Setting up a destination goal funnel in Google Analytics

Setting up a goal funnel in Google Analytics

Destination goal funnels in Google Analytics track how well certain actions on your website contribute to the success of your business. By setting up a goal for each crucial activity you will get more focused reports on how visitors are using your website, and at what stage they are dropping out of the conversion funnel.

The first time I tried to set up a destination goal was daunting, but after some practice, I am now seeing valuable information on how well visitors are interacting with our clients’ websites.

If like Teachable you have different subscription packages, then you might want to track how each subscription is converting.

For this, set up the purchase confirmation page of each subscription plan as a goal, with a funnel to get additional insight into where people drop off.

Step 1: Create a new goal

To set up a destination goal go to Google Analytics Admin settings > View > Goals.

set up goals in google analytics

Click ‘new goal.’

create destination goal in google analytics

Step 2: Fill in destination goal details

Google has some goal templates that provide set-up suggestions. They will only display if you have set your industry category in property settings. Selecting any of the given templates will only populate the name and type of the goal, but not the conversion details, which are more complicated for some.

goal setup templates

This is not very useful for me so I will ignore this: select ‘custom’ and click ‘next.’

Goal name

Give your goal a descriptive name. You will later see it in various reports in Google Analytics so use whatever makes sense for you.

Here I am going to use the name of the subscription plan I am tracking – Basic Subscription.

destination goal descriptive name

Goal slot ID

Goal slot ID is set automatically and you might want to change it if you want to categorise your goals.

Select ‘Destination’ and click ‘next step.’

Step 3: define your destination goal

Destination type

You have a choice between 3 different match types.

destination goal match types

If you have an exact URL that does not change for different customers (without ‘?=XXX’), then use ‘Equals to’ for an exact match.

If the beginning of your converting URL is the same, but there are different numbers or characters at the end of the URL for various customers, then choose ‘Begins with.’

Use ‘Regular expression’ to match a block of text within the URL. For example, if all your subscriber URLs have ‘subscriber_id=XXX’ somewhere then type ‘subscriber_id=’ into the text field.

You can also use ‘regular expression’ if you need to match multiple URLs and know how to use special characters to build regex. One of our favourite tools to test regular expressions is Regex Tester.

The match type you select here will also apply to the URLs in the funnel, if you choose to create one.

Destination page

Destination page is the URL where the conversion occurs.

For Teachable, and most other websites that sell something online, the destination is usually a ‘thank you’ page that is displayed after successful purchase.

You might also have a thank you page for contact forms and newsletter signups, which you would track the same way as a payment thank you page.

Here you insert the request URI, which is the URL part that comes after the domain address. It would look something like this:

  • /invoice/paid
  • /thank you.html
  • /payment/success

destination page URL

Step 4: Should you set a goal value? (optional)

You can set a monetary value to your goal if you want to track how much it contributes. e.g. If the goal is visitors completing a contact form, and you know the average lead generates you £100, then you can put the value at 100.

If you are an ecommerce site and want to track exact purchases, then set up enhanced ecommerce tracking instead.

Step 5: Should you set up a funnel? (optional)

If you have several steps leading up to the conversion, you should set up a funnel to see how many people move through each defined step and where they fall out.

If you do not set the first step as ‘required’, Google Analytics will also track people coming into funnel halfway through. i.e. If the first stage of your funnel is the homepage, then it will still include visitors who land straight on your contact page.

destination goal funnel in google analytics


Now that you have set up your destination goal, click ‘verify the goal’ to check it works.

verify your google analytics goal

If all is set up correctly, you should see an estimation of the conversion rate your goal would get.

verified destination goal

If you do not get anything, then check each step carefully.

Once all is well, click ‘create goal’ and check it is working after a few days or a week, depending on how much traffic you get.

If you set up a funnel, you will see it in Conversions > Goals > Funnel Visualisation.

This is what a typical funnel would look like. Because I did not set the first step as ‘required’ you can see people entering the funnel at various steps.



Need more help? Get in touch or comment below!

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