set goals

How to Set up Google Analytics Goals, a Guide for beginners (2022)

Google Analytics Goals provide a deep insight into your customers. The success of online advertising and marketing your website or application depends on how well you understand your website traffic.

By understanding your customers /website or app users, you can improve the performance of your marketing strategy, products, content, and your website or app overall. And setting up Google Analytics Goals help you achieve that all.

First of all, let’s learn what are Google Analytics Goals?

What are Google Analytics Goals?

Google Analytics Goals help you to track specific user interactions. For example, product purchases, form submissions, contact information, etc.

 A goal presents a completed activity by a customer which is also called a conversion. When a user performs a specific function that you have defined as a goal, Google Analytics records that as a conversion.

For example, a product purchase for an e-commerce site, filling a contact form for a leads generation or marketing site, playing a video, or completing a game level for a gaming app.

Tracking conversions can be a nightmare if you’re not using Google Analytics. It gets so difficult to navigate so many paths and so many reports which you don’t even understand.

However, setting up Google Analytics Goals is one of the most useful metrics you can perform to track conversions.  Goals are the metrics that are most important for the growth of your business as they contribute a lot to the success of your business.

Furthermore, to get the most benefit out of Google Analytics Goals, you have to customize them according to your business needs. This means you have to add goals that are more specific and meaningful to you so that you can take more advantage of the data and take decisions accordingly.

For example, Goals can make you track the No. of people who have signed up for your contact form & also the conversion rate for that form.

step by step

Setting up Google Analytics Goals:

Now, let’s learn how to set up Google Analytics goals:

First Step: Set up a Google Analytics Goal

  • First, sign in to your Google Analytics account
  • Select the admin account at the top right corner
  • You can see 3 columns i.e., Account, Property, and View.
  • Select third column i.e., View
  • At the top of the table, select the ‘+New Goal’ button
  • First of all, name your goal
  • You can choose either template or custom option

The ‘active’ or ‘inactive’ goal option makes you control whether the goal is functioning or not. When you want to turn the goal off, you can make it ‘inactive’.

You can not delete goals. You can only choose to make them inactive. That’s because Google Analytics applies goals permanently for compiling data for your reports.  In short, Google Analytics can not remove Goals from historical data.

Second Step: Choose & Set up your Goal Type:

Now, you have to choose the type of goals you want to set.

Here’s a description of each goal type, so that you can select which goal type you can build to help you measure your marketing objectives. and how to set up Google Analytics Goals:

  1. URL Destination Goals
  2. Visit Duration Goals
  3. Page/Visit Goals
  4. Event Goals

1.       URL Destination Goals:

Google Analytics URL destination goals track specific URLs. Every time someone visits that specific URL, or that particular page, they trigger that goal. This type of goal is most suitable for landing pages such as Confirmation pages, thank you pages, or Signups.

This is the most commonly used goal for tracking conversions.

The configuration of URL Destination goal is a bit technical:

  1. First, you need to enter the goal name
  2. Click on goal type i.e., URL destination goal
  3. Enter Goal URL:
Goal URL

is the URL that triggers a goal. Don’t enter the full domain only enter what comes after the domain. For example, if your goal page is https://www.mysite.com/thankyou.html you just have to enter /thankyou.html

  1. Select Match Type:

This match type decides whether Google Analytics will count a specific URL or not.

  • When you select Exact Match, it will track only that particular URL and nothing else. If it has a unique ID for each session or a query string attached to the URL, Google Analytics won’t count it.
  • But, if you select Head match, it will track any visit to the URL, regardless of what comes after that URL
  • Regular expressions are the most technical and complicated. They let you define your URL in any way you want. But if you haven’t read about them, it’s better to leave them aside.
5.       Case Sensitive:

Check this box only if the uppercase or lowercase goal URL leads to different results. Otherwise, leave this box unchecked.

6.       Goal Funnels:

You can use Goal Funnels for Google analytics URL goals. Goal funnels require a URL at every step so this is the only goal type with that option.

 Funnels make it possible to identify the particular step where people are leaving the conversion process. The funnel is only useful where a specific path is followed.

You can add up to 10 steps that the user has to go through before reaching the final goal. This way you can identify at which step exactly the users are leaving the funnel. Also, remember the match type you added above. You have to add the same match type for every step of the funnel.

 For example:  Selecting a product, adding to cart, checking out, filling out different forms & making the final purchase. You can track through Funnel if anybody leaves before making the final purchase.

2.       Visit Duration Goals

Visit duration goal measures the duration of time a visitor spends on your site/app.  You can use this goal to Track the Number of users that stay on your site for a particular amount of time. 

Here you can also measure how many users spend time below a certain amount. This goal is useful for customer support sites as they are trying to help customers with their queries as quickly as possible.

The configuration of the Visit duration goal is super easy:

  • Enter goal name
  • Click on goal type i.e., visit duration goal
  • Set the condition i.e., Greater than if you want to measure engagement or less than if you want to measure how quickly your support site provides information.
  • Hours, Minutes, Seconds: Mention the time accurately you want to specify for your goal

3.       Page per Visit Goals:

Page per Visit Goal is another simple type of Google Analytics goal. You can use this goal to track the No. of pages a user visits before leaving your site. This goal type is also most suitable for customer support sites.

Setting up pages/visits goals is a simple process:

  • Enter goal name
  • Click on goal type i.e., Page/ visit goal
  • Set the condition i.e., Greater than if you want to measure engagement or less than if you want to measure how quickly your support site provides useful information. There’s also a third option equal to
  • Choose the No of pages visited. Simply select the No. of pages that you want to trigger this goal.

4.       Event Goals:

The fourth Google analytics goal type is Event Goals. This type of goal is a bit complicated as you have to set events first.

Events are most useful for tracking user interactions on your site/app such as button clicks, video plays, etc. Then with the help of Google Analytics goals, you can easily set the events as goals. Event goals are the best option if the goal you want to track isn’t associated with a different URL.

You can track any type of user interaction such as:

  • Time spent watching videos
  • External Links
  • Downloads
  • Widgets
  • Social media buttons

Setting up Events goals is a complicated process:

  • Enter goal name
  • Click on goal type i.e., Events goal
  • Set the Goal details. Firstly, for creating this goal you have to configure:

A combination of one or more event conditions such as Category, Action, label & Value. You can define each event with one or more event conditions.

The event goal will only be activated if the event matches all of the conditions that you have defined.

 If you define the only category, the event goal won’t be affected by the rest of the conditions. But, if you define all four of the conditions, then the goal will only trigger if the event matches all of the four conditions.

Secondly, you can also select whether you want to add a new goal value or to use the event value as the goal value. Generally speaking, choose the event value if that value is related to revenue. Otherwise, choose a new goal value or leave this space blank.

Conclusion:

You can easily track the essential metrics that can contribute to the progress of your business by using URLs, duration of time spent on your site, pages per visit, and events.

 Tracking your goals with Google Analytics makes you take full advantage of the data it provides. Furthermore, you can use this data to take meaningful decisions and eventually grow your business.

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