Back to Basics: Troubleshooting goals

Monday, August 17, 2009 | 1:41 PM


One of the easiest ways to make sense of your data and measure business objectives for your website (and even assign a monetary value to them) is to create goals. However, once you've correctly implemented your tracking code and identified the pages you want to create goals for, you may run into some common goal set-up problems. Below are some tips to help you solve some common issues first-time Analytics users run into so that you can get going on the road to taking useful action with your Analytics goals.

Incorrect goal URL
One of the most common goal set-up errors is to enter the incorrect URL. To confirm that you're entering the URL correctly, try reaching the goal page on your own site and copying and pasting the URL into the 'Goal URL' field.

You can remove the domain name entirely from the field and Google Analytics will still track the page as a goal. For example, if your goal is, you can safely use '/1/thanks.html' as your Goal URL.

Duplicate final goal step
When you have steps leading up to your goal, the last step you specify in the Goal Funnel Settings should be the final step prior to reaching your goal. The goal itself should be placed in the 'Goal URL' field and does not need to also be included as a last step.

Goal value error
It is possible that the Goal value entered includes non-numerical characters. If the goal value is set to $2,560, the error message is displayed because the value contains the characters "$" and ",". In this case, only the value 2560 will suffice.

Historical data not relevant
If you've recently applied a new goal, it will only apply to data processed after the goal was implemented, and not to historical data in your account. This is why you might not see data for your website if you haven't had anyone convert on a goal after you created one.

To read the full list of reasons why your goal creation failed, read this Google Analytics Help Article. For an in-depth explanation about goals and how to set them up, please read this previous post.