Recently, Google Analytics added a new feature to its arsenal - Smart goals. It allows you to determine the most effective visits out of general website audience. Let's look more closely at this novelty.
Let's start with the simple stuff - installation or activation.
Select Google Analytics account that is bound to your AdWords account. This AdWords account must have at least 1,000 ad clicks within the last 30 days.
Create a new goal and select "Smart goal" among target type parameters, then – save. If the Smart goal option is not available, this means that either the current view is not bound to your AdWords account, or account doesn't have 1000 clicks in the last 30 days.
Further, in a new "Smart goal" report will appear in Google Analytics reports ("Conversions" -> "Goals"). There you'll find the data on conversions which Google has considered qualitative.
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How Can Smart Goals Be Useful?
The report may really be quite useful. Firstly, it can help to determine the quality of your website's audience – according to Google, that is. Also, it shows the ratio of quality audience to low-quality audience. Secondly, it will show the volume of "not set" traffic. This, in turn, may signal of incorrect analytics setup on the website.
Also, Smart goals feature will be useful for companies, which don't have a clear understanding of where their online conversion occurs exactly, i.e. on what specific stage a simple visitor turns into a customer and brings revenue. This is mainly an issue for B2B-businesses, where a website serves mostly as an informational resource, but the sales are performed by other communication channels. For such kind of models, Google offers their own conversion estimation formula based on various indicators, such as time on site, bounce rate, page views, etc.
After determining the visits of the best quality, Google offers to import the data into the AdWords system and use it to optimize advertising campaigns by targeting them for users with the highest quality indicators on your site.
But There Are Couple Catches. As Always…
However, the new function has several catches.
When importing Smart goals to AdWords, you should keep in mind that it is an alternative way to optimize conversions. That is, if you are already using conversion tracking, the decision to import Smart goals should be taken only after thorough considering all the "pros" and "cons". After all, there is a chance that the conversion rate with Smart goals may turn out to be lower than with your conversion tracking setup. The thing is that it will be Google that will be determining which visit is qualitative enough, and this may not coincide with your vision and experience.
Also, Smart goals cannot be adjusted manually – it is completely dynamic and self-modifying functionality.
Use Smart Goals Smartly
Google's new feature would be useful for each resource, working with AdWords and Google Analytics. But:
- The effectiveness of the tool depends on the business model and sales channels.
- Smart goals have a number of drawbacks that should not be ignored.
- The vision of the ideal visits from Google can radically differ from your vision.
Marketing Web Analyst at DIGITAL BEE
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