Google Analytics is a powerful tool. When it’s used to its full potential, it can help B2B businesses gain key insights into areas they might not otherwise have any clear window into, including optimized digital performance metrics and trends and patterns in customer behavior.

While Google Analytics already offers access to important metrics like pageviews and traffic sources, to really get the most out of the platform you’re going to want to measure additional information that’s unique to your marketing goals. And that’s where Google Analytics goals come in. Goals are a Google Analytics tool that allow you to track the marketing metrics that matter most to your business, particularly those around user interactions.

Goals are divided into four types, each of them offering a different way to measure conversions. Below, we’ll go over what those types are, as well as what you need to know to set up your Google Analytics goals and make full use of them.

The Google Analytics Goals You Should Focus On

Each goal that you set up in Google Analytics will fall under one of four pre-designated categories:

  1. Destination (page URL)
  2. Duration (time spent on page)
  3. Pages/Screens Per Session (total page views per session)
  4. Event (action taken on page)

The category your goal falls under depends on the specific type of conversion that you are looking to track. For example, if you want to measure how many people play your demo video, you’d set that up under Event, since it’s an action on the page. Likewise, if you want to qualify leads based on how much they immerse themselves in your website, you’d set that up under Pages/Screens Per Session.

Some other goals you’ll want to focus on for marketing purposes:

  •       Requests for quotes, demos, or more information
  •       Ebook or other downloadable asset conversions
  •       Shopping cart funnels
  •       Ad conversions
  •       Pre-orders and completed purchases
  •       New user sign-ups
  •       Engagement interactions (sharing content; signing up for newsletters; clicking through to your social media pages)

The more that you work with Google Analytics goals, the more you’ll learn about how to organize your goals and where they fall within the provided categories. To get there, though, you’ve got to start with the basics: getting your goals set up and ready to go.

How to Set Up Goals in Google Analytics

Follow the steps below to start using Google Analytics goals.

Step one: Log in to Google Analytics and select the website you want to set up goals for. Once there, head to the Admin page, then go to “Goals.”

Step two: Click “+ New Goal” and fill out all of the required information. This includes your goal description (name and type) and your goal details (the destination you’re tracking, plus the option to assign a monetary value and a funnel toward the destination, which is helpful if your conversion involves traveling through multiple pages).  

Step three: Click “Save” and you’re done! If you’d like, you can also click “Verify this Goal” for a look at how Google Analytics expects your conversion would have performed based on the past week’s worth of data they’ve collected about your site.

Making Sure You’re Getting the Most Out of Your Goals

Now that your goals are set up, your next step is going to be maximizing your usage of them for actionable insights you can use to drive future marketing efforts. Putting in the work to figure out which goals you should be tracking and how you should organize them is a big part of this, but so is following some best practice advice.

Create redirect pages for form submissions. To make sure you’re getting as accurate of a reading as possible about who’s filling out forms on your page, code in a redirect instead of relying on inline messages. It’s much easier for Google Analytics to measure who’s ending up at the “Thank you” page that follows a form submission than to measure who’s receiving that message right on the screen.

Test your Goal analytics in real-time. It helps to do an occasional bit of testing to ensure that your goals are properly tracked. To do so, perform a conversion on your page that you’re tracking — such as adding an item to your shopping cart — and then see if Google Analytics logs it. Even if you’re 99.9% positive all is working correctly, it never hurts to verify.

Utilize funnels. Setting up funnels for your conversions is an optional feature on goals, but one that you should definitely consider taking advantage of. That way, instead of just knowing that a conversion occurred, you’ll get a clear picture of how the lead got there. And if a certain conversion isn’t happening as often as you would like it to, you’ll be able to identify the snag in the funnel that might be the issue.

Set up Google Analytics goals and start getting more out of your digital measurements. In as little as a week, you’ll have a wealth of information you can use to guide your marketing efforts and start nurturing more sales.