If you only use Google Analytics once in a while, it can seem pretty straightforward. Sure, there’s a lot in there – loads of buttons and reports – and it might feel like it would take ages to get the hang of everything. But here’s a friendly tip: concentrate on setting up your Goals to
Goals in Google Analytics are like the things you want people to do on your website. Maybe you want them to buy something, sign up for your emails, or download your ebook. These are the big wins you’re looking for, and tracking them helps you understand how well your website is working.
Now, a little heads-up about the Google Analytics tool itself. The version we’re talking about here is called Google Universal Analytics, but it’s going to be replaced by a new version called Google Analytics 4 by spring 2023. If you’re wondering how to switch from the old version to the new one, don’t worry, there’s a guide for that. It’ll show you step by step what to do, making it easier to keep up with the changes and use the new features in Google Analytics 4.
Goals in Google Universal Analytics
Goals in Google Analytics are super important because they show how your business is growing.
Here’s how they work: Goals make it easy for you to keep an eye on how well you’re getting new leads. They’re quick and accurate. For instance, Goals can show you how many people filled out your contact form and what percentage of visitors that is (that’s your conversion rate).
Next, I’m going to walk you through the different types of Goals you can set up. I’ll explain each type, why it might be useful for you, and how you can start tracking these Goals.
You’ll also learn how to check out your Goal completion numbers and conversion rates right in Google Analytics.
Just a quick note: If you run an Ecommerce website, don’t use Goals to track your sales. There’s a special Ecommerce tracking method for that. We’ll go over that in a different section later on.
Metrics You Can Track by Setting Up Goals:
- Number of Conversions: This is just how many times people do what you want them to do on your website. Like buying something or signing up for your newsletter.
- Conversion Rate of Your Website: This tells you what percentage of your visitors are doing those important things (like making a purchase or signing up).
- Which Marketing Campaigns Are Most Effective: You’ll be able to see which of your advertising or marketing efforts are bringing in the most people who do those key actions on your site.
- Where People Stop in the Process: This is about figuring out at what point people are leaving your site or stopping their journey. But first, you need to set up something called ‘funnels’ to track their path through your site. Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to do that below.
Hold on a moment: Don’t Set Up Goals Just Because
Here’s something to remember: You’re limited to 20 Goals for each report.
Setting up a Goal in Google Analytics shouldn’t be just a box-ticking exercise. It’s not about doing it just because you think you should. Each Goal you set should matter to your business. It should help you grow and hit your digital marketing targets. If it doesn’t do that, then it might not be worth your time. The most effective Goals are those that contribute to your business’s success, like tracking how many people fill out your contact form.
Step 1 – Set Up a Goal in Google Analytics:
- Log into Your Google Analytics Account: First off, sign in to your account.
- Go to the Admin Section: You’ll find the ‘Admin’ button at the top of your screen. Click on that.
- Look at the Three Columns: Once you’re in the Admin section, you’ll see three columns labeled ‘Account’, ‘Property’, and ‘View.’
- Choose ‘View’ in the Last Column: In the last column on the right, which is the ‘View’ column, click on ‘View.’
- Start Creating a New Goal: At the top of the table, there’s a red button that says ‘+ New Goal.’ Click on that.
- Pick the Template Option: Finally, choose the ‘template’ option to get started with setting up your new Goal.
Step 2 – Choose Your Goal Type:
Let’s break down each type of Goal in Google Analytics so you can pick the best ones for tracking your digital marketing goals and KPIs:
- Destination: This is about tracking when someone reaches a specific page on your website. Think of pages like ‘Thank You’ pages or confirmation screens that show up after someone downloads something or signs up. When a visitor lands on these pages, it counts as achieving a Goal.
- Duration: Here, you’re looking at how long people stay on your site. You set a minimum time you want visitors to spend on your website. If they stay longer than this time, it’s counted as a Goal completion.
- Pages/Screens per Session: This one tracks the number of pages (or screens on a mobile app) someone views during their visit. For example, you might set a Goal to track visitors who look at at least 3 pages in one visit.
- Event: This type is for tracking specific actions people take on your site. This could be anything from playing a video, clicking on an ad, signing up for your newsletter, to leaving a comment on your blog. Each of these actions can be set up as a separate Goal to track.
Step 3 – Learn What Each Goal Type Means & How to Set Them Up:
1. Destination Goals
Destination Goals are super helpful for tracking when a visitor reaches a specific page on your website after doing something like filling out a contact form. If someone arrives at a particular page you’ve set up (like an HTML page), it activates your Destination Goal. These Goals are perfect for keeping tabs on who gets to ‘Thank You’ pages or confirmation pages, especially those who’ve just completed a form on one of your landing pages. It’s a great way to monitor how many people are taking the actions you’re aiming for on your website.
A Guide to Setting Up Your Destination Goals:
How to Set Your Goal URL –
When you’re choosing a URL for your Destination Goal, pick a page that people see only after they’ve done what you want them to do on your site. For example, use the URL of the ‘Thank You’ page that shows up after someone fills out a contact form. But here’s a tip: you don’t need to put in the whole URL. Just enter the part of the URL that comes after your main website address – that’s called the request URI.
Decide Whether to Set a Monetary Value –
If you know how much money each conversion is worth for your specific Goal, you can add that amount to Google Analytics. For instance, if each conversion is worth $5 to your business, you can enter that. Google Analytics will then keep track of each Goal completion as if it’s bringing in that amount of money. This helps you see how much your conversions are earning for your business.
Not sure how to figure out the right value for your Goal? To add your value in Google Analytics, just turn on the toggle and type in the amount in the box provided. If you don’t want to set a monetary value, no worries – just leave the toggle off.
How to Set Your Match Type –
Your Match Type in Google Analytics lets you control how closely the URL needs to match to count as a Goal. If you pick Exact Match, then only the exact URL you specify will count. This might not be the best choice if your website creates unique URLs for each user.
On the other hand, Head Match is more flexible. It counts all visits to your specified URL, no matter what follows after it. This is a good option if you’re adding UTM parameters (those bits of text you sometimes see in URLs that track where traffic comes from) or if your URLs change for each user.
Regular expressions are a bit more complex and are usually used by those who are more experienced, but if you’re feeling adventurous and want to try it out, there’s a helpful Google Analytics Guide you can check out.
Decide Whether to Create a Goal Funnel –
Goal Funnels in Google Analytics are like setting up checkpoints on your website to see how visitors move towards completing your main goal. They’re really useful for spotting exactly where people stop and leave your site, which helps you figure out which pages might need some work.
You’ll find Goal Funnels most helpful when you want visitors to go through a specific set of pages before they complete your Goal. For instance, if you have a simple landing page that leads straight to a thank you or confirmation page, you probably don’t need a Goal Funnel. But, if you have something like a checkout process with several steps, Goal Funnels are great for tracking each part of that journey. This way, you can make sure every step is working well and encouraging people to complete the purchase.
How to Set Up a Goal Funnel –
Turning on the Funnel feature is easy. Just click on the Funnel toggle to activate it. After that, enter the URL of each page you want to track. These are the pages you expect users to visit as they move towards completing your Goal. Want to track more steps in the funnel? Just click the ‘+Add another Step’ button to include additional pages.
If you want to make sure users go through each step in order, turn on the ‘Required step’ toggle. This makes each step a must-do for the funnel to count.
Now, to wrap up your Destination Goal setup, just click ‘Create Goal’ or ‘Save Goal.
2. Pages/Screens Goals
Pages/Screens Goals are all about seeing how interested your visitors are by counting how many pages or screens they look at in one visit. You decide the minimum number of pages you want people to check out – let’s say 3 pages, for example. Every time someone looks at more pages than your set minimum during their visit, it’s counted as a conversion, showing they’re engaged with your site.
To finish setting up your Pages/Screens Goal, it’s super simple. Just click ‘Create Goal’ or ‘Save Goal.’ And just like that, you’re done and ready to track how engaged your visitors are!
3. Event Goals
Event Goals are all about keeping an eye on the specific things people do on your website. For example, it could be when someone clicks to play a video, downloads a PDF, signs up for your newsletter, or even arrives at your page from a link somewhere else. To track these actions as Event Goals, you first need to set them up as ‘Events’ with a special code called Event Tracking. Don’t worry, it’s not too tricky – there’s a helpful guide that shows you how to set up Event Tracking.
Once you’ve got your Event Tracking code in place, you’re ready to set up your Event Goal. Just follow the steps below, and you’ll be all set to track those important user interactions on your site!
How to Set the Category –
Setting up a Category is a great way to organize things on your website that you want to keep track of. For instance, if you want to group all the videos on your site, you can use a Category for that. You could name this Category something simple like ‘Videos.’ This makes it easier to see how people are interacting with all your videos in one grouped place.
Setting the Action:
The Action is the specific thing you want your user to do. For example, if you’re tracking a video, the Action could be ‘Play’ or ‘Stop’.
Setting the Label:
The Label lets you add more details about your Event. If you’re tracking a video, this is a great place to note the video’s title.
Setting the Value:
The Value is a number you assign to track your Event. It helps the report sum up all the values from each Event and even shows an average value for the category. You can use a monetary value, like $5 for a download, or a time value, like 3 for 3 minutes of video play. Just choose the type of value that makes the most sense for what you’re tracking.
Deciding on Your Event Value as Your Goal Value:
If you want the Event Value (like the monetary value) to be your Goal Value, leave the toggle set to ‘Yes’. If you prefer to set a different Goal Value, click ‘No’ and enter the amount you want.
Creating & Saving Your Event Goal:
Finally, to wrap up your setup, just click ‘Create Goal’ or ‘Save Goal.’ And that’s it – you’re all set to track those important interactions on your site!
Step 4 – How to Track the Goals You Have Set Up & View Your Conversion Rate:
- Sign into Google Analytics: First, log into your account.
- Navigate to Your Goals: Click on ‘Conversions,’ then ‘Goals,’ and finally ‘Overview.’
- Select Your Goal Type: At the top of the page, above the table, there’s a dropdown list. From here, choose the type of Goal you want to look at.
View Your Goal Data: Now you can see all sorts of information about your chosen Goal, like how many times it’s been completed, the conversion rate (how often people visit your site to complete this Goal), and the abandonment rate (how often people start the process but don’t finish it).
It’s also good to know that information about your Goal conversions shows up in other parts of Google Analytics too. You’ll find them in the Multi-Channel Funnels report under the ‘Conversions’ section, and also in the Acquisition reports. This gives you a more complete picture of how your Goals are doing.
To wrap it all up, learning how to set up and keep track of your Goals in Google Analytics is a really smart move for your business. It helps you see what’s working and what’s not, and understand your customers better.
And hey, if you want to get the most out of your digital marketing, think about teaming up with Optamark Digital. They’re pros at using tools like Google Analytics. They can help you set up your Goals, figure out what all that data means, and use it to make your business even better. With Optamark Digital, you’re not just collecting data – you’re using it to grow your business and make smarter decisions