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Pairing Analytics Goal Tracking With Client Expectations

With the transition to GA4, now is the time to reassess your client goals and how you track their campaign success.

As we have traversed from Universal Google Analytics to Google Analytics 4, many of us have been painstakingly transitioning tracking metrics to adhere to our new way of data analysis.

On the bright side, this is a great time for you to reassess your client goals and how you track their campaign success.


With a plethora of goals, events, and behavioral actions that we have the ability to track on client websites, it is imperative that you not give clients the “kitchen sink” approach to data reporting.

Lengthy reporting often creates confusion and keeps our minds away from the key engagements that have clients paying you each month.

While you attempt to be mindful to only report on digital goals that drive client success, the definition of these is critical at the onset of a client effort.

Your job as a digital expert is to help the client understand the difference between a KPI and a behavioral metric.

Here’s an example: In the past, I have heard from clients that a goal for their website is to lower bounce rate or improve pages per visit. This is a UX goal and not ultimately a business goal.

This is good to know from a client – but it is UX, coupled with great ads and content, that will help you to win at the end of the day.

While ecommerce makes it easier for us to gauge return on ad spend quickly, the lead generation environment can be a bit trickier.

To define success, you should sit down with your client’s leadership at the beginning of your partnership and think through the ideal conversion process.

Example: What engagement with your brand leads to sales? Are these contact form submissions, phones ringing, gated content, or social platform lead ads, to name a few?

While you can track all of these, it is best to understand where you can drive the best engagement.

Evaluating Success

Above, we were able to hone in on the types of goal engagements that you should be benchmarking and driving forward.

For those of you outside of ecommerce or without connection abilities to CRM platforms, evaluating success can be a little harder.

This is another situation where marketer and client communication is key.

We have addressed the most successful engagement point in digital marketing for an example client, but what is it worth?

Example: We know that leads generated through gated content have shown to convert for our example client, but what is the close rate, and what is the net value of that sale?

Receiving insight on these types of questions is what will help you to understand how you can place a value on each lead engagement you are driving through the door.

This will be your constant guide to understanding how well you are providing value for your clients.

Be In Their Corner

The keener you are to analytical goal offerings as provided by Google Analytics, the better marketer you will be to your client – and they’ll be able to recognize the value you provide.

Example: Enabling enhanced ecommerce in Google Analytics vs. standard ecommerce tracking will allow you to look at transactional data in greater detail to understand the journey of your website converters.

Another point of taking goal tracking a step further is the ability to gather offline conversions back into Google Analytics.

This is done via porting data from your CRM through a data connector such as Zapier, which automatically updates data that shows up in your Google Analytics 4 instance.

Taking advantage of these benefits shows that you are not simply in a “set it and forget it” mindset.

Look At The Big Picture

Another point of understanding between marketers and their clients is considering multi-channel attribution and desired goal modeling.

In GA4, under Advertising/Attribution/Model Comparison, you will see your ability to look further into not only what traffic channels drive last-click engagement but more about what traffic channels are working together to drive website engagements.

The additional ability to look past the last click and choose views of position-based and data-driven models will give credit to those channels that do a great job of ushering traffic into the website and making a great first impression.

Addressing Goal Tracking Limitations

In a perfect world, we would have the ability to follow data through to sale with ease in every application.

While there are solutions to connect through sales platforms and tie into offline considerations, it isn’t always guaranteed.

At the end of the day, it comes down to what your client can afford by way of data connection.

A mutual agreement must take place early in your relationship to address any limitations you may have that may ultimately leave unseen goal attainment associated with your efforts.

Example: You are charged with driving new hires for your client. While you can track the number of unique users moving to fill out a form submission, it takes users to another HR vendor website to complete the application process. You are now left with half the data picture.

Yes, you can still take a broader stance and compare submission success outside campaign time ranges to see a lift, but direct attribution may not be available.

Happy Clients Are The Best Clients

Hopefully, our walkthrough of tips has reinforced the need for understanding, communication, and agreement in your marketer and client relationship.

An inability to come together on goal-setting will ultimately lead to a negative sentiment when assessing your value as a marketer.

Sadly, oftentimes, your value is assessed by an individual (or group of people at the top of a company) who won’t understand that previous inaction has caused a lack of goal accuracy.

Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. That’s the signal of healthy marketer-to-client collaboration.

You will be glad you did, and your client will see that you care enough to establish an accurate and agreed-upon goal baseline.

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Featured Image: fizkes/ Shutterstock

VIP CONTRIBUTOR Josh McCoy Director, Integrated Channel Delivery at Trozzolo

Josh is Director, Integrated Channel Delivery at Trozzolo. He was formerly a digital marketing strategist at Vizion Interactive. Josh possesses ...

Pairing Analytics Goal Tracking With Client Expectations

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