Web Analytics

How to set your goals in Google Analytics

10 October 2019 Maxence Pezzetta

For any website owner, knowing if and how Internet users become customers through the website is important. For example, conversion is defined as purchasing a product on an e-commerce platform or sending contact information using a contact form (in the case of a non-transactional site).

With the free Google Analytics tool, you can measure the effectiveness of your online business and marketing campaigns. In this article, SEO agency My Little Big Web explains how to set your goals on Google Analytics.

The various Google Analytics goals

When an Internet user performs an action on your website that you have set as a goal, Google Analytics will record it as a conversion. You can then access this data in a number of reports.

There are four types of goals that you can set on Google Analytics:

  • Destination goal: The goal is achieved when a particular web page is visited, for example, a thank you page for a newsletter subscription.
  • Duration goal: a session has a minimum duration, for example the user has spent 10 minutes or more on a blog post.
  • Page/Screens per session goal: the user visits a specific number of pages during the session.
  • Event goal: the user has performed a specific action on your website. For example, he clicked on a link to a social media channel, downloaded a newsletter, added an item to his shopping cart, etc.

If you don’t know what goals to create, just ask yourself the question: “Why do I want people to visit my website?”

While each site is different, the following goals are generally found:

  • Submitting a contact form
  • Registration of new members
  • Making an appointment
  • Newsletter subscriptions
  • Watching videos embedded on the website

Let’s explore how to set up the most common goal on Google Analytics: the “destination” goal. This type of goal is used when someone visits a particular page on your website. Note: choose a page that the user can only see if they have reached the goal. After all, it would be useless to inflate your conversion numbers with easily accessible page views, such as your home page, which often leads to little conversion.

Let’s take the example of a person who lands on a thank you page after subscribing to your newsletter.


First, navigate your website and complete each step that will take you to this thank you page. As you navigate, save the URLs of the pages you have to go through to reach the thank you page.

Here is a case in which the Internet user would first go to the home page, then to the newsletter page to complete the registration form and finally to the thank you page:

  • https://www.monsiteweb.com
  • https://www.mywebsite.com/newsletter/signup

In this example, the landing page you will configure for your destination goal is the thank you page (the last page) since it is a newsletter subscription conversion.

To get started, go to the “admin” section at the bottom left of the Google Analytics menu. Then click on the “goals” tab in the third column.

Google Analytics Goals

You can now create a goal. Google Analytics will provide you with predefined goal templates, but you can also select the “custom” goal configuration to define your goal however you want.

Custom Google Analytics Goal

Once this step is completed, you will need to describe your goal. That is, name it and define the type of goal you want to achieve. Remember that for visitors subscribing to a newsletter, this is a destination goal.

Set Up Google Analytics Goals

You then have to enter the name of the landing page URL. For the example of the newsletter, the landing page is https://www.mywebsite.com/newsletter/thankyou. We will therefore write /newsletter/thankyou as you can see in the illustration below.

Google Analytics Goal Details

You will notice that when you define the destination, the default value is “equal to”. You can change this option to control how Google Analytics will interpret your URL.

The different options are:

  • “equal to”. This means that the URL that records the conversion must exactly match the URL you specify in your Google Analytics tracking table. In this case, it is:
  • “begins with”. This means that the URL that records the conversion must start with the URL you specified in your Google Analytics tracking table. Here are for example, three URLs that would be considered as a conversion:
  • “regular expression”. This means that the URL that records the conversion must include equivalent terms. Here are two URLs that would be considered as conversions:

Goal value

You can then assign a monetary value to your goal. While this is an optional setting, it can be very useful to enter a monetary value for your goal. The value you enter will be included in your reports and will give you a more detailed overview of your website’s performance.

For example, if your website generates leads and you get 100 leads that have a value of $4,000 for your company, then each lead is worth an average of $40. In this case, we will enter $40 as the target value.

Conversion funnels for “Destination” goals

We have chosen to set a destination goal, which means that we can set a funnel. Quite simply, these are pages that we expect Internet users to consult before converting. You should only include steps that are directly related to the conversion, so if we use our example again, we will ignore the home page and enter only one funnel step. We will enter https://www.mywebsite.com/newsletter/signup and name this step.

Click on “verify this goal” and make sure that the conversion rate of the goal seems correct based on the data from the previous seven days. If the conversion rate of the goal is not quite correct or if it is zero, then you will need to check the configuration of your goal.

Finally, click on “save”. Now all you have to do is wait for the goal conversion data to start appearing in your reports.



In this article, our experts attempted to teach you how to set your goals in the simplest way possible. Nevertheless, we understand that this configuration and the choice of goals may be more complicated than expected. If you have any questions or need help with this task, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you.

Maxence Pezzetta
Cofondateur et Spécialiste Web Marketing et acquisition de clients Diplômé d’une double Maîtrise en Marketing et Communication, Max cumule plus de 10 ans d’expérience en Marketing digital. Ancien employé de Microsoft, sa mission est de « mettre le Web à la portée de tous » pour aider les entreprises à améliorer leur présence en ligne.
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