If you’re looking for the perfect WordPress analytics solution, giving Google Analytics a try can be a great idea. With its ability to track users’ actions, you’ve got the power to make more informed decisions for your marketing strategy and future campaigns.
If you’re new to using this tool, you may be wondering how you can choose your goals. Thus, allow me to explain how the goals work in Google Analytics and how to select one to track.
Let’s get started.
What are Google Analytics Goals?
Goals in Google Analytics measure how well your website accomplishes your marketing objectives. They help you monitor user actions that can directly affect your monetary value, for example, form submissions, account creations, or eBook downloads.
Additionally, keeping track of your business’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI) is easier when you set up Google Analytics goals. As a result, you can refine your marketing strategy and get more significant results.
With the analytics data, you can make more informed decisions to improve your conversion rates or customer acquisition strategies. That way, you can see how much improvement your business makes.
There are five types of goals:
- URL destination goals
- Session duration goals
- Pages/Screens per session goals
- Event goals
- Smart goals
Before you select the goals, you need to decide what you want to track.
To help you out, we’ll go through each one of the goal types. But before that, let’s set the definitions for Google Analytics goals and events.
Google Analytics Goals vs. Events
When it comes to Google Analytics goals and events, things can get a little confusing. But there are distinct differences between these terminologies.
First, keep in mind that goals in Google Analytics can help track users’ actions that directly affect your monetary value. It can be a destination, event, duration, and Ad performance.
In comparison, events track any interaction occurring on your site that may or may not affect your revenue.
Events can tell you simple things like the amount of time a user spends watching your video or the number of times your Call To Action (CTA) button was clicked.
Here are several more differences between goals and events:
- Goals provide conversion data. They help you better understand how your marketing strategy performs, and with “Purchase” being at the bottom of the funnel, goals focus on providing conversion data.
- Goals can be event-based. If a user creates an account or subscribes to your newsletter, you may want to make Google Analytics register it as a goal, as those actions add monetary value to your business.
- Events don’t have KPI. As you can’t force your visitors to take specific actions, you can only set success indicators for goals.
- Events are recorded every time they occur. If a user clicks on your CTA three times, Google Analytics will record the event three times. On the contrary, goals are recorded per visit.
Types of Google Analytics Goals
Now, let’s have a look at each type of goal there is on Google Analytics.
URL Destination Goals
URL Destination goals let you set a specific URL as a goal. Therefore, every time a user goes into the registered page, it will be recorded as one goal.
A thank-you page makes an excellent URL destination goal. Suppose you have a thank-you page your visitors can see after completing a contact form. In that case, Google Analytics can determine how many people actually submit the form by counting the page views.
As a rule, Google Analytics will record pageviews under your domain environment. However, it’s possible to trick the tool. You can force it to track virtual pageviews (VPV) on links to different sites. To do this, you need to alter the goal URL.
Here’s how to do it:
- Suppose <a href=”www.yourotherdomain.com/blog”>ClickHere!</a> is the web page you want to set as the URL destination goal.
- Squeeze the onclick /vpv/yourotherdomain/blog into the URL.
- Here’s what you’ll get: <a href=”www.yourotherdomain.com/blog”> onclick=”_gaq.pus([‘_trackpageview’,’/vpv/yourdomain/blog’]);”>ClickHere!</a>
Essentially, a goal funnel is a series of web pages that lead to the goal URL. Thus, it can tell you how many people go through each step to reach your URL destination goal.
For example, you want to set up goals that track order completion on your eCommerce site. In this case, your goal funnels will include:
- The product page. This is where users can see the item descriptions and the Add to Cart button.
- The checkout page. It allows the users to register an account, fill in a delivery address, and submit payment information.
- The confirmation page. In this stage, your customers can see the purchase overview on their screens.
- The thank-you page. This is the URL destination goal. When the purchase is made, your customers will reach this destination.
For business owners, tracking the goal funnel is crucial. With it, you can see if a particular page hinders users from taking further actions. Therefore, you can improve its User Interface (UI), so your revenue will increase.
Session Duration Goals
Session duration goals look at how much time the visitors spend on your site or on a specific page. This goal is suitable for website owners who want to evaluate their site engagement and measure its bounce rate.
For business owners, keeping track of the visit duration goal helps understand your eCommerce site visitors’ behavior. It’ll find out if the people who browse your product page read your content, jump from one menu to another, and how long they stay on your website.
As a result, the duration goal analytics can be used to find your average path length, which explains how much time users need before making a purchase on your business site.
Alternatively, you can also use this goal to see if your support site can solve user’s problems promptly.
When utilizing the visit duration goal type, you can set the time limit you want to evaluate. Thus, if you’re going to see a visitor’s activities during the 10-minute time-in, put 10 minutes as your limit.
Additionally, specify your time limit rationally and carefully. Although an hour-duration is possible to set, Google Analytics won’t show an excellent duration goal rapport if your average is 15 minutes.
Pages/Screens Per Session Goals
Pages/Screens per session goals are also great at measuring your site’s engagement. The difference from the above goal type is that this goal points out the number of pages your visitors visit before leaving your website.
If your website utilizes Google AdSense or Cost Per Mille (CPM) bid marketing, consider pages per session as your new goal. This is because the more pages are visited per session, the bigger revenue increase you can expect.
You can also use this goal to find out how many pages your visitors land upon before converting. The visited pages will show you the customers’ journey from researching your business products to finally buying them.
This goal type also lets you set a limit. For example, suppose you put three pages as your threshold. In that case, the goal will be completed when your site visitors visit the specified number of pages.
Should you want to track a specific action that your visitors make on your website, create an event goal and let it do it for you. With the event goal, you can find out how many people play your tutorial videos, click an affiliate link, or visit a specific page.
For this goal, you need to custom-create your event goal so Google Analytics can start tracking it on your site. Here’s how to do it:
- Select the category. If you want to track review clicks, you can name it “Review.”
- Specify the action. As goals relate closely to keeping track of visitors’ interactions that can affect your revenue, you can set conversion as the action.
- Create a label. You need to make a specific form of ID for each content so that Google Analytics can trace it.
- Enter the monetary value. This is where you set your expected revenue.
- Toggle yes on the “Use the Event Value as the Goal Value for the conversion.” This is to make sure you use events as goals.
- Verify the new goal and click Save. Once you’re done, your site will be ready for event tracking.
Depending on your business type, it’s recommended to set up your Google Analytics event goals so you can better track your business performance. Thus, you won’t have to spend too much time and energy testing things out, as the analytics data will help you make more informed decisions.
Google Analytics also has smart goals that facilitate website owners who want to track their Google Ads performance. Thus, if you’re using your blog to make money, this goal can be your new favorite tool.
Before we get further into the details, here are some requirements for using Google Analytics’ smart goal:
- Traffic. Your site needs to reach 500 sessions over the last 30 days. If they drop below 250, Google Analytics will automatically deactivate your smart goal.
- Reporting view. Keep its number below 10 million sessions over the last 30 days.
- Data sharing. Turn on your Google Analytics account setting to allow the goal type to track your site performance.
- Google Ads integration. Don’t forget to connect your Google Ads to your Analytics account.
If your website is compatible with this goal type, you can start using it to track your monetization methods.
Choose the Target Cost Per Action (CPA) bidding as it offers smart and automated bidding strategies, simplifying the process. This feature will explore your campaign history, calculate the optimal bid for your ads, and decide the right time to display them.
Next, smart goals look at your website sessions and find the ones that can result in conversions. They will collect signals from session duration, pages/screens per session, and user location, device, and browser.
Once all of the information is obtained, the analytics will start its scoring. For this, smart goals will analyze where the top 5% of your Google Ads traffic comes from.
What Goals Should You Be Tracking?
You’ve learned all the five types of goals you can track on Google Analytics. However, how do you choose the most beneficial one to track?
When you understand your business’s primary goal, setting and tracking your Google Analytics goals will be much easier. This section will share the four types of goals that can help you choose your Google Analytics goals.
If you own a business site, revenue is most likely your number one priority. Revenue goals help you track your customer’s journey, you’ll be able to figure out a way to get your business recurring revenue.
With this goal, you can find the solution for any friction happening in any one of your marketing stages. For example, if many shoppers abandon their carts, you need to evaluate the checkout process to decrease your cart abandonment rate.
However, revenue should not be your only goal to track. This is because revenue is the final stage in the funnel. Therefore, you also need to take good care of the steps leading to this goal.
You surely don’t want to lose your audience to your competitors. Thus, you need to think of an excellent way to convince your potential customers that you’re the best in the industry. If your website displays forms, this is the sign for you to start tracing acquisition.
If people signed up on your website, they’ve made it clear that they’ll come back to your site again in the future. By tracking down these people, you can design a program that’ll help you further build their trust in your brand.
Additionally, make use of your newsletter subscription to further track the people who are already interested in learning about your company. That way, you can get them more invested.
Among the types of goals on Google Analytics, URL destination can be your number one choice to track this conversion.
This goal is about finding out which visitors want to learn more about your company. For example, a user looks at your phone number or email address. In that case, you’ll add those actions to track your inquiry.
This goal works wonders for companies that focus on the B2B marketing strategy. It’s because businesses will reach you from your contact as they need to negotiate pricing and other things.
Tracking this goal can also help determine the parties who look for a further relationship with your company. Like learning your pricing and reading your reviews, their actions are the signals to the analytics to count them as conversible events.
With that in mind, the event goal can be the best solution to track your inquiry.
If you want to evaluate your site engagement, you’ll track specific actions made by your visitors. Those interactions can be anything and may include reading your content, exploring your product pages, or clicking a banner ad.
Suppose you keep track of the user’s engagement. In that case, you can calculate the approximate number of your potential customers. That way, reaching your primary goal that is increasing revenue, can be easier.
To conclude, visit duration and pages/screens per session are the two goal sets that can help with your website engagement.
We’ve discussed what goals are available in Google Analytics and how your primary goal can help you decide what you should focus on. With the benefits each goal type brings, you’d be missing out if you didn’t take full advantage of what Google Analytics offers.
So, visit Goals pages on your account and choose the goal types you want to track. And if you still have some questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the section below.