Setting up Goals and Ecommerce

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Setting up Goals in Analytics is one of the most important parts of implementation. Once you enable Goals, you get metrics like the number of conversions and the conversion rate. Goals are the way that we map the data in Analytics to the key performance indicators that you defined in your measurement plan. These metrics are always available in the Conversion section of your standard reports. But you can also find these metrics in almost every other report in Analytics. This is useful because the reports allow you to segment your conversion data.

Anytime you think of conversions, you should think about “macro conversions” and “micro conversions.” Macro conversions are your primary business objectives. Micro conversions are the relationship building activities that lead up to a macro conversion.

Goals are configured at the view level. That means you can create different Goals for each view. There are four types of Goals.

  • A Destination Goal is a page on your website that users see when they complete an activity. For an account signup, this might be the “thank you for signing up” page. For a purchase this might be the receipt page. A destination Goal triggers a conversion when a user views the page you’ve specified. If you’re setting up a Goal for an app, you’d set up a screen view Goal rather than a destination Goal.
  • An Event Goal is triggered when a user does something specific like downloading a PDF or starting a video. You need to have Event Tracking implemented on your website in order to use this type of Goal.
  • A Pages per Visit Goal is triggered when a user sees more or fewer pages than a threshold that you specify.
  • A Duration Goal is triggered when a user’s visit exceeds or falls below a threshold that you set.

There is an important difference between Goal conversions and ecommerce transactions. A Goal conversion can only be counted once during a visit, but an ecommerce transaction can be counted multiple times during a visit. Here’s an example. Let’s say that you set one of your Goals to be a PDF download and you define it such that any PDF download is a valid Goal conversion. And let’s also say that the Goal is worth $5. In this case, if a user comes to your site and downloads five PDF files during a single session, you’ll only get one conversion worth $5. However, if you were to track each of these downloads as a $5 ecommerce transaction, you would see five transactions and $25 in ecommerce revenue.

As a best practice, you should only add a Goal value for nonecommerce Goals. The reason is that Goal value is cumulative. If you add a Goal value and you track transactions with the ecommerce tracking code, Analytics will add the value of the transaction to the value of the Goal.

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