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 e-commerce 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 e-commerce merchants of all sizes.

How do Smart Goals work?

The Smart Goals feature in Google Analytics is the result of machine learning algorithms and designed at the view level. These algorithms scan dozens of signals within your website sessions to ascertain which signals are most likely to result in a conversion. Each session is designed 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 favored.

To ascertain 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 apply it to all your website sessions, including traffic from channels other than AdWords. After validating Smart Goals in Analytics, they can be imported into Google AdWords.

What to do before setting up Smart Goals?

If you are an online store owner and mostly interested in using Smart Goals, you will need to have an existing Google Ads account linked to Google Analytics. You will also need edit permissions at the view level in order to finish the setup.

Google Analytics recommends that Smart Goals be used when you are not measuring conversions. In other words, they are an easy way to use your best sessions as conversions.

You can then use Smart Goals to optimize your Google Ads performance based on the best sessions pattern.

Your Smart Goals report

To see completely how Smart Goals perform, use the Conversions > Goals > Smart Goals report. This report clearly shows how Smart Goals traffic differs from other traffic to your website. You can also involve the Smart Goals Completed dimension in custom reports. The Smart Goals report also shows how Smart Goals would perform even before authorizing them in your view. This helps you determine if Smart Goals will be a useful feature for your e-commerce business.

Interested in getting help with any of these features? Connect with us today.