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Understanding Google Analytics: Conversions

The ultimate goal of your website is to drive visitors to take specific actions. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, registering for a demo, or contacting your team, in Google Analytics you can track these strategic actions as conversions. 

The Conversions section of Google Analytics is dedicated specifically to tracking the actions that you have set up as goals, but it’s not the only section where conversion data shows up. In this article, we’ll walk through what to look for in the Conversions section of Google Analytics, revisit reports from the Audience, Acquisition, and Behavior sections of Google Analytics that are useful for analyzing conversions, and walk through an example to tie it all together.


Before you dive into the Conversions section, you will need to make sure that you have goals set up on your website to measure. Your goals in Google Analytics should be based on the steps that are key to your user journey and drive your business goals. These may include:

  • Watching an intro video
  • Visiting your pricing page
  • Signing up for your newsletter
  • Downloading a white paper
  • Registering for a webinar
  • Requesting a demo
  • Reaching out through your contact form
  • Purchasing a product through your site

For instructions on how to set up goals, see our supporting blog, How to Set Up Goals in Google Analytics.

Once you have some goal completion data (at least 24 hours, but could be longer depending on how often people are completing the goal action on your site), you’re ready to look at the reports in Conversions.

Goals – Overview

This first report shows your conversions for each goal as well as your total conversion rate for the period. This is the best place to get a snapshot of all your goal completions and where they are occurring.

What to Look For

  • How do your goal completions compare with the targets you have set for website leads? 
    • Are you ahead of, behind, or in line with the number contacts you are aiming for?
    • Where are you doing well and what areas are in need of improvement? These are the pages you will want to drill down on further using other reports like Landing Pages (in Behavior) and your All Traffic reports (in Acquisition).
  • Which sources are contributing the most goal completions?
    • Use this information to help you determine which sources to focus your energy and your budget towards.
  • Which pages are contributing the most goal completions?
    • Are there key conversion pages that aren’t performing? Use the other sections of Google Analytics to determine how they can be improved. 
    • Is there a specific blog that is contributing more newsletter sign-ups? This would be a good one to promote more, including by investing in advertising.

Other Reports

The other reports in the Goals section of Conversions can help you see more context for what actions your visitors are taking in what order. The Goal Flow report can be a helpful way to visualize how visitors are getting to goal completions. This is similar to the Events Flow report we covered in the Behavior section. 


If you are running an ecommerce site, this section is essential for you. In order to make use of it, though, you will need to do some additional setup, which is beyond the scope of this article. This article is a great resource to help you get set up and started with Ecommerce analytics.

Reports from Other Sections to Evaluate Conversions

Ironically, some of the best reports for analyzing conversions are not included within the Conversions tab. These reports each have the ability to include specific goal completion data that is valuable to seeing how your visitors are converting:


All Traffic – Channels, Source/Medium, and Campaigns

Each of the reports under Acquisition > All Traffic allow you to see conversion rates broken out by where the traffic came from. Pay attention to which channels, sources, or campaigns have the highest number of conversions and the highest conversion rates. For a full review of these reports, please see the Acquisition blog.


Site Content – Landing Pages

This report shows goal completion rates for the pages where visitors entered the site. Looking at your conversions by page helps you more clearly monitor the effectiveness of your landing pages and identify opportunities for improvement. For more on the Landing Page report, please see the Behavior blog.

Putting it All Together: An Example

The actions you should take based on these reports will vary depending on the goals you are trying to optimize around. But for application, let’s walk through one example: analyzing conversion performance around a contact form.

Let’s assume that you have one contact form, which appears on your Home page, Contact page, and some of your Blog pages. This contact form is important as it is the primary way that new leads get in touch with your sales team. So you have set up a goal for contact form completions.

You want to know how your website is driving people to contact you through this form, so you start by going to the Conversions Overview report. You see that you have had 15 goal completions for your contact form goal. You look at the Goal Completion Location table at the bottom of the report and see that 10 of the submissions were on the Contact page, 1 was on the homepage, and 4 happened to be from a recent blog you published that you’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on.

Your next step would be to look more closely at these pages in the Landing Page report to see the conversion rate of each page. It is important to look at both your conversion rate AND your number of conversions to evaluate what is performing well. For instance, 5 form submissions out of 50 visits is pretty good (depending on the page of course), but 5 form submissions out of 5,000 visits is not so great. 

Let’s say you determine that your Contact Page had 20 visits (sessions), your Home page had 1,000 visits, and your blog had 100 visits. 

PageConversionsSessionsConversion Rate

What to Do with the Contact Page

So looking at the conversion rates, the Contact Page converts at the highest rate at 50%. Granted, there aren’t that many people who went to that page, and they are probably more likely to be people who went there specifically to contact you, as opposed to someone who just landed on your site. Either way, based on these numbers you should consider how you can get more people to your contact page. You can include calls to action to contact you in your email newsletter or your social media posts.

What to Do with the Blog

A 4% contact conversion rate on a blog is great, considering that most people go to blogs looking for information on a topic that interests them, as opposed to with the intent of contacting a company. The numbers are still small, though, so in order to see if you are really on to something, or if you just happened to reach the 4 people most likely to contact you, you will need to expand the reach. Increase the promotion of the blog starting with your own organic channels (email, social media) and then if the conversion rate holds, consider investing in things like boosted posts, social and Google ads to promote it further.

What to Do with the Homepage

The conversion rate for the homepage is really low at only 0.1%. Certainly, most people who come to your homepage are just casual visitors, but this rate can be improved upon. Consider the following:

  • Does your homepage address what is most important to your target audience? Does it speak to their most pressing problems, or does it only state facts about your company?
  • Are you telling a coherent story?
  • Have you given visitors a reason to contact you? [i.e. contact us for a free consultation]

Make adjustments and monitor your conversion rate afterwards. Continue to make adjustments and improvements based on what makes a measurable impact.

So, that was a long example, but hopefully it helps you better understand how to analyze your conversion data and what adjustments you should make as a result. If you have any questions or would like us to walk through an analysis like this with you for your site, please contact us.


Now that we’ve walked through each of the main sections of Google Analytics — Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions — hopefully you have gained a better understanding of this powerful tool and how you can start using it to help your business. 

Keep in mind that mastering Google Analytics takes practice. I encourage you to bookmark these articles and come back to them each time you dive into Google Analytics, especially if you are not using it on a daily basis. If you have any questions, or would like a consultation on how to use Google Analytics more effectively for your business, please contact us.

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