Google Analytics Glossary

Goals & Events in Google Analytics

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Published on Dec 23, 2022 and edited on Feb 12, 2023 by Iron Brands

An important function of Google Analytics is its ability to collect information on user behavior on your website through events. You can use this to gather insights into the actions taken by website visitors.

Although, this is more complex than it may seem. It requires installing tracking scripts on your website to collect the necessary information in Google Analytics.

In this article, we’ll show you how goals work in Google Analytics and how you can create them to gather insights into your website performance.

  1. What are goals in Google Analytics?
  2. What is the difference between events and goals in Google Analytics?
  3. Which goals are available in Google Analytics?
  4. What are smart goals in Google Analytics?
  5. What does assigning a value to a google analytics goal enable?
  6. How can you set up goals in Google Analytics?
  7. How to delete a goal in google analytics?
  8. How to set up e-commerce tracking in Google Analytics?
  9. How to track form submissions in Google Analytics?
  10. How to track button clicks in Google Analytics?
  11. How to track PDF downloads in Google Analytics?
  12. How to track outbound links in Google Analytics?
  13. How to track affiliate sales in Google Analytics?
  14. How can goals in Google Analytics help your business grow?
  15. Final Thoughts
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Let’s dive in!

What are goals in Google Analytics?

Goals in Google Analytics are simply ways of measuring your website's success at achieving a desired outcome. They can be anything from getting people to sign up for a newsletter, completing a purchase, or watching a video. They help you identify which types of content visitors find most engaging and valuable on your site.

For example, if you want visitors to make a purchase on your website, you can set up a goal to track the number of purchases.

What is the difference between events and goals in Google Analytics?

In Google Analytics, a goal is a specific action or set of actions you want your users to take on your website. This can be anything from making a purchase to filling out a form or subscribing to a newsletter. Goals allow you to measure the effectiveness of your website and determine how well it is achieving your business objectives.

On the other hand, events are user interactions with your website that you can track but don't necessarily represent a specific goal. Examples of events include playing a video, clicking on a specific link, or scrolling to a certain point on a page. You can use events to understand how users interact with your website and identify improvement areas.

Which goals are available in Google Analytics?

There are quite a few goals available that can be used to measure the performance of your website. Here are a few examples of goals you can track:

  • E-commerce Tracking Goal: Track the number of purchases on your e-commerce site
  • Event Tracking Goal: Monitor specific events that are relevant to your business (signups, downloads, etc.)
  • URL Destination Goals: Measure how many visitors reach a certain page on your site
  • Pages/Screens per Visit Goal: See how long people stay on each page and figure out which pages are most engaging
  • Engagement Goals: Monitor user engagement such as average time spent on the website, scrolling or video views
  • Campaign Goals: Track the effectiveness of specific campaigns and goals
  • Conversion Funnel Goal: Analyze how visitors move through a series of steps on your website.

What are smart goals in Google Analytics?

Smart Goals are a feature in Google Analytics that uses AI to identify the most valuable visitors to your website automatically. These visitors are identified based on their likelihood to convert and potential value to your business.

GA will track their actions on your website and use this information to create a "Smart Goal." You can then use this information to optimize your website and marketing strategies to target better and engage these valuable visitors.

What does assigning a value to a google analytics goal enable?

You can track progress toward those financial aims by assigning monetary value to each goal, such as sales revenue or donations. This information allows you to optimize strategies for better performance and budget allocation.

For example, if you have a goal that tracks when someone purchases a product on your website, you can assign a value to that goal based on the average purchase price of your products. This will allow you to see how much revenue each goal is generating.

How can you set up goals in Google Analytics?

Setting up goals in Google Analytics is a great way to track and measure the progress of your website.

To set up goals in Google Analytics, start by opening the admin panel for your account and selecting ‘Goals’ from the View column. You’ll then be prompted to create either one goal or multiple goals for tracking purposes. Once you’ve chosen which type of goal or goals you want to set up, click ‘New Goal’ and enter a name for the goal.

Next, you’ll be asked to choose a type of goal. You can choose from four different types: destination, duration, pages per session, or event.

  • Destination goals are based on specific URLs that visitors reach after taking particular actions. These could include reaching the confirmation page for an online purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or any other desired action.
  • Duration goals measure how much time visitors spend engaging with your site by tracking how long they spend on each page or the total amount of time spent on the site during one visit.
  • Pages per Session goals track how many pages visitors view during their engagement with your website. This is useful when trying to determine how engaged customers are with your content.
  • Event goals measure a visitor’s interaction with certain elements on your site, such as video views, clicks to external links, or downloads.

Once you’ve selected the type of goal for tracking and set up any relevant parameters (such as page URL for destination goals), click ‘Save

How to delete a goal in google analytics?

Once you’ve set up your goals in Google Analytics, you may need to delete them if you no longer need them or want to adjust the settings. Fortunately, deleting a goal is simple and straightforward.

First, log into your Google Analytics account and select the website from which you’d like to delete the goal. Once you’ve navigated to the specific website view, click on “Admin” at the top of your screen.

Next, navigate to the “Goals” section in the middle column. Here, you will see a list of all your existing goals. Click on a goal and select “Remove Goal” at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. You will be asked to confirm that you want to remove this goal before it is deleted permanently from Google Analytics.

Remember that removing a goal also removes any associated data from reports, so if you delete something accidentally or need it back, you will not be able to restore or re-create it.

How to set up e-commerce tracking in Google Analytics?

E-commerce tracking is a feature that allows you to track your online store's performance and measure your marketing efforts.

You can see key metrics such as revenue, average order value, and conversion rate, as well as track the specific products that are being purchased.

Setting up E-commerce tracking is relatively easy if you follow a few simple steps. The first step is to enable E-commerce Tracking for your website. This can be done by navigating to Admin > Property Settings in Google Analytics, where you'll find the Enable E-commerce option at the bottom of the page.

The next step is to create a goal that tracks the value of sales generated. You can do this by going to Admin, and then click on Goals. Here, you can set up an E-commerce goal and assign it a value. This will ensure that the revenue from each sale is collected.

How to track form submissions in Google Analytics?

Google Analytics can help track form submissions and give you vital insights into how your visitors respond to your website. First, create a goal in Google Analytics by clicking on the “Admin” tab at the top of your account. From there, choose “Goals” from the left-hand menu and click “New Goal.”

Next, select “Create a Custom Goal” from the options provided and then name your goal something easily recognizable, like “Form Submission.” From here, you will be asked to enter the URL of the page where users submit their forms — this could be an internal landing page or a confirmation page after they have signed up for something. Once you have entered the URL, click “Create Goal” and your goal will be created.

Once you have created your goal, it’s time to set up an event in Google Analytics that will track when a user submits a form. To do this, click on the “Admin” tab again and select “Events” from the left-hand menu. Next, click on “New Event Tag” and name it something like “Form Submission.”

How to track button clicks in Google Analytics?

The first step is to set up an event in Google Analytics to track the button click. This involves adding some code for each actionable item on your website. To do this, click on the “Admin” tab again and select “Events” from the left-hand menu. Next, click on “New Event Tag” and name it something like “Button Click.”

Once done, you will be able to see the total number of times that specific button has been clicked.

How to track PDF downloads in Google Analytics?

Tracking PDF downloads in Google Analytics can be a powerful way to measure the success of certain initiatives. By setting up an event goal, you'll be able to track how users interact with content on your site and use this data to better understand customer behavior.

The first step is to set up an Event Goal. To do so, go into the Admin section of your Google Analytics account and click “Goals” under the View column. Click on “+ New Goal”, give it a name (such as “PDF Downloads”), and select “Event” from the Goal Setup dropdown menu.

Next, you will need to define what counts as reaching that goal. Under the “Event Conditions” section, enter the category name of your PDF downloads. Make sure that you enter accurate information here as analytics won't be able to track any activity if your information is incorrect.

An outbound link in Google Analytics is a link that directs users to a website outside of your own.

To set this up, you’ll need to create an event category for the outbound link clicks in Google Tag Manager. This category will be used to group together all the events created when a user clicks on an outbound link. Next, add custom HTML tags and triggers that capture the click information from each link. Finally, set up a goal in Google Analytics that looks for any hits associated with this specific tag and trigger combination.

How to track affiliate sales in Google Analytics?

Affiliate sales are all about tracking transactions, which can be tricky if you don't know where to start.

There are two main ways to track affiliate sales in Google Analytics: goals and events. Let's take a closer look at each one.

Goals in Google Analytics allow you to track when someone completes an action on your site that indicates they've made a purchase. For example, you could set up a goal for when someone reaches the thank-you page after making a purchase. When someone does this, it triggers the goal and shows up in your Analytics report. This is a great way to track the success of an affiliate campaign, as you can see how many people are actually completing purchases after clicking through from your link.

Events in Google Analytics give you more granular detail about what's happening on your website. For example, if you're tracking clicks on specific affiliate links, then setting up events for these links will allow you to see exactly when someone clicked and where they went afterwards. This data can be invaluable for figuring out which affiliates are most successful and which campaigns need optimization.

To get the most out of tracking affiliate sales in Google Analytics, it's best to use both goals and events together. Goals give you high-level information about overall performance, while events give you a more detailed look at individual actions. With both tools, you can get a comprehensive picture of your affiliate marketing efforts and use that data to optimize for even better results.

How can goals in Google Analytics help your business grow?

Events allow companies to track user actions like page views, clicks on specific links, downloads of PDFs, video plays, etc., which can help them better understand what type of content gets the most attention from visitors. With this information they can adjust their website’s content to engage their customers better and make sure it’s easily accessible.

Goals, on the other hand, let businesses measure the success of specific actions taken by users. This includes tracking purchases or sign-ups and any type of user interaction that leads to a desired outcome for the business. With this data, businesses can not only improve their marketing campaigns but also identify areas of improvement to increase conversion rates and maximize returns from their investments.

Final Thoughts

Setting up goals is a big unlock for uncovering opportunities to optimize your website performance. As shown in this article, there are numerous events and goals that can be created. It all depends on your specific situation to determine what’s interesting to you.

Google Analytics provides you with all the functions needed to gather insights about almost anything on your website. However, this is easier said than done. Google Analytics is a highly complex tool that requires experience to get the most value.

If you are looking for a web analytics tool that provides high-level information in a straightforward dashboard, Google Analytics is not the right tool for you. This is why we built Simple Analytics, a simple Google Analytics alternative (what’s in the name, right?).

Simple Analytics gives you the website insights you need in a straightforward dashboard at a glance. What that looks like? Check out our live dashboard. If this resonates with your needs, feel free to give us a try!

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