How to set up goal tracking in Google Analytics

The most important thing when running a campaign is to be clear on your goal and what you want to achieve. The best way to do that is to set up goal tracking in Google Analytics so whether you want people to reach a ‘Thank you’ page on your website, increase time spent on news pages or make a donation you can have that data at your fingertips.

How to set up goal tracking on Google Analytics:

  • In order to set up goals on Google Analytics you need to have admin access – request this from whoever has managerial access to your account
  • On the top menu select ‘Admin’ then ‘Goals’ under view
  • Select ‘+ New Goal’
  • Select the template which most accurately matches what you are trying to track

goal

  • Name – give your goal a name e.g. Sale Completions
  • Goal slot ID – unless you have goals set up already on your account, this should be ‘Goal ID 1 / Goal Set 1’
  • Type – this is where you decide on what your goal should be – if you are an e-commerce website then that may be a page you want users to reach, if a media outlet then it may be duration or an event such as playing a video

Goal details

If ‘Destination’ is your goal:

  • For ‘Destination’ select ‘Equals to’ and then enter the URL of the page or section you want to track starting with the / after your domain name (e.g. for google.co.uk/maps.html enter /maps.html or /maps/ to check all pages in that section)

goal2

  • Value – assign a monetary value to the goal
  • Funnel – this allows you to track the path people take towards your goal and identify where users are dropping off
  • Click ‘Verify’ to check that your goal works and then save

Google analytics cannot track historic data for goals and so it will only start collecting data from when you set them up. Once you have got some data you can access goal reports under ‘Conversions’ on the left hand menu and then ‘Overview’.

You can also add goals as a column on most of the reports on Google Analytics allowing you to cross-reference information – do more people convert on mobile than on desktop? Do more people convert from certain sources than others?

Adding goals to your dashboard

Taking this one step further, you can add all this useful info on to your Google Analytics dashboard so you can see in a glance what works and what doesn’t.

To add a report which shows the traffic source, number of sessions and goal completions:

  • On your dashboard select ‘add widget’
  • Give your widget a title e.g. ‘goal completions by source’
  • Under ‘Standard’ select ‘table’
  • For ‘Display the following columns’, ‘dimension’ add ‘Source / Medium’
  • For ‘metric’ add ‘Sessions’ and ‘Goal completions’ and then save

What you’ll then have is a unique insight into what works and what doesn’t and can tailor your marketing to just focus on actions which will result in a conversion.