What are Google Analytics Goals
Great question! Goals in Google Analytics can help you see critical information about actions people are taking on your website.
You can see how many people have:
- joined a mailing list
- submitted a form
- joined as a volunteer
- registered for an event
- …and so much more
Google Analytics offers a maximum of 20 goals per view in your account, so it is critical that you think carefully about what goals are most important for your group to measure!
Now, the information provided below is a basic primer and meant to be for beginners who want some more data than they are currently getting! There are a LOT of others ways to get this kind of data including the Tag Manager and other scripts – but we wanted to supply the easiest way for you to get great data fast.
Goals typically need a thank you page to be able to get the most accurate data.
So for each action you have on your website you would want to create a unique thank you page for that specific action.
Steps For Setting Up Your Goals – page 1
- Sign in to Google Analytics
- Click Admin
- Go to the View column and select the view you want to add a Goal for (you may only have 1 view and that is fine!)
- Click GOALS
Steps For Setting Up Your Goals – page 2
1. Click the New Goal button
Steps For Setting Up Your Goals – page 3
This page offers 3 steps – Goal Setup, Goal Description and Goal Details.
There are some “template” goals you can use if they fit your action. For example if you have a membership website and want to track how many new accounts were created, you can use the Create An Account option – for this example we will use Contact Us since it is a standard tracking action.
1. Click Contact Us under Inquiry
2. Click Continue
3. Enter the NAME of your Goal this should be easy to read and understand when you see it in the reports. So for this example lets use General Contact Form
4. Goal Slot Id – this is how you can “organize” your goals. You may want to put all of your contact goals in Goal Id 2, your donation goals under Goal Id 3 – it is just a way for you to easily find all of your similar goals easily.
5. Type – there are different ways and types of goal tracking you can do, destination tracking is the easiest to implement so we will use that for this example.
6. Click Continue
Destination – this is where you assign a page that the visitor will wind up on to trigger the conversion tracking. For every contact form you create, you should have a specific thank you page for that contact form. So for our general contact form we may have a page that is called http://mywebsite.com/thank-you
If you have a contact page that is for receiving specific information – like a brochure, you may use http://mywebsite.com/thank-you-brochure
No matter what you use, they must be unique so you track them properly.
1. Choose BEGINS WITH in the destination dropdown
2. Enter ONLY the end of the URL (not the whole domain) – if you are using wordpress you will just use /thank-you in the field
3. Value you can leave blank
4. Funnel is optional but can give you great insight into where people leave your site before completing an action. For a base level funnel you can click the ON button to activate it – for a form you may want to just have the home page and maybe the page that the form is on….
5. In step 1 you can enter Home as the Name then in the next box / to represent your home page
6. In step 2 you can enter Contact Form as the name and then /contact to represent the page your form is on
7. Click VERIFY to see if the website has had any of these actions in the last 7 days (in the example below you can see when we clicked verify it shows the goals would have had a 1.10% conversion rate – which shows our funnel is working correctly)
8. Click Save – you have just set up your first goal!
It may take a little time before your goals start being tracked. But once it does here is how you can view your goals.
1. Go to Reporting
2. Click Conversions
3. Click Goals
4. Click Overview
This page will show you a general overview of how many Goal Completions you have had and what pages converted those goals. In the example below you can see we have had 2 goal conversions to a page called /thank-you which we set up for our General Contact page.
If you click the left area you can view the Goal Completion Location – which will show you the URL where the conversion happened.
Or you can select Source/Medium which will tell you how that conversion got to your website.
You can view other Goals you have setup by clicking the dropdown above the Overview tab as shown below. (we only have 1 goal installed, but others would appear in the dropdown if we set more up!)
Great – so now you know we have had 2 Goal Conversions – but how many were in our “goal funnel” that did not complete that conversion?
1. Click Funnel Visualization in the Goals area where you currently should be
On this page you will see – well a funnel of course.
On the funnel you will be able to see the pages that you set up in the goals and how they came through the funnel. The data you get from here can help you improve your conversions – if you are losing a lot of people at step 2 in the funnel – then you need to improve that page and do some testing!
Jill Caren brings over 12 years of WordPress and SEO experience to help you improve and grow your website. She has spoken at several events on SEO and has been published in several top SEO publications. You can contact Jill here.