Have you ever considered what the real purpose of your website is?
You built it. You work on it (daily I hope). You expect it will bring you business.
People find the site somehow and you probably spend a lot of time thinking about building content to bring people to the site.
This is all sounds normal, right? What happens then? Your website is a driving force for your business, and you should use a slightly advanced setting within Google Analytics to see exactly how much of a driving force it is.
This advanced setting is called a Goal. Using this system allows you to measure how well your website meets your target expectations. You can set Goals to track when people view your product catalog, or when they add something to a shopping cart, or even when they look at your Contact Us page. Every time someone clicks an associated page, it will trigger your Goal.
Most independent retail jewelers don't have e-commerce set up on their website, but many do have a newsletter signup form. Hopefully those people on your newsletter list are getting regular emails from you. Your longterm goal is to make a sale to everyone on that list.
Getting more people to sign up for the email means you can eventually have more sales. You can use Goals to monitor specific pages on your site and also track the people signing up for the newsletter. You can then look at easy-to-read "Goal Flow Reports" that show how people moved from one goal to another until they actually signed up for the newsletter.
Those Goal Flow reports are nice because you can see where people left your website before reaching the next, or final, goal. Let me give you a more concrete example using the checkout of an e-commerce website.
Here are the 9 steps that we are going to set Goals for.
1. View "Product Detail Page"
2. Add item to shopping cart
3. View shopping cart page
4. Begin checkout, enter name and address
5. Enter shipping address
6. Select shipping method
7. Review final order
8. Enter payment information
9. Thank-you page
By tracking each of those steps as an individual goal, you can then see how many people get through them, and which step causes the most number of shopping cart abandonments. Another really cool thing about the Goal Flow Report I mentioned is that you can see where people jump back and forth through the shopping cart checkout process. This helps you identify confusing steps that you might need to redesign.
Other than tracking the people who sign up for your newsletter or those stepping through a checkout, you can use Goals to monitor any page of your website, how many pages people have viewed, how long they've been on your site, and how they click around your pages. That click tracking is called an "Event Goal" and you will need a programmer to set it up for you.
Rather than to go into how to set all this up, I'll instead refer you to the official directions for it here:
If you thought the reports from Google Analytics were already valuable, you'll be very surprised how much more these Goal reports are. And if you think the normal GA reports are confusing, then you'll be happily surprised how easy the Goals reports are to understand.