What are Smart Goals in Google Analytics?

In a nutshell, Smart Goals measure the most engaged visits to your website and automatically turn those visits into Goals, even if you don't have conversion tracking or ecommerce tracking. Those Goals are then used to improve your Google Ads bidding. Not only are Smart Goals one of our favorite features of Google Analytics, but also a helpful resource for ecommerce merchants of all sizes. How do Smart Goals work? The Smart Goals feature in Google Analytics is the result of machine learning algorithms and configured at the view level. These algorithms scan dozens of signals within your website sessions to determine which signals are most likely to result in a conversion. Each session is assigned a score, with the "best" sessions being translated into Smart Goals. So what are these "signals"? Session duration, pages per session, location, device and browser type are among the most popular. To determine the best sessions, Smart Goals establishes a threshold by selecting approximately the top 5% of the traffic to your site coming from AdWords. Once that threshold is set, Smart Goals applies it to all your website sessions, including traffic from channels other than AdWords. After enabling Smart Goals in Analytics, they can be imported into AdWords. What do I need before setting up Smart Goals? If you're an online store owner interested in using Smart Goals, you'll need to have an existing Google Ads account linked to Google Analytics. You'll also need edit permissions at the view level in order to complete the setup. Before setting up Smart Goals, your linked Google Ads account must also have sent at least 500 clicks to the selected Analytics view over the past 30 days (if the linked account falls below 250 clicks over the past 30 days for the selected view, Smart Goals will be deactivated until the clicks rise again to 500 or more). Google Analytics recommends that Smart Goals be used when you aren't measuring conversions. In other words, they're an easy way to use your best sessions as conversions. You can then use Smart Goals to optimise your Google Ads performance based on the best sessions pattern. [subscribe heading="Try Littledata free for 14 days" button_text="Start your free trial" button_link="https://littledata.io/app/get-free-trial"] How to set up Smart Goals If your user permissions are eligible, you can enable Smart Goals by selecting the goal type when following the regular goal setup flow: Sign in to Google Analytics. Click Admin, and navigate to the desired view. In the view column, click Goals. Click + New Goal. Select Smart Goal (if available). Give your Smart Goal a name and click Save. No additional configuration or customization is required (they're called "Smart" for a reason!) How to import Smart Goals into Google Ads After you've activated Smart Goals in Google Analytics, sign in to your Google Ads account, click the Tools tab, and select Conversions. Click Analytics in the left-hand menu. Check the boxes next to the goals or transactions you want to import. Click Continue. On the next page, you'll see settings that will apply to all of the goals or transactions you selected. Make your choices, then click Import goals. Click Close, or to import more goals, click Import more. Google Ads will begin importing the data from your Analytics account. Historical data prior to your import will not be included. Your Smart Goals report To see exactly how Smart Goals perform, use the Conversions > Goals > Smart Goals report. This report shows how Smart Goals traffic differs from other traffic to your website. You can also include the Smart Goals Completed dimension in custom reports. The Smart Goals report also shows how Smart Goals would perform even before enabling them in your view. This helps you determine if Smart Goals will be a useful feature for your ecommerce business. Interested in getting help with any of these features? Littledata's enterprise plans include complete support, a dedicated account manager, data analytics experts and ecommerce Google Analytics consulting. We covered what Smart Goals are, but are they actually beneficial? Next, we cover the why (or why not) behind Smart Goals. 

2019-07-25

Troubleshooting your Google Analytics goals setup (VIDEO)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGY013J9QGg So you've got your new sales plan in action and you've set up unique goals in Google Analytics. Are they tracking what you think they're tracking? Are you sure they're giving you reliable data? If you've audited your analytics setup, you might have noticed any number of incorrect audit checks about how you've set up custom events for your Google Analytics (GA) goals. Goals are used to make important business decisions, such as where to focus your design or advertising spend, so it's essential to get accurate data about them. In this quick video we cover common issues with setting up Google Analytics goals, including: Tracking pageviews rather than completed actions Selecting the wrong match type Inconsistent naming when tagging marketing campaigns Filters in your GA view rewriting URLs (so what you see in the browser is different from what you see in GA) Issues with cross-domain tracking [subscribe] In GA, a goal is any type of completed activity on your site or app. GA is a remarkably flexible platform, so you can use it to measure many different types of user behaviour. This could be visitors clicking a subscribe button, completing a purchase, signing up for membership -- known as 'conversion goals' -- or other types of goals such as 'destination goals', when a specific page loads, and 'duration goals', when a user spends over a particular amount of time on a page or set of pages. That all sounds well and good, but trouble comes if you simply set up goals and then trust the data they give you in GA, without double-checking to make sure that data's consistent and reliable. We hope you find the video useful. And don't despair -- even a little extra time spent on your GA setup can yield awesome results. Sign up for the Littledata app to audit your site for free, and let us know if you've experienced other common issues with setting up goals in GA.

2018-02-21

How goals work in Google Analytics

Every business, in order to grow, needs to set up a certain number of objectives and KPI’s. Once they are set, you can actually track the way your business evolves and see if they are met or you underperformed. This is where Goals come in: the actual definition that Google has on their support page: “A goal represents a completed activity, called a conversion, that contributes to the success of your business.” In this article, I will answer to the following questions: What are Goals in Google Analytics? When should you use the Goals and what for? What are Goals in Google Analytics?   Goals are specific user actions that you can then use in other reports (such as landing pages or channels) to see whether users engaged with your website. It is really important to remember that you have a maximum of 20 goals for each Google Analytics view. Also, once you set up a Goal, it will stay set up forever in the view. You can disable goals, but you will still have them there. You need to make sure that the objectives you set up are relevant to your business and they can be monitored by using the goals. What Goals should you track and why? The four big categories that in which you can track Goals in Analytics are: URLs Time Pages per visit Custom Events The most useful of these are custom events. Here are some of the areas you should definitely consider tracking with custom events: Leads – If your site has a sign-up or contact form for enquiries you'll want to track how many users successfully complete it - especially because you want to convert those leads. Newsletter sign-ups – Newsletters are really important for many businesses, to educate the people that are interested in your business. Tracking what drives users to sign up for these emails will help you do a better at content strategy. White paper and E-book downloads – Make sure your buyers' journey is set up properly and that you make this is a priority in your objectives. By tracking these two really specific actions, you will be able to up-sell your key product, software or service. Trial sign-ups – If you follow a freemium business model or if you use the trial period in order to engage your users, then tracking this area will definitely give you insights into who is your ideal persona. This article from The Digital Marketing Institute will also show you other metrics you should monitor.   Happy Reporting. Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.

2017-05-24

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