How to set up a goal in Google Analytics

How to set up a goal in Google Analytics

Many small business owners I know use Google Analytics to keep an eye on the number of visits they have to their website.

This is great because at least the tool is being put to use, but just think for a moment. Would you rather have 1,000 website visits per month or 500 visits per month that ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING ON YOUR SITE?

See it’s all well and good getting loads of traffic to your site – but if they don’t do anything once they’re there then what’s the point?

If you want to find out how many of your website visits result in an action then you’ll need to set up a Goal – and here’s how to do it.

My example below is based on recording the number of contact form submissions that have been sent (if the purpose of your site is lead generation), but there are a huge number of Goals you can set up. If you’re an e-commerce site you may want to track the number of completed purchases, an information site may want to track the number of PDF downloads. Entertainment site – you’ll want to track number of videos watched.

So, let’s get to it!

After logging into Google Analytics click on the Admin link at the bottom left of the screen:
Google Analytics Admin Screen

You will be taken to the admin page, click on Goals:

Google Analytics Goals Screen

Click on the red “New Goal” button and you will see this:

Goals setup in Google Analytics

Firstly give your goal a name. Keep it simple but descriptive eg Contact Form Submissions.

Then click the destination radio button and get the URL of your confirmation page. It will look something like this:

TOP TIP: If you don’t know the URL then submit a test contact form and copy the final URL in your browser!

Click on continue and you will see:

Goals final screen

Paste your URL into the Red box and to check you’ve set things up correctly hit the “Verify this Goal” link.

Doing this will run the goal on your last 7 days of data and show you how many conversions you’ve had.

Click Save and you’re done!

I’m currently running a survey on the use of Google Analytics in small businesses across the UK.

I’d really appreciate if you would take two minutes to answer a few short, simple questions here

Penguin 4.0 is alive

Penguin 4.0 is alive

Google has confirmed that the latest version of Penguin (which is 4.0) is now live and part of their core algorithm as of 23rd September 2016.

Penguin is the name given to part of the algorithm that deals with web spam – things like keyword stuffing and unnatural link schemes and was first launched in 2012.

What does this mean for a small business’s website? Well not much if you have high quality content that doesn’t repeat your target keywords lots and lots (like this screenshot from Google):

Penguin Keyword Stuffing






Or this example of totally unnatural links (see the links to loans in an article about getting fit):

Link spam example






While these are extreme examples think about your site – do you link out to any other websites that have absolutely nothing to do with your business area? Are there more than one or two links on each page?

If not you should be in pretty good shape to not be affected by Penguin 4.0.

If you’ve seen a dip in your SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) I’d love to hear from you!