So you have decided to track your website service? Great! You go to Google analysis and get started.  You want to work on how Google analytics works for you via goal setup and configuration. The first thing you need to do after login is find where to set up goals, which is not where you see the goal results. In reality, most of the setup in Google Analytics happens behind the sprocket in the upper right hand corner.

Google has four sets of goals with five slots each.


Once you have decided to set up your 5 goals, it’s time to get started.

You see, in Google analytics one has the option of using goal templates or using custom goals. And once you select which you intend to use you get to select the goal type and set up you goal configuration options. These are:

  1. Goal name. Its purpose is quite obvious. Naming your goal helps you differentiate between them as well as make you goal conversion and flow reports much easier to grasp.
  2. Goal slot ID. This helps you classify the various types of goals for your site. With every goal created you get a numeric slot ID which has as many as 20 goal slots. That is you get 4 sets of goals with 5 goal slots each.
  3. Goal types. Each goal type can be used for a particular measurable kind of action. The idea is to select the type that best fits the action you need to track.
  4. Goal value. This bit is optional and its main purpose is to give you a way to compare alterations as well as range changes and improvements on the website.

The point behind these steps is to help the user set up goals that define the websites success. A slot to verify the goals is available and it helps evaluate the how productive a goal is. With the information provided, an analysis of what is efficient and what is not is provided.

After a little while you decide to change your goal or goals for whatever reason. The only problem is you can’t find the delete icon. Why?  It is non-existent.

Why goals cannot be deleted

When a goal is set up it is active starting from that point. This means that all data prior to setting up the Google analysis goals is not viable. So all visits to your website from that point on are directed to the Google analysis servers and provide information concerning the visitor, their visit and what page or pages they viewed. That information is processed and the data dispatched to the reports.  The whole sequence happens only one time.  So for every visit the sequence is repeated and the data recorded under the goal category that was set up. When the data is in the record it is there forever under that particular goal. You cannot go back to change the goal and hope that the data already in the system reports to be revised. So to delete a goal would result in figures that just don’t sum up especially to anyone else accessing your analytics. To put it simply, you are the only one who would be able to understand your website analysis.

The preferable solution for this would be to mark the goals as inactive. By doing this you have the reports from those goals and how many completions resulted from them in an organized manner.


How to go about it

The next step is to come up with a plan about exactly which goals you would like to keep track of. For instance, revenue generated or engagement i.e. number of visits etc. Using this as a foundation, organize your goals into the goal sets and flow the outline I mentioned earlier on goal configuration to get the best service from your Google analysis service. Once you do that you can test the viability of your goal by clicking on verify and it will use the information from the previous seven days of your website to give you a report. If you are not content with this report or the information is not represented in a manner you want then you can go back and re-evaluate your goals and adjust them accordingly.

Of course, with time you may come across something new that you wish to track as a goal. It is important to list it as a short-term goal or long-term goal. Based on that, you will know whether to keep it under an already created profile or to create a different profile to keep track of it. This is a very good organizational method.

In the case that you still wish to ‘delete’ a goal because the name does not entirely express the nature of the goal then it is advisable to edit the goal.


Check it as inactive and delete all material from the goal and probably name it with a ‘-‘. This will show that the goal is blank and can be reused.

It is important not to re-purpose old goal slots as this will result in a lot of confusion. Just mark them as inactive. If really must re-purpose the previous old goals then make the new goals very akin to the old goals.  It would be very helpful to keep note of any changes you make and inform anyone using your data reports.

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