How to Create an Event-Based Goal in Google Analytics

Are you missing valuable data about user interactions with your website? 

Event-based goals in Google Analytics give you tracking insights that are relevant and valuable for your business based on user interactions on your website. 

In this guide, we will see how to track conversions with an event-based goal in Google Analytics by configuring it to an event from Google Tag Manager.

Here’s an overview of what we’ll cover in this guide:

So let’s dive in!

How Does Google Tag Manager Send Events to Google Analytics?

Events can be link clicks, form submissions, video views or any other conversions that might be relevant for your website. 

Google Tag Manager sends attributes of these events to Google Analytics where we can define a goal.

For example, the GTM Tag for a YouTube event will have the following 3 attributes:

  • Category – Video 
  • Action – {{Video Status}} (The status can be play, pause or stop)
  • Label – {{Video Title}}
Event attributes for a Youtube event in Google Analytics

Let’s now go to Google Analytics to see the event attributes that are sent from Google Tag Manager. 

We should see the Event Category, Event Action, and Event Label listed for our events under the Events Overview of the Behavior report. 

Events and event attributes in the Google Analytics account

So that’s how our event is built up.

Next, let’s go ahead and start to build our goal. 

Setting Up Goals in Google Analytics Based on Events

In our Google Analytics account, we will go to the admin section and then to View → Goals. 

This is where you will see all the goals that are already configured. We will create a New Goal.

We can choose a template for the new goal. But I prefer the Custom option. Google Analytics will then ask for a few configurations under the Goal Description. 

So we will Name the goal and select a Goal slot ID. The Type will be Event.

Goal Description for a new goal in Google Analytics

The Event Value Setting

Next, we’ll tell Google Analytics what events to count as conversions.

Under the step Goal details, we can set our Event conditions. These conditions are parameters that we can use to identify our events like Category, Action, or Label.

🚨 Note: You only need to identify one parameter in order to set a goal that will track conversions. However, you can set even more parameters if you want to track a more specific event as a conversion.

For example, if we use Video as the name of our Category parameter, it will count every event with the category “Video” as a conversion. However, if we only want to count the event if the video plays, we can also enter start for the event parameter Action.

You can also filter your event goals even further using the Label or Value parameters.

Setting Event conditions of the goal in Google Analytics

Of course, use whatever parameters and attributes match those of the event that you want to track (which you can double-check in the preview mode of Google Tag Manager).

If there is a monetary value attached to your goal, you can also attribute an Event value to this conversion.

I would recommend this only if you know the exact value in advance. Otherwise, it may be better to attribute any monetary value using eCommerce tracking so that all your monetary data is in one place.

Using the Event value as the Goal value for a new goal in Google Analytics

Verifying Your Goal

Once we’ve configured our Google Analytics goal, the next step is to verify the goal. 

Verifying the new goal in Google Analytics

Goal verification lets you preview what your conversions will look like by applying the goal to your Google Analytics data from the last seven days.

You can cross-check this verification with your existing data to make sure that conversions are tracked when you expect them to be.

Goal conversion from the data of the last seven days in Google Analytics

So let’s Save the goal.

We can also test this goal again after creating it. (This is especially useful if your website or event is new and won’t have any recent data to verify your goal configuration against.) 

To test your goal, go to Real-Time → Conversions under the Reports menu and trigger your event from your web page on a separate tab.

If your goal is working correctly, you should see a goal hit in Google Analytics for your goal event. And if you click on the goal, you should also see the Page URL from where it was triggered.

Page URL of the goal hit in Google Analytics

We can see the same conversion in various other reports of Google Analytics as well. It is always a good practice to test your goals from multiple sources if you have the option available.

So let’s go to Acquisition → All Traffic → Source/Medium and choose our conversion. We’ll see the data for our goal in this report.

Choosing our goal conversion under the source/medium menu in Google Analytics

🚨 Note: The goal conversions in these reports are not updated retrospectively. It will only track the goal after the time it has been added. So, you might not see any conversions immediately after adding the goal.

Summary

This is how you can configure any event as a goal in Google Analytics. 

This is one of the most useful and important features of Google Analytics. It will help you track each user interaction on your website separately and analyze very specific goals. 

We also have a handy guide to help you plan your goals in Google Analytics!

How do you track your conversion goals? Have you already tried Google Analytics for your tracking requirements? Leave us a comment below!

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