When it comes to running your websites, knowing general high-level details such as time on site, visitor counts, and pages visited is helpful, yet they’re only a small piece of your website operations. One of the primary features of analytics software is being able to view the details of user activities.

By using Google Analytics, you can view the details of form completions, product purchases, and other key activities straight from your control panel. This helps you gain an edge over your competitors because you’ll be able to determine whether your site is functioning properly, and also learn why you might not be getting the conversions you want.

Although we’ve previously discussed how to set up ecommerce tracking, the goals feature enables conversion tracking in Google Analytics of virtually any activity.

What Are Goals in Google Analytics?

The goals for your website analytics are just like the ones you have in real life. According to Google Analytics, you can use goals to measure how often visitors complete a specific action. Whether it’s something as simple as signing up for an email newsletter, or a more complex action such as completing a multi-step form, goals enable you to segment these activities from the rest of your site data.

While the previously mentioned scenarios are the most common use of goals, you can use this feature to track virtually any aspect of your website and visitor activities.

Types of Goals in Google Analytics

Google Analytics has different several types of end goals for users:

  • Destination: When a specific page is shown. For example, a thank you page after a user submits a form.
  • Duration: Often used for measuring whether content is being read (e.g. support websites, reference blogs, etc.).
  • Pages/Screens per session: Commonly used to determine the level of interest a user has in a product or service.
  • Event: Triggered when a user completes an action such as filling a form, clicking a certain button, and so on.

Google also allows you to assign a monetary value to each goal. For example, if you’re targeting multiple demographics such as small and large businesses, you can have each conversion set to the revenue each type of client provides.

Setting Up Goals

To create a goal:

  1. Sign into your Google Analytics account
  2. Select Admin and then select the right Property and View
  3. In the View column, select Goals
  4. Select + NEW GOAL or if you have an existing goal, you can select Import from Gallery

To simplify the goal process, Google provides you with templates if you need a foundation to work from. Custom goals, however, let you create the goals from scratch. The main types of templates revolve around revenue, acquisition, inquiry, and engagement. The categories don’t affect the types of reports you can create.

Going Beyond the Basics

Once you’re tracking key information on your website, you’ll be ready to start monitoring your brand across the web. With Connectivity, you can both refine your website and improve your customer engagement so you can make more effective choices in managing your company.

Check back throughout the month of October for more insights to help you maximize Google Analytics for your business.

Charles Costa is a content strategist specializing in product marketing and business & technology writing. Charles is also a contributor to the Connectivity blog