Create Google Analytic Goals for FeedBurner

By Ian Fernando

So the new year for me will be all about stats and trying to improve, lately I have just been going with the flow. IF I see money come in from one of my affiliate networks or my paypal account, I clap my hands and do the money dance. So this year I want to see everything at bird eye view and check out my stats with all the income sources coming in.

One thing that I have been doing and playing around was tracking my RSS feeds and see what part of my website they are clicking from. This is good because I want to see what the best way to convert readers. So many blogs say to have a HUGE RSS button, or have the RSS link near the top, or even after the post. What really does convert? Which part of my blog do readers click more? Where to they find it easier to subscribe to my feed?

There are 2 good ways to do this and I found one better than the other. There is a simple redirect and a java on click which you can do to help track you rss feed clicks via Google Analytics. I will show you a javascript onclick tactic to help with tracking goals, which I find better and far better to track stats.

First, chose 'edit' on the site you want to start your RSS goal from the main dashboard.

Once you click on edit you will be brought to the profile settings of your site you want to set the Google Goals for. Here you will need to set the goal or goals, for tracking RSS you will just need to create one active goal within Google Analytics. From here you will notice a goal section, click on edit on a blank goal.

You will be brought to this screen below, which you will need to set some settings so you can track the RSS clicks accurately. From here are simple steps that need to be done to go a head and track you rss link properly. You will need to turn on the active goal and change the Match Type to Head Match. You will also need to set the url of the goal to a false directory, see example below:

Goal value is what you think a reader is worth to you. If you have a huge RSS reader base then your RSS maybe worth more, while others with less maybe worth less. You will need to figure out what your reader base is worth.

Above I use /goal/subscribe - but you can use anything you want /goal/feeds or whatever fits your need. Once this is done all you have to do is create unique names for each RSS link base on the location of the rss link. For example I have rss links at the top and after this post. I would label each one:

  • /goal/subscribe/toprss
  • /goal/subscribe/topemail
  • /goal/subscribe/topcomments
  • /goal/subscribe/afterpost
  • etc

But to start tracking we need to add a small piece of code to each link that we want to track the clicks or the rss links. Use this link combination to track all your rss link clicks:

<a onClick='javascript:urchinTracker("/goal/subscribe/LINKTOTRACK")' href="">

Just adjust the bold to your feed link. The java onClick will call the Google Analytics urchintracker and record that specific click, making it available for your viewing via your Google Analytics. Once that is done all you have to just do is log on go to Goals and view your Goal Verification and you can see which part of your website converts your readers to RSS subscribers.

The other that I use to do was create an HTM file with a redirect in the header, that specific page would have the Google Analytics code within and if someone clicks on an RSS link it would go to the subscribe.htm with the Google Analytics code in it and just forward it to the RSS feed. The downside I found with this is some users, such as myself will right click feed link, chose copy link location - so it can be imported via a third party tool - for me it would be Outlook.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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