image of tausif akram By: Amby
27 Feb 2015

How to Utilize Goals in Google Analytics

When it comes to making the most out of the benefits of Google Analytics, using Goals is a vital way for businesses to quantify and understand just how well their website is performing in regards to specific, relevant objectives. It is possible for businesses and individuals alike to set up individual Goals, which then track a certain aspect of your website. These actions are typically defined as any activity that results in completion, commonly known as conversions. Conversions can appear in the form of a customer making a purchase online, signing up to a newsletter, or completing a website registration process.

When you set up Goals within Google Analytics, you gain access to a wealth of valuable information, including:

  • The number of conversions that have been completed over time
  • The percentage of successful conversions that have taken place in comparison to an abandonment rate
  • The path that customers take to conversion
  • The different layouts and calls to action that lead to improved rates of conversion

The objective of a website owner will be to evaluate the progress of their website based on this data, before strategizing ways in which the site can be improved. For example, you may decide to remove any obstacles that impede conversion rates or incorporate further incentives to assist with conversions.

How to set up a Goal

To create a Goal on Google Analytics, all you need to do is click on the Admin tap towards the top of the page. From there, you can scroll to the “View” column, select goals, and then “New Goal”. Define your Goal by giving it a descriptive and relevant name, then define the type of goal it is from four options:

  1. Duration – A conversion measured in time spent on the website.
  2. Destination – A conversion measured by a goal completion page, such as an “order success” page.
  3. Event – Defined by a specific event being triggered – such as when an individual click on an advertisement banner.
  4. Screens per Visit – the number of pages viewed per unique visit.

Once you’ve chosen the type of goal, you can move to the “next step” to determine more about it.

Viewing Your Data

In viewing your Google Analytics data for a website, your Goal data can be accessed towards the left-hand side of the menu, beneath Conversions > Goals.

Beneath the heading “Overview”, you can access all the metrics for Goal completions within a certain time period. Under “Goal URLs” you can see all of the completion URLs, alongside any monetary value associated with them.

The “Reverse Goal Path” starts with the completion page and allows you to explore the path a user took to get to that point. The reason that this aspect is so useful is that users do not always get to a specific point on your website by following the directions you assume they would. Finally, the “Goal Flow” lets you see the traffic from points A to C on your website.

Conclusion

Goals are a vital aspect of your Analytics armory when it comes to understanding how effective a certain aspect is on your website. By analyzing goals, refinements and changes can be made to improve the rates of conversion on your website.

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