If you don’t set up Google Analytics the right way, all you see is traffic, which is mostly a vanity metric. to find out where the valuable areas on your website are, you need to define and set up your (business) goals.
Google Analytics lets you pick 20 goals (four sets of five goals each). most of the goals I use are based on events (actions), but some practical goals could also be based on pageviews (URLs visited). examples: email list signups (subscribers) contact form submissions (leads).
Goals help you focus on your *valuable* traffic (people who come to your site and take action). Enhanced E-commerce helps you track your *valuable* sales funnel activities (add to cart, checkout, purchase). But to track your leads to see who becomes a customer, you’ll need a CRM.
You need to set a monetary value for your goals to get a sense of where most of the important activity is happening. this can be a judgment call based on what feels right to you, or I prefer to use historical average values. create a dashboard with a map, metrics, and timelines for them.
When you setup goals (or any events, really) in GTM, you might want to add a timestamp as a custom dimension so that you’ll know when the activities are taking place (this doesn’t come standard with Google Analytics).
This makes things much easier and clearer when you’re trying to understand which parts of your site matter the most and what works the best in terms of getting results.
Dashboards only let you add 12 widgets (measurements). the most important one is your goal value widget. you want that (and revenue for e-commerce sites) to keep increasing every month. it’s also good if your goal conversion is increasing and your bounce rate is decreasing.
This is thread is just an overview and a simplification, because there are technical details which could take months for you to figure out as a beginner, but for the small business owners this is going to help you out a lot. especially if you’re going to use Google Ads.
Once you define the valuable traffic on your website using goals, you’re able to create Segments from them which you can then define as an Audience to send ads to. with enough traffic in your audience (>1,000 visitors) you’ll be able to target them for Google Search ads, RLSA etc.
An audience could be: buyers, cart abandons (added to cart without buying), people who completed goals, people in certain cities or states, people who visited certain pages of your website, people who spent a certain amount of money on your site, app users, YouTube users, etc.
These platforms (like Google and Facebook) are trying to help you (business owners) make money (with them). that’s why they give you all these free analytics tools so that you can figure out what’s working on your website and scale it (using ads). good luck!