Advanced User Tutorial – How (&Why) to Set-Up Google Goals

Advanced User Tutorial - How (&Why) to Set-Up Google GoalsGoogle Goals. Okay, admittedly this isn’t the most sexy sounding social media tutorial but don’t let the title alone fool you…this is heady stuff once you get started. Why? Because setting up Google Goals allows small business owners to tap into some downright amazing information; the kind of information usually reserved for reports generated by social media management firms, the kind of information that forms a firm foundation for strategy, the kind of information that saves time and money. In short, learning how to set-up your own Google Goals allows a small business owner to experiment with outcomes, try-on a new strategy, save time and make money. If that sounds good, keep reading!

What Are Google Goals?

Before getting into the details, a bit of background information is in order. Google Goals are “are versatile way to measure how well your site or app fulfills your target objective”.  To put it into plain language, Google Goals form the foundation needed to measure the desired conversion rates, actionable item and other outcomes. Each time a user completes a “Goal”, a “conversion” is registered on the Google Analytics account. In fact, it’s even possible to assign a dollar value which corresponds to each different conversion or actionable item. For instance, a direct purchase could be worth X dollars on average while signing-up for a newsletter could be worth another pre-defined value based upon historical trends for your specific industry.

What Is Needed to Use Google Goals?

To get started you will need a Google Analytics Account. If you don’t have one, it’s time to get one! Sign up at

Goal Categories Explained

Google makes it super simple to create goals; there are even templates available. However, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of each desired type of goal, the uses and available information to be derived. There are several different goal categories including:

  • Revenue – Like other revenue statements, this allows the amount of money generated to be tracked and measures. Use revenue to translate goals with direct earnings.
  • Acquisition – New clients may not initially spend money but are still valuable for the long-term profit potential as well as word-of-mouth marketing made possible via social media. Track how (and where) new acquisitions are made and what type of referrals bring the most traffic.
  • Inquiry – Direct inquiries are often an indication that the buyer is nearing a decision point. Inquiries demonstrate strong research and interest.
  • Engagement – Followers make comments, share information or otherwise interact with the business or brand showing heightened interest, loyalty and other positive levels of communication.

Goal Type Explained

In addition to goal categories, Google also allows four different Goal Types to be established and measured. Goal Types each indicate a different type of action making it the perfect way to track calls to action. Goal Types include:

  • Destination Goal – Which landing page is working best and why? Use a Destination Goal whenever you want to measure the results of a specific page.
  • Duration Goal – Who stays on the site the longest? Tracking the duration of time spent on a site is often a solid proxy for the amount of interest. For example, a used car retailer can assume a high level of interest when a user spends an above average amount of time on the site. Establish a threshold of notification whenever someone reaches or exceeds a specified duration (ie, 2 minutes or 20 minutes etc)
  • Page Views Per Visit Goal – How many pages are viewed or which pages? Duration is one key indicator of interest but also the total number of pages may indicate a heightened level of interest or readiness to buy.
  • Event Goal – Trigger an alert whenever someone engages in a specified action such as signing up for a newletter, making a social recommendation, clicking on an advertisement or watching a video.

How to Set-Up a Google Goal

1. Log-in to your Google Analytics account and go to the desired Profile page (to find the desired profile click Admin, the desired account name and then profile name).

2. Click “Goals” and “Create a Goal”. Follow the step-by-step directions.

3. Add Funnels. Funnels can be added to destination goals to track where visitors enter and exit your site and how they ultimately reach the desired goal.

4. Assign a Goal Value. Remember, it’s possible to assign a dollar amount for a given goal but don’t limit yourself only to actual sales. Over time it is possible to gather enough information to estimate the value of many different types of actions and outcomes including sharing a post via social media (resulting in even more new users), signing-up for special promotions (repeat sales and cost savings of not having to acquire new clients), attending an online event etc…

5. Verify. Verification is simply the process of testing the goal to make sure it works properly before unleashing it on the public. You will provide proxy data during the verification process so the conversion data is simply a proxy NOT the true conversion rates! The verification will provide an estimate of how the goals should respond in a real-life situation but will only be as reliable as the data used as a proxy. Not sure which numbers to use? Speak to your social media manager about industry averages.




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