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How to Set Up and Use Google Analytics Goals (Like a Boss)

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How to Set Up and Use Google Analytics Goals (Like a Boss)

Almost every business that has a website had heard of Google Analytics.

It’s a great tool for tracking traffic right? But it’s useful for so much more.

We’ve already covered different ways to utilize Google Analytics, and touched on setting up goals in this post.

Through Google Analytics Goals, can you easily track metrics like leads, signups, downloads and time spent on your site.

Here are the four ways you can track goals and how to easily set them up.

Where To Find Goals

In your Analytics dashboard, click on “Admin” in the right side of your menu buttons.

On the right column, you’ll see “Goals.”

Once in there, you will see a button with a “+ New Goal” that looks like this:

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You want to set up your own specific Goals, so under Goal setup check “Custom” and then the “Next Step” button.

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Let’s name your goal. Make it pretty easy to understand and self-explanatory.

The Goal slot ID will help you categorize your goals.

Now you need to choose the type of Goal you want to create.

Type #1 Destination Goals

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These Goals will allow you to track a specific URL, and each time someone goes to that URL, they initiate the Goal.

This is a great tracking option for comment thank you pages and confirmation pages.

Once you choose Destination, you will be taken to the Goals Details screen where you can get more specific.

Start by entering the URL that will start your Goal. You don’t want to enter the full URL, just what comes after the domain.

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Click the Case Sensitive box ONLY if you have the lowercase and uppercase characters in your URL pointing to DIFFERENT pages.

Most times you will leave this box unchecked. Okay?

Next you will determine the match type. You are given 3 options:

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“Equals to” will give you results of the exact match. Nothing more, nothing less. Use it if your URLs don’t change.

“Begins with” will match characters from the beginning of the URL up until the last character you specify.

This is good for URLs that are pretty much the same, but may have a few additional characters.

“Regular Expression match” is a wildcard type of Goal. You can read more about how to set them up here.

You can then use the Value option to assign a monetary value to your goals, or the funnel option to see exactly how people are moving through each step of your sales funnel.

The funnel option really only works well if you require your readers to move through a series of pages to get to your specified URL.

Type #2 Duration Goals

This one is pretty self-explanatory – it allows you to track how many people stay on your site for a specified amount of time.

In your Goal details, you will see an option to input values for Hours, Minutes and even Seconds.

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Again, you can assign a Value to this goal to help you determine how much revenue you are getting from each visitor.

Type #3 Pages/Screens Per Session

The third type of Goal is similar to the duration goal, and easy to set up.

Instead of tracking how long people are on your site, you will be tracking the number of pages they see before they bounce.

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Type #4 Event Goals

The type of goal gives you lots of options, and is a bit more complicated than the last two we discussed.

Tracking Goals requires a bit of JavaScript to be added to whatever it is you want to track.

Find out how to set that up here.

Once you have your events set up you can track elements such as: links, downloads, videos, widget usage.

In your Goal details, you will be able to identify your category, action, label and value.

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Category is typically going to be the primary type. “Videos” or “Downloads” are examples of category types.

Think of this as your starting point.

Action is a descriptor for your particular event. For example, “play” or “pause” can be actions in with a video category.

Label is an optional descriptor that allows you to be even more specific.

Value is a number and refers to an amount of something you specified previously.

Each offers more options like “equals to,” “begins with” and the ever-complicated “regular expression.”

You can define one or all for your events, but remember that the Goal will only trigger if ALL of them are matched.

You can choose to use your Event Value as your Goal Value for the last option.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that Google Analytics Goals are pretty handy.

They let you track more than just where your traffic is coming from.

Through Goals, you can track just about anything you would want to on your site: account creations, page clickthroughs, newsletter signups, eBook downloads, etc..

There are many ways to utilize these tools to meet your business goals.

How do you, or how will you, use Google Analytics Goals?  

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Josh Coffy

Josh is an entrepreneur at heart, dropping out of college to pursue his dream of owning his own business. Fast-forward five years later, and Josh’s unique ability to marry technology with creative marketing strategies has led to Flight Media’s steady and swift growth. Now one of the leading Inbound Marketing companies in Ohio, the U.S. and abroad, clients trust Flight Media’s expertise, agile approach, and transparency. You can find Josh at CrossFit, backpacking the West coast with his wife, Kelsey, or reading a personal development book from his ever-growing library.