Measure Goals with Google Analytics

Lake in the north

In the last post “How To Use Goals and Conversions In Google Analytics” we saw what are the first steps to define a goal. Let’s go deeper and see how to customize it step by step.

The default dashboard

This is the dashboard you will see when you open Google Analytics. It’s giving you the most basic pieces of information. As this is just the starting point, we should customize it and improve it to show us the metrics that we care about. In our case, we will see how to add our ‘Goals’ dashboard. When it comes to monetization, we can translate our goal to monetary value and get in the dashboard the amount of money we were able to generate. In the photo below you can see the default dashboard you are getting in Google Analytics.



Dashboard with another segment

This could be in cases we wish to see what are the difference between certain segments. In the example below, we wish to analyze how many users are new to our site vs all the sessions. The next step will be to measure this vis a vis our goal and its monetary value.


Dashboard with our custom goals

This is a custom dashboard that give us predefined metrics on content analysis. It contain our goal (see on the right side) and other aspects that give us the macro view on our site content. This is an important dashboard to any eCommerce site because it will reveal what are the most popular items on our site. So in a shopping site it will be translated to the popular items and on a publisher site it will be the top reviews that people are reading. In both cases, we would like to recognize this ‘head’ (vs the long tail of all the other pages) and optimize for it. Think on the ‘top X’ lists you have on successful sites like: Amazon, eBay, Zappos etc’. These lists are the ‘head’ of their items.



Analyzing the current state

After the last section, we are able to recognize the current state of our site. There are few aspects we will want to clarify by using GA reports:

  • Flow of users
    • Which pages they landing on and which are the following.
    • Browsing patterns.
    • Exit points.
  • Analyze top X pages
    • Call for action per page: Is it clear what should they click?
    • Messaging concise? clear?
    • Navigation
  • Information
    • Give the right information to the right user at the right time.
    • Demographics
  • ABC – “Always Be Closing”
    • Do we allow users to ‘finish’ easily at each step?
    • What is the minimum that we need the user to do? (e.g. one-click to buy).

 By getting answers to these questions, we will be in a good position to improve the current state of our site. This type of analysis should be done constantly. We always got new features, new marketing campaigns, new users etc’ and we must keep up with their influence on our metrics.

Set up Goals

Goals are a versatile way to measure how well your site or app fulfills targeted objectives. You can set up individual Goals for discrete actions like:

  • How many users reach our ‘thank you page’?
  • What are the top X landing pages?
  • What are the bounce rates?
  • Where do people interact with our site?
  • What are the top X exit pages?
  • What are the main ‘funnels’?
  • Which traffic sources are driving our metrics? 

Steps to set a goal

Step 1

Click on ‘Admin’ – It’s part of the main menu on the top of the page.

Click on ‘Goals’ and you will see this window:


(!) Tip: click on the ‘import from Gallery’ link to see what goals you can important. There are some great options there that other experts used in the past.

Step 2

Give a meaningful name to the goal.


Step 3

You can choose between a template or a custom goal. In this case, let’s choose the custom option.


Step 4

Here we will set our goal as duration on site.


(!) Tip: You can verify your new goal if you click on the ‘Verify the goal’ link. It’s good option to see how this goal being achieved base on the last 7 days. 

Step 5

Now you should have the ‘Reading time on site’ goal.

Make sure the ‘Recording’ option is set to ‘On’ and we are good to go.



It’s a good idea to check your goal in the first 48 hours and see that you are getting meaningful numbers.
Happy measuring.


2 thoughts on “Measure Goals with Google Analytics

  1. Pingback: WordPress: Remove Website Visits from Google Analytics | carmadesign

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