The importance of setting up goals in Google Analytics

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Throughout all aspects of life, we find ourselves setting goals in order to stay on track and achieve great things – providing short-term motivation for a long-term vision! The exact same rules apply when it comes to business; without goals, it’s hard for your team to know what to work towards and also makes judging the success of any campaign very difficult.

If you have a website, then it’s likely that you set it up with a certain goal in mind, whether that be to gain readers, sales, enquiries, revenue, and so on. However, unless you have an Analytics software set up, it’s going to be pretty hard to tell if your site is actually doing the job you wanted. Google Analytics is one of the most-used analytics tools on the web, which provides you with an insight into how people are interacting with your site. If you don’t have it already, then we suggest setting it up to get the ball rolling. You’ll be able to see aspects like:

📈 Page views
📈 Pages per visit
📈 Bounce rate
📈 Average time on site
📈 New visits
📈 Traffic sources
📈 Top performing pages
📈 Keyword rankings

As you can see, Google Analytics provides you with a pretty great overview of your site’s performance – and wait, there’s more! Here come the goals…

Why do I need to set up GA goals?

Google Analytics Goals help you to dig deeper and understand the quality of the activity on your website; you’ll be able to see whether or not it is actually benefitting your business. Having Analytics set up is all fine and dandy, but it can be pretty vague, so setting up goals will give you cold hard facts on whether things are going in the right direction.

What kind of goals can I set up?

As we said before, Google Analytics Goals help you to dig deeper into your campaign’s performance and monitor the aspects that actually make a difference. You can set up a huge array of tracking to suit your goals, with the main ones being:

🏆 Certain events/actions (for example, the user watches a video)
🏆 Amount of time spent on site (this helps to work on engagement levels)
🏆 If a specific page was viewed (landing and thank you pages, for example)
🏆 Number of pages visited (this helps to work on reducing the bounce rate)
Obviously, your goals will be completely tailored to your own campaign, but these feelers will be sure to help you measure success far more closely than you could without the Goals feature in place.

How do I set up goals?

Now that you understand the importance of setting up goals, it’s time to dive in and get them in action. Read on to discover how to create, edit and share goals.

Creating a goal

Please note: you can only have a maximum of 20 goals. Follow these simple steps to create your very own goal.

⚫ Sign in to Google Analytics
⚫ Select ‘Admin’ from the left-hand side
⚫ In the view column, select ‘goals’
⚫ Select either ‘+ new goal’ or ‘import from gallery’. You can also make tweaks to existing goals here

Once at this stage, you will find yourself with three options to choose from. These are:

☑️ use a goal template (these are tailored to meet the needs of businesses within specific industries)
☑️ creating a custom goal (you can select the type which suits your desired action best)
☑️ creating smart goals (learn more about these here)

Depending on which goal you decide to set up, you will be faced with a series of options which you simply select and tailor to your own preferences.

Goal configurations

As discussed earlier, you can set up various different goal types in order to measure success. When it comes to ‘destination’ goals (for example, landing on a certain page will count as a conversion), you simply have to insert the URL in the destination field. You can choose whether to add a ‘funnel’ option here, which basically means you can track the journey that users take before getting to the destination.

If you’re measuring the duration spent on a particular area, you can decide how long it takes for the session to count as a new conversion.

With regards to event goals, you need to set up a minimum of 1 event. You can learn more about this here. This essentially helps to mark certain user interactions as conversions.

Lastly, page per session goals means that you can choose how many pages a user should visit before generating a new conversion.

Verifying your goal

You’re almost there! By clicking ‘verify your goal’, a test will be carried out based on the data in your analytics account from the last week. This is not a projection of how well your goal will perform, as it’s not actual conversion data, but it will give you an idea as to whether your proposed goal is suited to your account.

Recording a goal

As long as you’ve turned your goal recording to ‘on’, it will begin collecting data right away. You can turn this off at any time, but the goal will essentially be put on pause if you do so. You can’t delete a goal, but if you no longer need it, then just turn it off.

Sharing a goal

As we mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons we have goals is to keep teams working on the same track, with the same destination in mind. Due to this, you can easily share your analytics goals with other users (don’t worry – your data remains private!). Simply head back to the ‘admin’ page, and select ‘share assets’ in the ‘view’ section.

There you have it! These are the basic steps needed to take in order to set up your very own Google Analytics Goals. If you would like to discuss anything in further detail then do not hesitate to get in touch with us – a member of the team will be more than happy to discuss your online goals.

Time to smash those goals! 🚀🎯

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