below

4). Tracking clicks on phone numbers and email addresses

One of the easiest metrics to create in Google Analytics is the so-called click metric - for example, clicks on an email address or phone number on your website. To avoid setting up a goal for each phone number or email address, you can automate the process via Google Tag Manager. 

First you need to create a tag and then a trigger. In short, a tag means what it should ''listen'' for on your website - in this case, when a phone number or email address is clicked. A trigger helps to tell you when to fire the tag - it should happen when a specific link is clicked, including a phone number or email address. 

Google analytics tracking

Tag type: Google Analytics: Universal Analytics 

Category: Calling

Action: Click

Etiket: {{Page Path}} (Ikke et krav, men giver mulighed for at se hvor brugeren klikker på linket henne – f.eks. telefonnummeret på forsiden)

Once you have set up the tag, the trigger needs to be set up. This is also straightforward and is set up as follows:

Google Analytics trigger

Trigger type: click - all elements

When: Some clicks

Click activation: when Click URL contains ''tel:'' (for mail tracking use ''mailto:''

After you have set up tracking in Google Tag Manager, you need to set up goals in Analytics. Earlier in the blog post I described the difference between an event and a goal. To summarize, you can assign a monetary value to a goal. This is useful, for example, if you think a phone call or a table reservation at a restaurant is worth x amount of dollars. However, you do not need to attach a value to a goal. 

To set up a goal in Google Analytics, navigate to ''Admin'' -> ''View'' -> ''Goals''. Then click ''new goal'' and select ''custom'' as the type under goal setup. Under goal description, choose a name for the goal and what type. Since we are working with events - i.e. tracking various events on a website, we choose this one. 

If we take the example from before, the goal is set as follows: 

It's actually quite easy to set a goal when it comes to tracking by email or phone. After you set it up correctly, you'll be able to track how many conversions come in via Google Analytics. Here's an example: 

google analytics concerts

It's clever, isn't it?

If you want more details about the target, click on it. Next, you will be able to see where and when on your website the user clicked on the phone number. Further, as mentioned, you can also attribute a monetary value to the goal, which allows you to calculate how valuable a conversion is for you. 

It may not make much sense when we're talking about calls and emails, but for more relevant goals, like a table reservation, it can certainly be relevant. 

When talking about other goals, one should not forget the form filling, which is often seen on many websites. Proper tracking of these can sometimes be difficult. However, I will try to give you an introduction, as well as what pitfalls you should watch out for. 

5. Tracking of form submissions

It is also possible to see how many users fill in one or more contact forms on your website. However, this process is more difficult to track as it depends on the form provider you use. But it can be solved relatively quickly using Google Tag Manager. 

Google Tag Manager actually has its own trigger that can help with tracking form submissions - I wouldn't recommend using this, though. 

Why do you think? 

The trigger, which is also called ''form submission'', is built to track the different types of forms that can be installed on a website. 

I would say that it only works one time out of ten, as it basically depends on the form you have on your website. For example, it doesn't work with popular Formstack or NinjaForms, as the trigger simply doesn't recognize these. 

Unfortunately, this is also a tendency we have seen with our new clients - that a previous agency has set up the tracking of the contact form incorrectly from the start, and thus has not tested whether it works or not. 

6. What else should you be aware of?

Through this blog post, you've seen how you can quickly and easily set up accurate metrics to track conversions through the interaction of Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. 

However, this does not mean that it is flawless, as the number may differ from what you have received. 

One of the main explanations for this is the increased use of Adblocker - which not only blocks advertising, but also tracking. This means that the figure you see in Google Analytics may well be lower than the real number. Users who use an adblocker will be able to submit a form or click on a phone number, but this will not be recorded as a metric in Google Analytics as a result of the blocking. 

There is little that can be done about this, as many users value their privacy when surfing the Internet. Therefore, you should always see the numbers in Google Analytics as variable and not 100% correct. 

Get help with your SEO strategy

A good start is half the battle. Bad beginnings are.... well, not good. If you don't have the resources to put together a well-thought-out SEO strategy, feel free to drop me a line at seo@webamp.dk - As a data-driven SEM and SEO agency, we're always ready to help you with goal setting.

Learn more about SEO, and increase your online presence

Whether you're a generalist or a marketing specialist, our SEO specialists have put together some great advice for you on our blog.

Learn more about SEO in Webamp Academy.

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