This recipe and video tutorial will go through how to setup “Goals” within Google Analytics (GA) and connect them to your Paid Memberships Pro-powered website.

How to Set Up Membership Checkout Goals in Google Analytics Banner Image

What are “Goals” in Google Analytics?

If you aren’t familiar with what Goals are within Google Analytics, here is a helpful video from the GA team.

Goals are a way to log important activities on your site other than straight page views. With Google Analytics Goals, you can also:

  • Setup Goal Funnels, which will help you calculate conversion rates and figure out where people drop off during checkout.
  • Calculate the value of pages across your site based on how often they lead to Goals (paid checkouts).

Setting Up Your Goals

  1. If you don’t have a Google Analytics account, create one and setup a “profile” for your website.
  2. Add the Google Analytics JavaScript code to your WordPress site. We like GA Google Analytics by Jeff Star.
  3. Complete the full initial setup of Paid Memberships Pro, including creating all of your levels in with the desired membership pricing.
  4. From Google Analytics, click on the “Admin” button. Then click on “Goals” under the “View (Profile)” column.
Finding Goals in Google Analytics

  1. Click on “Create a Goal”. Choose “Custom”. Click Next Step.
Add a Custom Goal in Google Analytics

  1. Enter a Goal Name matching your membership level’s name. Choose “Destination” for the “Type”. Click Next.
Enter goal name and type "Destination" in Google Analytics

  1. For the destination enter the relative URL to the confirmation page for this level. It should be something like “/membership-account/membership-confirmation/?level=1”. Choose “Begins With” in the dropdown next to Destination. This will allow for other plugins and customizations that might add parameters to the end of the confirmation URL.
Goal destination, value, and funnel.

  1. Enter the value.
    • For free levels, you can leave this off. Or you can set a low value equated with your expected return from a free user. For example, if on average 1 in 100 free users ends up paying you $100, your free members might have a value of $1. In general though, it’s good to leave value off for free levels so the reporting there doesn’t interfere with the reporting on your paid levels.
    • For paid levels, you will want to enter either the one-time payment amount or your estimated Lifetime Value for members based on your monthly revenue and cancellation rates. The most important thing here is that the relative values of your membership levels are accurate. If your annual plan is 2x as profitable as your monthly plan, you want the annual plan goal to have a value 2x the value of the monthly plan goal.
  2. Turn on the Funnel feature.**
    • Set “Required” to “No”.
    • Name: Home. Screen/Page: /
    • Name: Levels. Screen/Page: /membership-account/membership-levels/
    • Name: Checkout (Level Name). Page: (URL to the checkout page) /membership-account/membership-checkout/?level=1
  3. Click Create Goal.
  4. Repeat these steps for each additional membership level.

** For your funnel, make sure to use the actual URLs for your levels page and checkout page. If you use PayPal Standard or another gateway that processes offsite, you don’t need to include steps for the offsite pages. If you are using PayPal Express, which adds a confirmation step at /membership-account/membership-checkout/?level=1&review=1 that you can add in.

That’s it for setup. It’s important to have this set up accurately, because any changes you make the the destination and funnel URLs or the value will only be applied going forward.

If you have multiple funnels to the same membership level, you may want to setup multiple goals for it, each with its own funnel. If so, you should set the “required” option to “Yes” for your funnel steps to avoid double counting the goal values. Be sure your goals support all paths to checking out.

After getting things setup, you’ll need to wait some time for conversions to come in. How long you wait will depend on how often you get customers. As you get member signups on your site, wait 24 hours then check that the goal conversion showed up in Google Analytics. If not, make sure that your URLs are setup correctly.

Once you get the settings and values worked out, be sure to ignore the dates when you had incorrect settings in your reporting. Sometimes people will make a Google Analytics profile for testing new goals and have another profile for the actual goal settings once they are worked out.

Viewing Goals in Your Reports

There are a few useful reports inside of Google Analytics with respect to goals.

Conversions –> Goals –> Overview
Will show you the basic stats across all of your goals including the number of goal completions, goal value, conversion rates, and abandonment rates. In the upper left is a dropdown to choose specific Goals/Levels or all completions.

Like other Google Analytics reports, you can change the timeframe and compare two timeframes together. I like to compare the past 30 days to the 30 days before that to make sure that my business is continuing to grow. For seasonal businesses, you’ll want to focus on the monthly rates compared across years.

Goal Conversions

Conversions –> Goals –> Goal URLs
Good for comparing across goals/levels.

Conversions –> Goals –> Reverse Goal Path
Good for viewing the conversion % of each step along your goal funnels.

Conversions –> Goals –> Funnel Visualization
Great for viewing the conversion and dropoff rates for each step along your goal funnels, including which other pages on your site lead into the funnel most often.

Goal Funnel Visualization

Conversions –> Goals –> Goal Flow
Great for viewing conversion rates for traffic from specific sources entering the goal funnel.

Goal Flow

Behavior –> Site Content –> All Pages
When you have goals setup, you’ll get an extra column to your content report table showing the “Page Value” for each page. This stat is based on the Goal Value of all conversions involving that page divided by the total number of unique visits to that page.

Paid Value on Content Reports

There will be a lot of noise in this statistic, e.g. your confirmation pages will be valued very highly (duh) and there will be a few other random pages that someone might have stumbled into before making a purchase that won’t tell you very much.

However, if you sort by Unique Pageviews (descending) and then sort by Page Value (descending), you can look for pages with a statistically high number of conversions and page value.

So if you a certain page has 100 visits and resulted in 10 conversions for a $100 membership level, that page would have a page value of $10. So you basically know that any time you send someone to that page, you will get $10.

By finding pages with high page value, you know which content on your blog/etc is referring paying customers and you can put more focus into promoting specific pages or creating more content like that.

I hoped this has helped you setup Google Analytics Goals for your site and will help you gain some insight into how your site is converting and what you can do about it. You can do a whole lot more with Google Analytics, so this is only a beginning. Please share your tips and let me know if you have any questions.