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Google Analytics Mason Admissions Request Information Form Goals

We are now tracking submissions of both the undergraduate and graduate request information forms as goals within the Mason Google Analytics Roll-Up. These are important conversion points for our users so we want to be able to track them in Google Analytics.

Background

Both of these forms are hosted on/handled by third-party CRM systems. Because of this, we first had to set-up cross domain tracking in order to accurately track this activity.

We also want to be able to track form abandonment – cases where a user accesses the form but does not successfully submit it – by using the goal funnel report in GA. Although goals in GA can take many forms (page destinations, session durations, events, etc.), goal funnels can only be used for ‘page destination’ goals – goals which involve a user reaching a particular page. In these cases, we want the users to reach the corresponding form confirmation pages.

Undergraduate Request Information Form Details

The undergraduate request information form is handled via the TargetX CRM. TargetX forms can be handled in a few different ways. In this case, the form is presented on an iFrame within a Mason webpage.

Mason page (contains the iFrame): https://www2.gmu.edu/admissions-aid/request-information/information-request-form
TargetX form page (source for the iFrame): https://mason.secure.force.com/form/?formid=217770

TargetX will allow us to put our GTM tracking code on the form page, which means we can get tracking information about the use of this page. Conveniently, this form uses a standard HTML form submit – which means Google Tag Manager can be easily configured to listen for the form submission and take action. For example, we could set-up GTM to track this form submission as an event. But we can’t use goal funnels for event goals.

Unfortunately, TargetX does not provide the option of placing our GTM tracking code on the confirmation page.

The solution: we use GTM to send a virtual page view upon submission of the form. (Review GTM setup.)

Then we can set-up the goal as a destination goal for the virtual pageview. (Review GA goal setup.)

Goal Funnel: Step 1: access the undergraduate request information form; Step 2: receive the virtual page view hit.

Although step 1 is marked as required in the goal funnel setup, it is impossible for users to bypass the form and go directly to the completion URL, since it is a virtual pageview.

Graduate Request Information Form Details

The graduate request information form is handled via the Hobsons Radius CRM.

View graduate request information form

This form uses a non-standard form submission process. Instead of using a standard HTML form submit, the form sends its data using AJAX. This means that the submission of the form is not so easy for Google Tag Manager to detect and respond to.

But Hobsons Radius does allow us to arbitrarily set the form confirmation page (i.e. where the form sends the user after form submission).
So we set the form to send users back to the Mason core website (graduate How to Apply page), and tack-on a distinguishable query parameter, which enabled us to set up the goal funnel.

Goal Funnel: Step 1: access the graduate request information form; Step 2: access the specific confirmation page URL.

Because step 1 is marked as required in the goal funnel setup, users bookmarking and returning to the confirmation URL will not count as a goal completion.

Goal Funnels

The goal funnel visualization report will allow you to see where people came from, where the dropped-out of the process, and to where they exited.

Account: Mason Google Analytics Roll-Up
Property: Mason Google Analytics Roll-Up
View: [PROD] Mason: Roll-Up 2.0 (2015-12-08)
Report: Conversions -> Goals -> Funnel Visualization
Date Range: July 14, 2017 – July 25, 2017
Use the goal selector at the top to switch between goals.

  • Note that the graduate request information form has a lower completion rate than the undergraduate, perhaps because the form is more involved.
  • Now that we are able to track goal completion rate for these forms, we could test changes to the forms to see how these changes affect the completion rate.

Reverse Goal Path

The reverse goal path report allow you to ‘work backwards’ from the goal completion to see the path that led the user to the goal completion. In this case, this means that you can see the previous pages that a user viewed before submitting the request information form. Unfortunately you can only go back 3 steps by this method.

Account: Mason Google Analytics Roll-Up
Property: Mason Google Analytics Roll-Up
View: [PROD] Mason: Roll-Up 2.0 (2015-12-08)
Report: Conversions -> Goals -> Reverse Goal Path
Date Range: July 14, 2017 – July 25, 2017
Use the goal selector at the top to switch between goals.

Review the reverse goal path report for the graduate request information form goal. This report provides some good information about what the users who submit this form are interested in, and what might have driven them to submit this form (e.g. VSE programs, COS programs).

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