Setting Goals in Google Analytics

By Lisa Hazen

The new year is a great time to set yourself up for success not only personally, but professionally. Experts prove that quantifying your goals can greatly improve your chances of achieving them. Using Google Analytics’ goals tool, you can quantify the effectiveness of how users interact with your site, and then use that information to improve how you serve information. (You are already using Analytics on your site, right? If not, here’s why I think you should be.)

To set your goals through Google Analytics, start by going to the ADMIN tab, then clicking the account you are working with and select GOALS.

Goals

This will take you to a page that prompts you start creating your goals. You can select pre-made goals that will walk you through the process of setting up goals for a variety of the more engaging functions you can do on your site (like placing an order, creating an account, playing a video, or sharing your site on social media).

goalsSetup

But I also love the CUSTOM goal option. If you select this, you can create your own custom goal, choosing between options like choose a destination page, the duration of a visit, the number of pages per visit, and more. You also then have the ability to assign a monetary value to that action or turn on the “Funnel” option, which allows you to specify a path you expect users to take to arrive at the destination—if you really want to get really fancy.

goalsCustom

The types of things that you should be measuring are visits to pages you consider important, views of any videos (like book trailers), social media clicks, visits and actions from your contact page, newsletter subscriptions, and of course online sales.

Google allows you to set up to 20 different goals, which you then track using the CONVERSIONS > GOALS tab in the left-hand column of your Analytics bar. If you’re already familiar with Analytics, the interface is similar. Your goals are mapped out in a customizable graph that allow you to see how your goals are stacking up over time. Other cool features allow you to see the path users took to reach your goal (Reverse Goal Path) or the Goal Flow.

Use this information to make it easier to find the conten on your site you want visitors to find and turn those visits into conversions. This is one resolution you are likely to keep.

Lisa Hazen is a Chicago-based Web Designer specializing in author Web sites. She’d love to hear from you at www.lisahazen.com or lisa@lisahazen.com.

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