How adding Google Analytics “Goal Tracking” to Zen Cart can help increase sales conversion

Written by  May 10, 2007

Recently I was in the forums answering questions and was asked about an “obscure” feature (yet a VERY important one) provided with Google Analytics. It is the “Goal Tracking” feature. The Zen Cart user asked “What is ‘Goal Tracking’ and what is it used for?”. The question went something like this to be exact:

I use the Ecommerce tracking which is quite efficient, but I don’t really see what to do with the “Google Analytics Goals”.

And if you do, what do you use them for?

The question and answer are important enough that I wanted to post them both here for my readers. My reply to the question was:

You use Google Analytics “Goal Tracking” to find out more about the breakdown of “where” the ‘actions’ are taking place on your site (sales, contact us feedbacks, sales funnel abandonment, etc..) .

It is great for determining WHERE in the visitors “path” they are abandoning the process (leaving your site). I use Google Analytics Goal Tracking on a number of Zen Cart sites to let me know where the “problem points are” and to help me better determine the “true conversion rate” of a particular action (again, a sale, a contact us submission, etc..)

Combine it with a “Defined Funnel” and you should be able to gain a ton of information on what causes your visitors to “act” (buy) and what causes them to abandon (leave).

I like to use Goal tracking with a 5 step “funnel process” (starting with an individual product page, and then flowing through the entire checkout process to a final sale.) This type of tracking is invaluable, and can be used to find out the “real problem points” on a site.

Goal Tracking combined with Funnel / Path Analysis (both provided in Google Analytics) should help you answer these questions (and more):

1) What do your customers when they get to your site.

2) Where they end up “leaving” (VERY IMPORTANT here as it can tell you the exact pages you need to start “working on improving” if you are looking to increase conversion rates). After all, if you don’t know WHERE your customers are having problems, how in the world are you going to be able to “fix it”? The answer is … you can’t … without proper tracking.

3) The breakdown of “where actions” really occur on your site (an “action” can be defined as anything that you want to “get the customer to do”. It can be to “contact you”, “buy your product”, download some information, etc…)

I would also recommend if you are using Google Analytics that you have all of the following implemented:
a) Google Analytics
b) e-commerce tracking
c) Goal Tracking
d) Proper “sales funnels” setup in Google Analytics

The information you will be fed from that alone is a GREAT start to moving your conversion up (more sales).

The LOWEST conversion rate I have on ANY of my client’s “Zen Cart driven” sites is a whopping 3- 4% (and I’m talking SALES conversion). The highest is a astronomical 11%! (Again, SALES conversion).

So, looking at that information, that means that on the “low side” 3-4% of ALL VISITORS that come to the one site turn into a SALE. On the high end, with another Zen site, 11% of ALL TRAFFIC that comes to that site converts to a sale.


Now THAT is what a good site, and good tracking (even using the above mentioned Google Analytic Options), and “Qualified Traffic” (attracting those visitors to your site that are going to “buy”) can do for Zen.

Make sense why the “whole shebang” is important with Google Tracking (including Goal Tracking)?

Now, having revealed that, I think the next logical question would be “So how does one go about setting up the proper Goal Tracking within Zen Cart?”

Good question which itself warrants a good answer!

I’ll go into detail in another post on that and include a video tutorial to show you exactly *how* you can setup Goal Tracking and combine it with 3 other items (all provided by Google Analytics) to help you gain the knowledge to increase sales at your website …

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