Creating a Destination URL Goal; Goal Funnel for Google Analytics

- August 11, 2011

We’ve been on a strong educational kick lately, publishing in-depth blog articles on creating, configuring, and having a better understanding of things in Google Analytics. For example, our last two blog posts covered:

We’ve received some good, positive feedback about our blogs as of late, so we’re going to continue to move in that direction today and provide you a walk-through of configuring a destination URL goal (with a goal funnel) in your Google Analytics account.

Step 1: Procuring Administrative Access to your Google Analytics account.

If you have Administrative Access to your Google Analytics account, go immediately to Step 2.

If you don’t have Administrative Access, you will need to get a hold of someone who is an administrator, and ask them for Administrative Access. They may give you the evil eye, but explain to them that you want to configure a goal with a goal funnel (and that you read it on the Analytics & Site Intelligence blog at MoreVisibility, of course).

Step 2: Choosing the correct account / web property / profile

Not everyone falls into this category, but some of you have Administrative Access to more than one account, web property, and profile. Be sure that you are in the right place before you do anything.

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Step 3: Choosing a Goal Slot and creating your destination URL goal

If you’re following along with your own Google Analytics account, you’ll want to get yourself to a point where you’re at a screen that looks like the above screen-shot.

From this point, click on the Goals tab to bring up a listing of goals that currently are configured in your profile. Click on an available goal slot to start creating your new goal (You’ll see a link for + Goal to start this process).

In the below screen-shot, you’ll see that you will need to work your way down from the top to create your goal:

ga-goal-02

To summarize the steps shown above:

  1. Enter in a Name for your Goal (something short and sweet that will appear in your reports).
  2. Ensure that the goal is set to Active (or, it will not work).
  3. Choose the URL Destination Goal Type.
  4. Type in the Goal URL that you wish to use for this goal. As you start typing in the Goal URL field, matches will be shown that you can select from (you will not see pages that have not registered any page views, so brand new pages may not appear). In this field, don’t use http://www.yourwebsite.com – just use the path part of the URL (like in the example).
  5. Choose your match type: Head Match, Exact Match, or Regular Expression Match. In most situations, Exact Match is what you want. However, if you’re interested in what Head Match or Regular Expression match can do for you, check out my blog from earlier this year on goal match types.
  6. Check whether or not this goal is case-sensitive (99.9999% of the time, it’s not, so leave it unchecked).
  7. Enter in a Goal Value. Notice that I didn’t say “you can enter in a goal value”, and that I basically told you to do so. Goal values can very nicely augment your goal data in your analytics reports. It’s also one of the very first blog posts I wrote over three and a half years ago – we are all strong advocates of using goal values here at MoreVisibility.

Step 4: Creating a Goal Funnel

Although not required, and although not every destination URL goal will have an associated goal funnel to go along with it, you can create one very easily. Below the Goal Value field, click on the Use Funnel check box to enter in your goal’s first funnel step. Enter in the URL of that first step in the form field on the left-hand side, and then give your step a name in the field on the right-hand side.

You can add up to 20 total goal funnels steps by clicking on the link reading + Goal Funnel Step. You do not have to re-enter your destination URL from above as one of the funnel steps. You can also delete any step by clicking on the appropriate Delete link on the right of the second form field in each row.

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Step 5: Hit Save!

Trust us – this action is missed more times that you could imagine. Please, don’t forget to save your work!

Step 6: The fruits of your labor

You’ll be able to access goal-oriented information in a number of different ways in Google Analytics. You can view goals:

  • In the Conversions >> Goals section of the left-hand navigation menu, where you’ll find an Overview, Goal URLs, Reverse Goal Path, and Funnel Visualization reports.
  • In the My Conversions >> Goals tab on the top navigation menu (same reports as found from the left-hand navigation menu, just a different place to access them from).
  • By applying the Visits with Conversions advanced segment
  • By creating a custom advanced segment
  • By clicking on any goal metric group (several reports)
  • Via a custom report that you create with goal metrics
  • Through a new Dashboard with goal-focused panels
  • On the My Site >> Intelligence section, viewing which goals are showing significant changes in trending

Final Step: A few notes regarding goal funnels

  1. Some of you are probably wondering why we conveniently skipped out on talking about Required Step. To the right of the first goal step, there is a check box by this name. Checking this box means that visitors must follow your goal funnel precisely as you outline it in order to be counted as (read this next part extremely carefully) a conversion in the funnel visualization report. Which, leads to the second note.
  2. All data that you will see in the funnel visualization report is confined to that report. Goals are still counted throughout Google Analytics if a visitor does not follow your funnel path precisely and still converts (even if you have the aforementioned Required Step check box on).

Please let us know if you found this tutorial educational and helpful!

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