How To Setup Goals In Google Analytics

How To Setup Goals In Google Analytics


A goal in google analytics is a completed action on-site – or the completion of a defined objective.

Goals often have a monetary value, such as a purchase, but a goal value can be given to any kind of goal.

Goals in Google Analytics can also relate to engagement and behaviour onsite, such as downloading a brochure, watching a video or making a phone call.


Goals help marketers and businesses understand if their traffic is completing the actions they want them to or if their website is performing and reaching the objectives it needs.

Goal completions help estimate whether campaigns are driving relevant, quality traffic to the website, and which channels are helping to reach more goals, thus helping you to understand more about how the channels and campaigns are contributing to goal completions.


In Google Analytics, there are four types of goals.

  • The first, probably the most commonly used is for visitors reaching a certain URL Destination – or a defined page. This can be a booking confirmation page, transaction completion page, or submission success page.
  • There are two goals based around user engagement – time on site and sessions per visit.
  • Goals can also be set up based on events and can be easily customized based on the events set up on your website. They are often click-based, and can help track actions such as PDF downloads, form submissions, video views and more..

Goals should be set up as soon as possible on a website and before any paid activity begins. This is to ensure that you can gather the right information and help with analysis as soon as possible.

If goals aren’t set up when campaigns or activity starts, there will be limited conversion data available. In this example, the goals were only in place from late May, and there was no goal data before this.


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The same goes for e-commerce tracking. Neither goals or e-commerce data can be applied retrospectively to reports, so tracking and therefore analysis can only begin following set-up.


The main benefit for setting up goals is to allow marketers to analyze and compare how different channels and campaigns are performing and how each is contributing to website objectives.

You can see the most valuable channels through analyzing return on investment, and get a good understanding for conversion rates. Campaign analysis allows you to work on return on ad spend as well.



The assisted conversions report allows marketers to understand and compare how different channels perform as converting and supporting conversion channels through the full user journey.


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It provides details on the number of conversions, as well as value, of each channel as a last click and assisted conversion. This is very important when understanding the full user journey and how each channel works as part of that, and in the decision-making process.

This report can be found under Multi-Channel Funnels in the Conversion section of the reports.


Google Analytics provides four default goal templates which encompass the majority of goals that would be set up. These are:

  • Revenue-based goals – for tracking reservations, purchases, etc.
  • Acquisition based goals – for tracking sign-ups or account creations
  • Inquiry-based goals – for visitors contacting you through your website or getting estimates
  • Engagement based goals – for actions such as adding products to favourites, playing media and sharing or contributing to contents.


Goals are set up in the admin section of Google Analytics.

To set up a goal you need to:

  • Add a goal name
  • Select a goal type
  • Define the goal conditions.


Next, add a description to your goal. Insert a name for your goal and select the type of goal – destination, duration, pages/screens per session or a smart goal.

goals in google analytics

If you have Google AdWords linked to your analytics account, you can incorporate automated goals from AdWords, called Smart Goals.


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You can use one of those templates, or choose a custom set-up. Either way, the next step is to define the type (such as URL destination, engagement metric or event as mentioned earlier) and then a funnel, if relevant.


Once you have your goal set up, before saving, you can verify the goal. This will check how many conversions these settings would have had in the previous seven days and indicated whether or not the goal is set up correctly. If it says no conversions, but you are sure there should be, you can recheck and update settings as there may have been an error.


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