Google Analytics Account Tips: Goals and Conversions

Setting Up Your Google Analytics Part 2: Goals and Conversions

This is part 2 in our Google Analytics Series. This article will focus on setting up Goals. Goals drive the Conversion metrics in Analytics. There are many useful default metrics in Analytics, but Goals in conjunction with default metrics make your Google Analytics account extremely powerful.

Let’s get started by setting up a basic Goal.

We assume you already have a Profile setup for your website or section of your site. Profiles are found in the Admin section of Analytics.

1. Click on the goals tab

google analytics goals
This page shows all the current Goals. Notice at the bottom there are a limited number of Goals available for a web profile. If your site will have many goals, create web profiles for the different sections of your site.

google analytics goals 2

2. Let’s create a goal

google analytics goal 3

Give the Goal a name that will easily identify this Goal and the resulting conversions.

For Type, there are choices depending on the conversion data that is important for this Goal. Usually, this will be a Destination or Event. In this tutorial, we will choose Destination. The next steps will be different if one of the other types is selected.

For this tutorial, we are setting up a Goal for successful visits to the Help / Support page. We will consider the Destination URL /help-thanks as the Goal. Goals can be used for anything, purchase events, page visits, basically any kind of visitor action. If you have created a sales funnel, a thank you page would be the goal of someone ordering your product for example.

3. Now configure the destination URL in your Google Analytics account

Make sure to use the path part, not the entire URL.

For example: would be /help-thanks.

Notice there is a setting about the Destination URL which can be helpful for matching. Here we choose “Begins with” for this setting so that any dynamic GET parameters will trigger a match. For example, we want this URL /help-thanks?mobile=1&visitor=ksdf902 to result in a match. If we had kept the default “Equals to” setting, we would miss these as conversions.

google analytics goal description

The other settings are optional but can be very useful.

Value is used to set a monetary amount to the goal conversion. In the Goal results, each conversion will get this monetary value.

Funnel allows us to set up Steps that lead up to the conversion. This can be very useful as a way to be sure the conversion data is more accurate. By setting up these steps, we know the visitor browsed a particular path to the Goal, instead of getting there by chance. If we want to be extremely strict about these conversions, we can set the Funnel Steps to Required: Yes.

4. Now click verify the goal

This will test the Goal with the past 7 days of visitor data. If this test does not show any conversions and you are certain the Goal is setup correctly, don’t worry. Sometimes the verification step isn’t accurate. Now click Create Goal. It will take some time for the conversions to start showing up in Analytics.

5. Analyze the results

There are many ways to see goal conversions in Analytics. Most of the statistics in Analytics can incorporate goal conversions, and they can be a very useful way to get important information from different visitor statistic views.

google analytics conversion overview

Analytics has an entire main section devoted to Conversion metrics. There are many different views and configuration capabilities. To learn more visit the Help articles inside Analytics or search the web for expert articles. Do you have any tricks to setting up Goals/Conversions you want to share? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to get articles delivered directly to your email!

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