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Webucator's Free Google Analytics Tutorial

Lesson: Goals in Google Analytics

Welcome to our free Google Analytics tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Introduction to Google Analytics Training course.

In this lesson, you will learn how to setup goals in Google Analytics. Goals will help you setup and track specific, desired activities that visitors do on your website.

Lesson Goals

  • How to Incorporate Goals in Google Analytics.
  • How to Interpret Reports for Analyzing Goals.

Introduction to Goals

What Is a Goal in Google Analytics?

A goal can be any activity on your website that is important to the success of your business. For simplicity, a web page which displays a confirmation for submitting an order could act as a goal.

Each time a visitor meets a particular criteria, a goal is recorded. During a single session, a goal can only be counted once.

When and Why to Use Goals

Goals help to distill data into performance benchmarks. Here are some drivers for using goals in Google Analytics:

  1. To assess how well your website meets your business objectives.
  2. To estimate revenue for a non Ecommerce website.
  3. To find out how many visitors are becoming customers.

Goal Types

Goal Type Explanation Usage/Examples
URL Destination A goal is recorded when a visitor views the specified page on your site. Order completion page.
Time on Site Goal will be counted when a visitor spends more or less time on your site than the predefined threshold. Measure of stickiness, to verify if a particular page is engaging enough. Useful for web portals.
Pages/Visit Goal will be counted when a visitor views more or fewer pages than the threshold. To verify depth of the visit. Useful for content websites.

Configuring Goals

From your Google Analytics Settings page (top right 'wheel'), first select the appropriate account and then select a profile for which you wish to create a goal. Click on Edit in the actions column to edit the profile settings. You will see the following screen:

Google Analytics Goal Setup

For a single profile in Google Analytics you can create up to 20 goals in total. These goals are segregated into four sets; every set allows you to create up to five goals.

Tips: In order to create more than 20 goals for a website you will have to create a duplicate profile for the same website which will give you four more sets of goals to track.

Click on the +Goal tab in the above screen, you will be taken to the Goal Settings page; here you will need to execute the following steps:

  1. Provide a relevant Goal Name e.g. Sales Lead
  2. Set the radio button to the ON position for activating a goal (Default value: ON)
  3. Select your Goal Position
  4. Select a Goal Type

Configuring URL Destination Goal

Once you select a Goal Type (e.g. URL Destination), you will see the Goal Details page as shown in the following screenshot. You will need to execute the following steps:

  1. Select the Match Type.
  2. Enter the goal URL for your goal page.
  3. Select your preference for case sensitivity.
  4. Enter the value for your goal (non Ecommerce site).

Take a look at the following example:

Google Analytics Goal Setup Step 2

Goal URL Match Type

Match Type Explanation Flexibility Example
Exact Match The goal URL must exactly match with the URL that will appear in the web browser during the actual visit. Least: can only be used to match one single page /Contact.cfm?submitted=true
Head Match Only the head portion of the visited URL should match in order for a goal to be counted. Trailing parameters in the actual page visited are ignored. Moderate: websites with dynamically generated content; use the head match to ignore the unique values /onsitecourses/
Regular Expression Match To match URLs using wildcards and meta-characters. The most flexibility: Useful when both the URL and query parameters vary between users and pages /*page=5*

Goal Value for Non Ecommerce Websites

Google Analytics uses an assigned goal value to calculate ROI, Average Score, and other metrics. For a non-Ecommerce site such as a sales lead generation site, Google Analytics can use an assigned goal value to calculate the monitory value associated with the completion of a goal.

Configuring Time on Site Goal

If you select a Goal Type as Time on Site, you will see the Goal Details page as shown in the following screen shot. You will need to execute the following steps:

  1. Select an appropriate condition (e.g Greater than or Less than).
  2. Enter an amount of time in the form of whole integers.

Take a look at the following example:

Google Analytics Goal Setup Time on Site

Configuring a Pages/Visit Goal

If you select a Goal Type as Pages/Visit, you will see the Goal Details page as shown in the following screen shot. You will need to execute the following steps:

  1. Select an appropriate condition (e.g. Greater Than, Less Than or Equal To).
  2. Enter the number of pages as your criteria.

Take a look at the following example:

Google Analytics Goal Setup Pages

Monetizing Goals Exercise

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes.

Assume that remotecourse.com is a non Ecommerce website. Develop a goal to measure sales leads generated on remotecourse.com. Apply a monetary value to every sales lead obtained via this website.

Solution:

  1. From your Google Analytics Settings page, first select the appropriate account (e.g. RemoteCourse) and then select a profile for which you wish to create a goal. Click on Edit in the actions column to edit the profile settings.
  2. Click on the +Goal tab and you will be taken to the Goal Settings page.
  3. Provide a relevant Goal Name, (e.g Sales Leads). Select the Goal Position, (e.g Set1, Goal1) and choose your Goal Type as URL Destination.
  4. In the Goal Details section, select the Match Type as Exact Match and copy-paste an appropriate URL into the Goal URL field.
  5. Select the Case Sensitive option to match the capitalization of your goal URL.
  6. To assign a goal value, let us assume that the average order value from a sales lead is $200 and Webucator is able to close 20% of their sales leads.
  7. Under these assumptions, the goal value will be 20% of 200 = $ 40.
  8. Click on Save Goal to complete the goal creation process.

Time on Site Goal Implementation Exercise

Duration: 20 to 30 minutes.

A product company added a new troubleshooting section to their website. You would like to measure its effectiveness. Accomplish this task using Goals in Google Analytics.

Solution:

  1. From your Google Analytics Settings page, first select the appropriate account (e.g. RemoteCourse) and then select a profile for which you wish to create a goal. Click on Edit in the actions column to edit the profile settings.
  2. Click on the +Goal tab and you will be taken to the Goal Settings page.
  3. Provide a relevant Goal Name, (e.g Time on Site Goal). Select the Goal Position, (e.g Set2, Goal1) and choose your Goal Type as Time on Site.
  4. Assume that the average time on site before adding the troubleshooting section was 2 minutes and 30 seconds. You expect that people will at least spend an extra half minute to check the newly added troubleshooting section.
  5. Thus, in the Goal Details section, select the Greater than condition and set the time criteria to 3 minutes.
  6. Click on Save Goal to complete the goal creation process.

Pages/Visit Implementation Exercise

Duration: 20 to 30 minutes.

Your company added a products and services catalog to your existing site. You would like to measure its effectiveness. Accomplish this task using Goals.

Solution:

  1. From your Google Analytics Settings page, first select the appropriate account (e.g. RemoteCourse) and then select a profile for which you wish to create a goal. Click on Edit in the actions column to edit the profile settings.
  2. Click on the +Goal tab and you will be taken to the Goal Settings page.
  3. Provide a relevant Goal Name, (e.g Pages Visited Goal). Select the Goal Position, (e.g Set3, Goal1) and choose your Goal Type as Pages/Visit.
  4. Assume that your catalog has 10 pages and you decided to record a goal after someone views 5 or more pages.
  5. Thus, select the condition as Greater Than and set the pages criteria to 4.
  6. Click on Save Goal to complete the goal creation process.

Analyzing Goals Using Standard Reports

Overview Report

Purpose: Provides a quick glance at the total number of goal conversions, the goal conversion rate and the total goal value for a non e-commerce site.

The overview page cannot be customized to show particular metrics.

Google Analytics Goal

Goal URLs Report

The number of goal completitions and goal values determined per goal URL that has been setup.

Reverse Goal Path Report

This report shows you a table on how visitors reached the goal page and which path they followed, in reverse order.

Funnel Visualization Report

This report shows a graphic of how visitors reached the goal page, and then how many visitors continued along your desired goal path. This graphic will also show if/when visitors may have left your funnel process.

Google Analytics Funnel Visualization

Goal Flow Report

This report enables you to view which traffic-related metrics, such as your sources, which has brought you the most goal conversions.

Group Activity

Duration: 15 to 20 minutes.
  1. Discuss within your groups what kind of goal(s) you would develop for the following websites:
    1. Content website such as www.wsj.com
    2. Banking website such as www.bankofamerica.com
    3. Product website such as www.dell.com
    4. Promotional website such as www.panerabread.com