Goals in Google Analytics

I am no longer surprised when a new client or prospect admits to not having opened their site analytics in, well, maybe never. That doesn’t discourage most from tweaking the site and hoping for the best. The environment of the web provides the best opportunity ever for measuring the results of our actions and any professional marketer will tell you that analysis and measurement are essential. So, lets talk about setting goals in Google Analytics.

You open analytics and you want to see what your visitors look at, how often, how many pages, visit duration, and bounce rate. You manage to find “users flow” under the “Audience” selection in the left hand column. You get a lovely, quite artistic image that I find virtually useless. Here’s an example:


You can export this to PDF among other choices but I find it frustrating no matter where I look at it. Fortunately, there is a simple solution for anyone with administrative access. You can create a goal and once done view the data in an entirely different presentation:

firstGoal600This format presents columns of data from number of sessions through new visitors, number of pages viewed and so on and each column can be sorted, so if you want to see what pages have the highest bounce rate, sort it from high to low.  There are many goals available pre-made and ready to import. This is one. It’s called the “content analysis dashboard”. Notice that across the top I’ve blown up the word “Admin” to show you where to go to access goals. The screen you see has three columns. This image is of the third, furthest right, and in the list of selections I’ve underscored “Goals”.


Selecting “Goals” brings up another screen:

goalAssortmentYou can spend a while here, selecting categories and looking at the various goals available to import. When you make a selection and press “Import” you will shortly see the word “Success” appear top centre of your screen. Return to “Reporting” (seen at the top of the next image) and under “Dashboard”, select “Private”. Any goals you’ve imported with appear and be accessible. In this case it’s the “Content Analysis Dashboard” we selected from the screen above, where it is the first goal described.


When you select that goal what you see next is a series of columns providing different segments of the data from the “Users flow” screen. I selected the top right offer and was presented with what you see in the second image in this post, with page visits and related data in an easily digestible, sortable format.

Now you have access to hard information about how your site is used and can make informed decisions about what content is working for you and what isn’t. Like anything else you’ve worked at learning, spending time in Analytics is its own reward.

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