Articles in The 'goal value' Tag

August 11 2011

Creating a Destination URL Goal; Goal Funnel for Google Analytics

by MoreVisibility

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.


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:


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 – 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.


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!

January 12 2011

Match types aren’t just for pay-per-click (Google Analytics Goals)

by MoreVisibility

In pay-per-click advertising, keywords are what an advertiser bids on to have their ads shown in front of relevant web surfers. Advertisers have many different settings at their disposal to leverage keywords to maximize their marketing efforts. One of those settings is called the match type, and it’s used to control the relevancy, quality, and to some extent the volume of impressions and clicks that your ads will be eligible to receive.

For example, let’s say you’re bidding on the keyword “Miami Dolphins”, and you’re advertising with Google AdWords. Your match type will determine the quality and volume of traffic you receive:

– If you’re using Broad Match, your ad will appear anytime someone uses “Miami”, “Dolphins”, or any combination of those two words with any other words. So, searches like “Miami Heat”, “Miami Vice”, “Dolphins in the ocean”, and “restaurants in Miami” would all make your ads eligible when your keyword match type is set to Broad Match.

– If you’re using Phrase Match, your ad will only appear when the search term “Miami Dolphins” (in that order) appear before, after, or in between other words. Searches like “Miami Dolphins website”, “tickets to the Miami Dolphins”, or “directions to Miami Dolphins stadium” will all make your ads eligible to appear using Phrase Match.

– If you’re using Exact Match, your ad will only appear when a searcher types in “Miami Dolphins” (in that order), and with no other words before after, or in between “Miami Dolphins”. No exceptions.

(Google also has a new “Modified Broad Match” option. There’s a good article to read from the Google AdWords blog if you’re interested to learn more about it).

You must be wondering why the heck am I spending time writing about pay-per-click keyword match type options. Well, most everyone at MoreVisibility is well versed in pay-per-click, and anyone who works with Web Analytics knows at least a little bit about how pay-per-click works (and, if you didn’t know about keyword match types…now, you do!). If you’re creating and editing goals in Google Analytics, you’re going to need to be well versed in goal match types. Otherwise, what appears as a goal may not be what you wanted or expected.

In Google Analytics, there are three goal match types (for URL destination goals): Head Match, Exact Match, and Regular Expression Match.

1. Head Match.
Head Match for Google Analytics URL destination goals works somewhat like Phrase Match works in the pay-per-click advertising world.

Let’s say that I am using /thankyou as my goal URL. Using Head Match, Google Analytics will record a goal whenever any of the following pages are viewed:


Essentially, with Head Match, any time /thankyou appears in a URL (or, as we like to call it, a Request URI), and a unique page view is recorded for that URL, Google Analytics will record a goal. Notice that there are some possibilities above that you may not have considered that will count as goals using Head Match.

2. Exact Match.
This goal match type is exactly what it sounds like. It will match your goal URL exactly, without exception. This match type in Google Analytics is just like Exact Match in the pay-per-click world.

Using /thankyou as your goal URL and using Exact Match, Google Analytics will only record a goal when a unique page view occurs on:


Google Analytics WILL NOT record a goal when you’re using Exact Match for unique page views on pages like:


Notice how, using Exact Match, Google Analytics will not even count “/thankyou.html” as a goal. Exact Match is a very strict goal match type, but it may be exactly what you’re looking for, especially if you want to avoid the type of scenarios on bullet point 1 above.

3. Regular Expression Match.
The last goal match type is Regular Expression Match. Basically, this match type allows you to do all sorts of things with your goal URLs, using the power of Regular Expressions.

(Don’t know anything about Regular Expressions, or need a tune up? Don’t worry – I wrote an entire article about Regular Expressions a while back).

Regular Expression Match is great for lots of things, including combining multiple URLs into the same goal slot, or, forcing Google Analytics to match your goal URL depending on what it either starts with or ends with.

Example: you want Google Analytics to count a goal for any page that starts with /thankyou. Using the Regular Expression Match type, enter in:

^/thankyou (<– Yes, that’s the ^ symbol above your “6” key)

Using ^/thankyou will tell Google Analytics to match anything that starts with /thankyou, like:


However, it will not match anything like:


(You can use the dollar sign symbol, $, to match a URL by what the URL ends with…do read my post on Regular Expressions to know what I’m talking about).

Is your head spinning yet? Not to worry – comment below with your questions and I’ll try to answer them for you.

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