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How To Set Up Google Analytics Goal Tracking

03.11.2013
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So, your website is up and running, your Google Analytics code is tracking correctly and your bounce rate and pages per visit are looking good, my website must be performing well!

google-analytics-goal-trackingThe simple fact is that every website has some form of goal, whether it be selling goods, generating leads or generating ad revenue. By  tracking your websites performance against its goal you will truly begin to understand whether or not your website is working well.

As an example, my current goal for this blog is to grow visits and pageviews by over 100% in 2013, sounds ambitions I know, but by breaking that yearly goal down into several smaller goals I can make it more achievable. An example of one of those smaller goals is to get visitors to view 4+ pages during their visit.

I can set up Google Analytics Goal Tracking to let me monitor my goals and make it easier to analyze the current performance of my website.

I am going to guide you through the process of setting up a Google Analytics Goal so that you can begin monitoring goals on your website:

  • Click the ‘Admin’ button at the top of your Google Analytics account.
  • Select the account that you would like to add the goal to.
  • Select the ‘Goals’ tab.
  • Click one of the +Goal links to add a goal.
  • Enter a name for your goal in the box provided. Make sure you make it meaningful so that you will know what it is when you see it in your Analytics account. I have worked on many Analytics accounts where goals are not named properly and it makes it almost impossible to understand the reports.
  • You next need to select your Goal Type from the four options. The pages per visit and visit duration are relatively simple to understand and they are useful when you are looking to improve visitors time on your site. URL Destination can be used when your goal is to get people to a specific page, maybe a checkout confirmation page or thanks for subscribing page. Event allows you to assign a goal to one of your Events you have set up, not sure what events are? Read: What Is Google Analytics Event Tracking.
  • Depending on the option that you have selected you will get different options at this point. For the pages/visit and visit duration options you will be able to enter the number of pages you want people to be viewing or the duration you want them to remain on the site. Then click Save.
  • For the URL Destination option you will have to enter the page on your site that you want to track, so if you want people to go to example.com/last-page/ you would enter /last-page/ into the box, without the domain name. Next you need to select the match type, if your page generally has tracking code on the end of it that identifies a sale or a session then you want head match instead of exact match as exact match would not recognize all the unique codes on the end of the URL. Then click Save.
  • For the Event option, simply use the drop down boxes and fields to identify the event that you would like to track. Then click save.

Once you have done these steps Google Analytics will begin to analyze your traffic to see if people are performing your goals. You can view how your goals are performing by heading to the ‘Conversions > Goals’ section.

Now you are in a better position to analyze how well your website is performing and identify areas for improvement.

Do you use Google Analytics Goals to track the performance of your website? What goals do you track? Are you having problems setting up Google Analytics Goal Tracking? If so, drop a comment below and I will do my best to help.

Published at DZone with permission of David Shaw, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Kelly Reiser replied on Mon, 2013/03/11 - 10:29am

This is a great guide, thanks! 

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