Setting up Google Analytics Goals lets you track actions users take on your website, such as contact form completions, order submissions, or time on site in excess of a designated number of minutes. Reporting Google Analytics goal completions has been the gold standard in marketing reporting, but there are limitations to using Goals to track leads. In particular, they tend to overstate results because it doesn’t take into consideration the following:
Legitimate Contact Form Submissions That Aren’t Leads
Most websites funnel all traffic to one contact form. In addition to helping prospects connect with you, your contact forms serve as a way for other people who are interested in doing business with you to communicate. Therefore, Google Goal completions can include form submissions from anyone – for example, potential employees and vendors, in addition to prospects. If you are an agency and your experience is like ours, you have probably noticed a rise in contact form submission from companies offering offshore website development and white-labeled SEO and link building services. If your company wins awards, you may see form submissions from people looking to work for your company. If your team isn’t getting back in touch with your clients in a timely manner, they may try to reach you via your contact form. This type of activity leads to a high ratio of contact form submissions that aren’t real leads.
If you are tracking contact form submissions using event tracking, sometimes the submit button triggers twice. This can result is duplicate submissions being recorded as goal completions. We have also seen the same client complete two different contact forms on the same day. If you are interested in knowing the number of unique leads, Google Analytics goal completions fall short of providing that data.
Over the past few years, you have probably seen a rise in random form submissions that are completely irrelevant or even offensive. You know what I’m talking about. These spam submissions are also contributing to Google Goals completions being a less reliable source of lead measurement.
Solutions that Improve Marketing Results Tracking
Here are some ways you can improve the accuracy of the data measured by Google Analytics goal completions.
1. Use multiple forms
Offer users multiple ways to contact you, like they do on SmartRent. This allows you to set up a Google goal that measures completion of each individual form, including the sales inquiry form. You may end up undercounting leads but is a good solution if you have a large number of form submissions that aren’t credible leads.
2. Eliminate traffic from countries that send you spam
Seeing a lot of spam submissions with emails that end in .ru? Are all of our customers in the United States? Consider installing a plug-in to prevent visits from countries, for example Russia, that generate a lot of spam and where you don’t do business. This won’t eliminate all spam, but it can greatly reduce it.
3. Try Jess
This year, a digital marketing agency we work with tracked 35 contact form completions, but only 4 were from qualified leads. How did they know this? Jess. Jess offers form submission tracking that goes well beyond Google Analytics Goals. With Jess, you can:
- eliminate spam, duplicates, and irrelevant leads.
- view the lead’s information plus how they found your website all in one place.
- easily mark qualified leads and track opportunities.
- accurately measure how many qualified leads your marketing is generating.
- combine qualified leads with ad spend to get a true picture of your marketing costs.
Using Google Analytics Goals is still a best practice for most companies and agencies. It remains widely used to report the number of leads generated from a website, and where these leads are coming from. But if you feel like your marketing team’s reporting claims that it’s generating more leads than you think you are actually receiving, have a conversation about tactics you can use to improve the accuracy of Google Analytics goal conversions.