How To Create Goals In Google Analytics

Feb 2015

We have previously discussed how to track the quality of your social media traffic.

In that article, you learned how to create UTM parameters that help you track the quality of the traffic you are receiving from the source of the UTM link.

Photo Credit: @dsilvadeepal

When you have a UTM link and a goal created, you will be able to see if traffic from that link is converting.

In this article we will discuss how to create “goals” in Google Analytics. This will give you even more insight into the quality of traffic coming from wherever you placed the UTM link you created.

A goal can provide you with information about whether visitors from a certain source of traffic are making a conversion on your website. This conversion could be a sale, a newsletter sign up, or even something simple like spending a certain amount of time on your website.

In order to access the goal section of your Google Analytics account, you will want to navigate to conversion and click on goals.


Once you click on the goals button, you will be brought to a page that displays the overview of goal completions during your selected time rage.

There will be terms on this page that are different from others used in Google Analytics:

Goal Completions- This is the most obvious term and it simply means the number of completed conversions.

Goal Value- This is the total value produced by the number of conversions on your site. When you create a goal you assign a value to it. The goal value is determined using the following formula: Goal completions x Value = Goal Value 

For the time being, you only need to focus on two terms above. The terms below are a more advanced version of Google Analytics goal tracking that many people might not need to access. I have included the terms just in case you are curious.

Assisted Conversions- If a channel appears anywhere in your conversion path, it is considered an assist for that conversion. A channel is a source of traffic to your website such as a link on another blog or social media.

Assisted Conversion Value- The value assigned to the assisted conversions. This is similar to the goal value.

Total Abandonment Rate- This is the rate at which goals were abandoned. It is calculated as total abandoned funnels divided by the total goal starts.


Google allows you to create 5 sets of goals with 5 goals in each.  Currently, you cannot delete a goal so you must choose your goals wisely.

Before you create a goal, you must determine the ultimate objective of your page. Is it for a visitor to purchase a product or add something to their cart, or to sign up for an email list?

Once you have carefully chosen your goal, you will want create it. You can start by clicking the create goal button under the goals section of Google Analytics.

From there, you will want to choose a name for your goal and the type of goal you are creating.

If you are looking for people to sign up for your newsletter or purchase an item from your website, you will want to set your goal to destination.

After you have entered the name and selected a goal type you will need to set up the goal details:

Goal URL:

This equals the URI where the action takes place. This is the information that comes after your root domain. Even though the Google Analytics menu displays URL you will want to tract the URI.

For example the URI in this web address: /workshop/, is /workshop/.

Match Type:

The match type defines how Google Analytics identifies a URL for a goal. There are three different match types that you can choose from.

  •  Exact Match- A visitor has to enter the page exactly as its been typed into Google Analytics.  Example: Typing the URL directly into an Internet Browser.
  •  Head Match- This is looser when it comes to targeting how a user gets to the page. This match allows metadata passed from the URI from other web clients such as Facebook, Constant Contact and Gmail to be counted as a goal completion. I recommend using this setting.
  •  Regular Expression Match- This has the least conditions and as long a person lands on that page and completes the conversion it will count.


This represents the value of the goal. If the goal is purchasing a product for $5.00 than the value of that action is $5.00.

Once you have set up the goal details, you have the option to create a goal funnel. Creating a funnel system allows you to create a map for your traffic to flow through.

This means that in order for a goal to be completed on your site, the visitor must go through a series of actions on your website in order for the goal to be completed.

This would be used in situations where events occur in a specific order on your website, such as the checkout process of your shopping cart.

(Many people will not have a need for this function and can ignore this option.  This is a much more advanced feature of Google Analytics goal setting.)

Once you have finished creating a goal in your account, you will be able to track each time a person completes that goal on your website.


When you have a UTM link in place and a goal created, you will be able to see if traffic from that link is converting.

For example, if you used a UTM link for a Facebook advertisement, you will now be able to track whether people who clicked on that ad are purchasing your product or signing up for your email list.

This information is valuable because you can see how effective your Facebook advertising is and can determine if you should keep spending money on it. By identifying your best converting traffic sources, you will be better able to allocate your time and resources.



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