Google Analytics (GA) Goals can help you measure very significant activities on your website. If you are not using it, you are missing a lot of value. Don’t worry, you don’t have to dive deep into Google Analytics account. You can see the goal conversion card right in the default dashboard view.
Many businesses don’t use GA Goals or use it in a wrong way. Although they can be easily changed, these companies already lost data-gathering time without using GA Goals.
Remember the golden rule: Use Goals correctly, and do it now!
What is a Goal in Google Analytics?
Before we explain further, goal setting is a very easy process in GA. You can navigate to “Admin” section and create required goals. The goal is an en event to track user activities like downloading a PDF, making a payment or just viewing a page.
5 Facts About Google Analytics Goals
Here are 5 facts to help you use GA goals correctly so you can take advantage of the data they can give you:
- Goals only start collecting data when it is set
- Once triggered, it stays
- Goal funnels are just for show
- How regex can help you with goals
- Measuring relational value
1. Goals Only Start Collecting Data When It Is Set
Many companies don’t know that the Goals tool only collect data when it is configured, and not instantaneous with your GA account creation. When you set Goals, you will see a change on the way Google Analytics handle and store data. Even though GA is a great tool by itself, enabling Goals will show you more about how your website perform.
These reports are accessible through a wide array of reports, ranging from acquisition and conversion, to audience and behavior. So if you haven’t already, setup your Goals to take advantage of this extra information. Below is how the Goals overview report will looks like under “Conversion” section.
2. Once Triggered, It Stays
Yes, it is sad but true. Once a goal has been triggered on a session, it will only count it once. It does not matter whether the user clicks on a link 10, 20, or 30 times – the goal will only be triggered once on that session. With the amount of information that GA Goals can give you, this trigger-many-count-once methodology should be kept in mind.
To go over this hurdle, you may want to choose between aggregating the triggers, or to separate them. For example, your product page and careers page both have an e-book download link. You have to select whether clicking any of them will count one, or whether a click on each will count one. Your choice should be aligned with your website goals.
3. Goal Funnels Are Just For Show
Goal funnels, no matter how important and helpful they are, are used for filling up the Funnel Visualization report. Goals with a required funnel will mostly have higher number of goal completions than a similar goal with a required funnel. Tracking different paths to a conversion is best viewed using the Funnel Visualization report, although you may also use different tags for each path. If you want to have another view, use the Behavior Flow report.
However, we would like to warn that you might count a conversion twice if you aggregate goal values without setting up funneled goals.
4. How Regex Can Help You With Goals?
RegEx, or regular expressions, are operational functions that can help you form advanced conditional statements. Regexr provides a tutorial of regular expressions and their function works.
To build more robust goals, you can use RegEx to widen the data acquisition. For example, you want to trigger a goal when any page starting with the word “signup,” you can use the regular expression “/signup.” There are tons of possibilities when using RegEx, making it a powerful and robust tool for tracking data. RegEx can be hard to learn for the first time, but reading and practicing will eventually make it easy to use.
5. Measuring Relational Value
You can use Goal values with a direct relationship to currency, and you can also use them relationally. With relationally, we mean that you can compare the value of multiple goals in relation to each other.
Let’s say you have 8 goals. Now, you have scored each goal on a scale computed in relation to other goals – this can be according to the visitor’s country, conversion rate, or even a purchase or signing up to a newsletter. Then, say, users visit your site and trigger certain goals. From these triggered goals, you can evaluate the total relational value from the scores you set beforehand. You may now compare the total relational value against the “All Goals” value. From this, you can tell whether which country people visits and converts the most.
If you are not yet using Goals, now is the perfect time to set it up. Don’t continue using GA without properly and correctly configured Goals.
Do you have any tips, tricks, or guides about GA Goals that you would like to share? Please share them on the comments below.