How To Use Goals and Conversions In Google Analytics

Data and the light

“In the past, one could get by on intuition and experience. Times have changed. Today the name of the game is data.”- Steven D. Levitt

In todays world, we must measure and analyze our data in order to continue and improve our performances. In this article, we will show how to leverage Google Analytics in order to improve monetization.


  • Conversion Rate is the percentage of prospective users who took a specific action you want.
  • Usability, messaging and performance are key factors that influence our conversions.
  • Use Google Analytic in order to gain important views.

Goals and Conversions

What is conversion rate?

Conversion Rate is the percentage of prospective users who took a specific action you want. It might be time spend on a page, registration to an event or completing a transaction. You can also give a Goal a monetary value (e.g. in an e-commerce site), so you can see how much that conversion is worth to your business.

Let’s have a look at the formula:
Conversion Rate = Total users who reach our goal / Total number of users * 100

In Google Analytics you will see this definition:
Conversion Rate = # of conversions / # of sessions * 100

This is done on a session level. We will see later how to create a dashboard that give you this information in the way you find it most useful.

We can use Google Analytics in order to measure a certain conversion rate and improve it.

It’s important to remember that we can use it not only to monetize better, but to improve other aspects of our objectives.

Examples of conversations you might wish to measure:

  • Registration to an event or a course. Here is an event site I’ve used in the past.
  • Newsletter sign ups.
  • Filled forms (e.g. survey or contact us).
  • Finish reading an article or watching a video.
  • Events: watching a video, browsing slides etc’.
  • Live chat with your customer service.
  • Sharing on social channels: Google+, Twitter, Facebook etc’.

What drives conversion?

Let’s examine the aspects that could move the needle for us.


The subject of usability is very broad. In our goal to improve the current state of our conversion, here are some points to improve:

  1. The UX and how users progress through various stages towards the intended conversion goal.
  2. How easy is it to explore different options and to evaluate them?
  3. Can the user act on her decision quickly and easily? (e.g. one-click button to buy).
  4. Do we give our users a ‘proof’ that real customers like our product or service? (e.g. reviews on items)


  1. How clear is the message and the call for action? Headlines are typically the first thing users will read. If the message is not actionable, users will exit the process quickly after reading them.
  2. Do we have a custom message for each segment in our target audience?
  3. The right headline could increase your conversion rate, so it’s good to taste new messages with A/B testing frequently.


    1. How fast are we able to serve the information? It’s no surprise that you want your pages to be as fast as possible. Users love responsive, fast pages that give them the ability to complete their actions quickly.
    2. You want to measure the speed and track the pages with high percentage of exits.
    3. An in-house study at Walmart.com came out with the results that saw an up to 2% increase in conversions on the site for every single second of improvement on the load time. The accumulative growth of revenues went up to 1% for every 100 milliseconds of load time improvement.


In Google Analytics goals are set at the view level. You can set goals on metrics like:

  • Destination – We wish to track specific pages (e.g. URL).
  • Event – It will often be interactions with features.
  • Time on site – Important to measure it and not only pageviews as it is giving us a closer metric to our impact/impression.
  • Pages per visits – How we are able to capture our users.

To find a view, click Admin, then select an account, property, and a view. Click Goals, then Create a Goal. You can see it in the picture below.

GA setting a goal part 1

Follow the step by step flow in your account to set up a Goal. As you complete each step, click Next step to save and move on. Click Save Goal to finish. In the example below you can see a ‘destination goal’ I’ve set on my site to measure how many users are going to the ‘Google Developers Live’ section after visiting ido-green.appspot.com

Set a goal - part 2

(!) Goals are limited to 20 per reporting view. To track more than 20 Goals, create an additional view for that account property, or edit an existing Goal you do not need anymore.

In the next post, I will dive into using Google Analytics in order to measure your important metrics. That will help you get to the road to success.

The road to success


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