While perusing my Google Analytics account for information about my website traffic, I noticed a Goals section and wondered how to use it. After all, how can we know whether or not we’re doing well if we have nothing to base it on? With that in mind, I asked writer Joanna Hughes to explain the different types of goals Google Analytics can monitor, as well as the process for setting them up.
Google Analytics offers electrifying data.
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Without access to key tracking and analytics, you have no way to identify wrong turns, or to determine whether you’re meeting or falling short of your directional goals. Google Analytics offers a comprehensive and user-friendly mechanism for wrangling a multitude of data into compelling insights.
Why Google Analytics?
Google Analytics offers an integrated view of your visitor traffic in order to derive a big picture sense of your audience — from where site visitors are to what they need to know to how they interact with your content. All of this information combines to improve the user experience and keep them coming back for more.
Insights leap off the screen with the help of Google Analytics.
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Last year, Tracking and Analytics for Bloggers covered the basics for getting started with Google Analytics. In as soon as 24 hours, you can begin taking advantage of Google’s powerful analytics to determine what’s working about your blog and — more importantly — what requires retooling or elimination.
Once Google begins tracking, the possibilities for growth and learning are boundless. One particularly beneficial way to harness the power of Google Analytics is by setting goals. Simply put, Goals let you set target objectives and determine how effectively you reach them by measuring the specific actions of your visitors. Goals measure everything from screen time to minimum purchase amounts for transactions — in other words, all of your site’s critical metrics.
Goals are automatically logged to your Google Analytics account as a conversion. For enhanced financial clarity you can even assign a monetary value to your Goals. A variety of different reports let you measure both completion and conversation rates.
To make it easier, Google walks you through the process of setting up Goals for optimal results.
Types of Goals
Goals are categorized according to both content and action, and are broken down into four categories. Destination Goals track specific URLS; in other words, every time your site is accessed via a particular URL, a goal is triggered. Duration Goals, meanwhile, track how long users stay at your site; this can also be configured to track visits that are less than a specified amount of time. Page/Visit Goals don’t track how long users stay at your site, but how many pages they access before exiting. Lastly are Event Goals; any pre-set event can be selected as a goal with the ability to track everything from external links to widget usage.
Beyond Google Analytics
Google Analytics is not alone in providing access to critical data. Companies like industry leader Syncsort offer data-heavy organizations an innovative means to process data for better decision making and business strategizing.
Keep in mind that while it’s easy to obsess over page views and traffic, these are just the means to an end: ultimately, the proper use of Google Analytics can help you determine the areas in which your website is achieving its goals, and the areas where new strategies are in order.
Joanna Hughes writes on all subjects, ranging from style and fashion to the latest in business news and the tech world.