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Setting Goals in Google Analytics: A Beginner’s Checklist

by Guy Alvarez • June 14th, 2018 • Measurement and Analytics | Blog

setting goals in google analyticsSo, you’ve stumbled upon Google Analytics and have decided to use it to find out how well your website is doing. For casual users, it might be just a fun look at all the data Google collects. But for law firms that need it to measure site performance and gauge viewer engagement, it’s an entirely different story.

Understand what a goal is in terms of Google Analytics

A goal lets you measure how often somebody visits or completes a certain action on your website. Once that action is completed, it becomes equivalent to one conversion. The conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors who have completed your specific goal.

Why is setting goals in Google Analytics so important?

Goal-setting lets you measure the performance of your site, which, for most, is crucial to understand if your digital strategy is working. Simply keeping track of page views is no longer enough. These metrics aren’t necessarily the most useful when it comes to making concrete decisions and improvements.

Setting goals is an easier and more effective way to keep track of analytics, such as how many clicks you get per page, how many times a form is filled out, which ad channel drives the most traffic, and so much more.

Bottom line: goals simplify and solidify the data to tell you exactly what you need to know.

How do you set goals in Google Analytics?

Now, on to actually learning howto set goals.

  1. Go to Google Analytics and log in, then click “Admin” at the end of the sidebar menu.
  2. Next, choose your account and property. Click “Goals” under the View tab.
  3. In the top left corner, you’ll find a red button saying New Goal. Click on it to start adding goals!
  4. Once you click the New Goal button, you will be asked to choose between using a goal template or creating a custom goal. We recommend creating a custom goal since it’s much easier to modify to your liking.
  5. Name that goal! Go for something specific and easy to understand, such as “Clicked on the ‘I’m Interested’ button” or “Filled out contact form.”
  6. Now, you must pick a type of goal. Google Analytics offers four different types: destination, duration, pages per session, and event.

6a. Setting up a Destination Goal

Every time a user visits a specific page on your site, a destination goal is completed. You can use this goal to find out how many people are visiting a newly set up page and see if it’s enticing enough to be clicked by users.

Simply enter the details for the goal, specifically the destination URL, predicted value of each click or lead, and funnel.

6b. Setting up a Duration Goal

Whenever a session lasts longer than a specified amount of time, a duration goal is completed. This goal is helpful for learning whether readers are actually spending time browsing through your site or reading your articles. When using this goal, carefully estimate how long an average session lasts.

6c. Setting up a Pages-per-Session Goal

If a user visits more than your specified number of pages (or screens, for mobile users) in a single session, a pages-per-session goal is completed. This goal is best for publishers who wish to see if their readers are reading more than just one article or story per session.

6d. Setting up an Event Goal

When a user completes a specific action, such as filling out your contact form, an event goal is completed. Event goals are capable of tracking any action, such as clicks on buttons, views of a video, and any kind of user engagement on the website.

To set up an event goal, simply name your goal, choose the event goal type, and determine what action will trigger the goal’s completion.

To learn more about setting up event goals, you can check out Google’s comprehensive guide.

7. Use the data you collect to make improvements to your website.

After you’ve finished setting goals in Google Analytics, you’ll now have access to tons of information and reports that can help you improve your website and your marketing strategies. With the goal reports, you can learn nearly anything and everything you want to know about your website. Now, you can gauge your website’s performance based on criteria that are actually relevant and important to you and your law firm.

Google Analytics is essential for law firms that rely heavily on user traffic. It’s a gift not many know how to use, so use it wisely and make the most of it.


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