The Importance of Setting Up Google Analytics Goals

Person defining Google Analytics goals.

Google Analytics goals can be used to measure how often users perform a specific behavior.

A goal refers to a desired activity that users complete on your website or app. Various actions can count as a conversion, such as a purchase, completing a contact information form, completing a newsletter form, etc.

Goals can be broken down into four types: A specific web page or app screen visit, a determined session length on the website or app, number of pages loaded in that session, or an event or action such as an ad click or video play.

Destination Goals

Destination goals keep track of specific URLs. They are counted each time a user visits a set URL. Examples of these could be high traffic pages such as the homepage, popular blogs, or login pages. You can define whether you want to make an exact match goal that only tracks specific URLs, or you can track URLs that begin with particular phrases.

Goal Funnels

A goal funnel is a series of pages that lead to the user reaching the desired URL. If you define a funnel, you can monitor how many users move through each level of your funnel to see if there is a specific step where users are leaving your path to converting. You are then able to alter that step. If there is no funnel to get to the desired destination URL, you can view the user’s paths in the Visitors Flow report.

Duration Goals

This allows you to track users that stay on your site for a desired length of time. You can also use this the opposite way and track user visits that fall below that specific amount of time. You are able to differentiate between “greater than” or “less than” parameters and can use timestamps of hours, minutes, or seconds. 

Page Visit Goals

Page goals are similar to duration goals, except rather than monitoring how long a user has spent on your site, they allow you to track how many pages they visit. Again, you can select either “greater than,” “less than,” or “equal to.”

Event Goals

This is best done through Google Tag Manager, as it allows you to create events on your website without having to edit any of the backend code. You can track almost anything you can imagine with events, including button clicks, widget usage, downloads, external link clicks. You can track any element of your site that users interact with. 

Best Practices

Once you have defined your Google Analytics goals, determine values for those actions. You can do so by determining how often users who perform the desired action become a customer. When defining goals, consider actions that generate revenue either directly or indirectly. These can be newsletter signups, form fills, account creation – anything that will help your company produce revenue. Defining a revenue-producing goal makes it easier to assign a dollar amount to every goal so that you can determine your goal value.