Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | Analytics, SEM | July 25, 2014

Three Easy Analytics goals

Whether you’re an e-commerce store, gathering quote requests, or receiving phone calls, it’s basically a necessity that you implement conversion tracking in order to better optimize your AdWords campaigns. However, some campaigns don’t gather large enough amounts of data to determine which keywords you should see increased or decreased bids (this is especially true with smaller campaigns). Today I’m going to guide you through configuring 3 easy goals within Google Analytics that will help track the behavior of people who click on your ads. You can use these goals to better optimize your campaigns for conversions, even if you don’t have a lot of conversion data.

Let’s get started –  go ahead and open up Google Analytics and log in.

Admin to Goals


Click ‘Admin’ in the top center and then click ‘Goals’ under View

plus new goal

Click the red button titled ‘+New Goal’

Here you can begin creating your first goal within Analytics. This article will cover configuring 3 goals: Destination, Duration, and Pages/Screens per session.

first screen

Destination Goal:

Destination goals are great for tracking when people land on a certain page of your website. For example, let’s say you have a form fill-out on your website. After the user completes and submits the form, your website takes them to a separate landing page with a URL like this:

You can track when people land on the “thank you” page of your form completion using destination goals in Analytics. Here’s how you set it up:

destination setup

1.) On the Goal Description page, give your goal a name, check the ‘destination’ bubble, and click ‘Next Step.’

2.) On the next screen, under ‘destination’, enter the unique strand of URL into the ‘equals to’ box.

3.) Under ‘value’ you can enter a dollar amount (if you know the rough value of someone arriving at that destination URL). For example, let’s say that people are filling out a quote form for a sale that averages $1,000. Let’s also assume that you know from experience that ~20% of people who fill out this form will end up buying your product or service. That means that each quote form is worth ~$200 to you ($1,000*20% conversion rate). If you’re not sure, don’t worry – this type of tracking is optional, so you don’t necessarily have to fill out a value.

4.) The ‘funnel’ section is also optional. However, sometimes it’s good to track people as they go through the various steps in your conversion process. For example, if you have a cart checkout process for your e-commerce store that requires four steps, you can use funnels to track each step of the checkout process.

5.) Under ‘verify goal’ you can check the percentage of goal completions you’ve had over the past 7 days for the goal you just set up. If the completion rate is 0.00%, it’s likely you entered some information incorrectly (likely the destination URL itself).

6.) Click ‘save goal’ – DONE!


Duration Goal:

Duration goals track the amount of time that users spend on your website. This goal is useful for determining which keywords are delivering users who show interest in your site.  You can use these goal completions to increase and decrease bids based on keywords. People who complete this goal have certainly shown more interest in your website than people who haven’t completed this goal.

Hint: you can also set up remarketing lists within Analytics. Duration goals are great for remarketing since you already know that those targets are somewhat interested in your website (at least interested enough to spend some time browsing your website).

The set-up for this goal is simple:


1.) On the Goal Description page, give your goal a name, check the ‘duration’ bubble, and click ‘Next Step.’

2.) Enter the amount of time you want to track. Anywhere between 2 and 5 minutes is a generally a good starting place. You can always verify the goal at the end to test what percentage of time people have completed this goal in the past 7 days. This will give you an idea of how many conversions this goal will generate on a weekly basis.

3.) Give it a value (optional)

4.) Click ‘verify this goal’ to check what percentage of people complete this goal

5.) Click ‘create goal’ – DONE!


Pages/Screens Per Session Goal:

This goal is useful for the same reasons as the duration goal. It works well for optimizing your keywords based on consumer interest and it’s also great for remarketing lists.

pages per session

1.) On the Goal Description page, give your goal a name, check the ‘Pages/Screens per session’ bubble, and click ‘Next Step.’

2.) Fill out the number of pages you’d like to track. I’d recommend starting with 5-8 pages. Again, you can always check the completion percentage with the ‘verify this goal’ button.

3.) Give the goal a value (optional)

4.) Verify the goal

5.) Click ‘create goal‘ – DONE!

These goals are easy to set up for any campaign. Often, conversion/revenue tracking will be broken or inaccurate, and these goals are useful to track and optimize your campaigns based on people who have shown interest in your website. Assuming that you’ve already linked your AdWords and Analytics accounts, you can import these goals into AdWords (in AdWords click Tools –> Conversions –> Import from Google Analytics –> select the goals you’d like to import).

Again, these goals are also great for setting up remarketing campaigns (you will need Universal Analytics to use these lists for remarketing; more information on this here).

Happy Online Advertising!

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