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Google Analytics: How To Set Up Goals To Help Your Business

A while back we posted an article Google Analytics: 5 Metrics To Keep An Eye On covering the key web traffic data to measure.

In this post we are going to delve into how to create goals to provide a richer view of how people are interacting with your website.

This deeper understanding can help to inform how your site is actually being used compared to how you would like it to be used.  It will help to show you if visitors are browsing through the site in an expected way towards a conversion or dropping off, getting lost etc.

By creating goals you will be able to see if your marketing efforts are working.

Setting Up Google Analytics Goals

Firstly log into your Google Analytics (GA) here. If you don’t have Google Analytics setup visit the help section here for help installing it  

Path For Setting Up Goals Once In GA:


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Google Analytics provides four main types of goals designed to track for specific actions on your site.

Types Of GA Goals:

-       Destination

A URL destination goal records when a user visits a particular page on your website.  A destination goal will be useful for registering the number of people who reach a page linked to a particular outcome, for example a order confirmation page or contact form page.

Steps For Setting Up Destination Goal

  1. Select ‘Template’
  2. Name the goal something relevant eg. Contact Form
  3. Select ‘Destination’
  4. Enter ‘Goal Details’ as Equal to the page URL.  For example using simply enter ‘/contact’

Additional options:

Value – You can assign a monetary value to a goal conversion.  For example what a lead is worth to you.

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Funnel – This function enables you to track a conversion as sequence of pages you expect the visitor to pass through to get to the ultimate goal.

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Before you click ‘Create Goal’ it is worth ‘Verifying This Goal’ to ensure you have set the goal up properly. If you analytics has been running for at least 7 days it should pick up a conversion rate. If it doesn’t, double check how you have entered your URL and ensure your Google Analytics is tracking traffic.

Once you understand how to setup one type of goal the others (except events) are simply variations of the same steps.


-       Duration

As it suggests duration tracks the amount of traffic that spends more than a certain amount of time on your website. This would be useful for sites focused on providing quick visits like support websites or more engrossing content like blogs or magazine sites.

Steps For Setting Up Duration Goal

The steps are the same as above apart from entering a greater than or less than a specific time.

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-       Page Per Visit Goal

Similar to a duration goal, Page Per Visit will register the number of users than visit a certain amount of pages on your site.  This goal could help to give insight on whether users browse through many pages looking for what they are after or they spend time on very few pages.  This goal is going to be subjective to what your specific website’s objectives.  

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Again these steps follow the basic procedure except you are setting a number of page visits as a goal conversion.

-       Event Goals

Event goals are a bit more involved as it requires setting up the events that register as a goal. To set these up you'll need some code to insert into your goal, here is a website that can produce that for you.

Event tracking can register numerous actions including:

-       Downloading a PDF

-       Viewing a video

-       Clicking external links

-       Social button clicks

Tracking events can help get an idea of how interactive visitors are with elements of your site to work out whether they are being used or not.  If you have spent time and money to create a tools or a free download for users, you would like to know if it is being used.

Tracking goals is another way of providing feedback about the performance of your website in relation to your website's objectives.  Using these conversion rates as a benchmark you can begin work on ways to improve them.