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Can't track Conversions, you now have Smart Goals to measure

For me as an advertiser it is always fascinating to measure the ROI and see what value can be assigned to the number of conversions, goals in the form of Lead, Sale, Phone call. What if I don't have any mean to measure the ROI. No form, no sale? Answer to this question was recently provided by Google by introducing the Smart Goals measurement.


What is a Smart Goal?


Smart or SMART (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely) goal is a metric which records very high quality visits to your website that has the probability to really convert. As per Google, there are various signals that are taken into consideration while evaluating these Smart Goals. Signals might include session duration, what device user has used, what browser was being used etc...Smart Goals are tracked using machine learning model. My best guess here would be that since Google has been tilting more towards Artificial Intelligence, there is a possibility of some mix and match. Although not officially mentioned Smiley Happy Anyways, the best visits of your website really count into Smart Goals.


How Smart Goals Work?


Top 5% of the website traffic is selected to identify the best visits. It's kind of threshold once which is met, would later count towards Smart Goals. Also later these Smart Goals can be tied to other channels of the traffic source. 


How to enable the Smart Goals inside Google Analytics?


You should be the administrator to configure the goal inside Google Analytics. Go to Admin>> select the view for which you want to track the Smart Goals>> click Goals>> New Goal>> select Smart Goal>> Name it and save. That's it. You are all set. No extra efforts or customization.

Here's the pictorial representation:-


Smart Goal1.png






















PS: Smart Goals are still being rolled out. So there is a possibility that you might not see it at first go. But within few weeks, this would be available for everyone.


Import Smart Goals into AdWords as Conversions


Once the Smart Goals are configured at the Google Analytics level, go to your AdWords Account>>Tools>> Conversions; click on Google Analytics in the left and then select the Goals that you would like to import as Conversions. Once you click Import Goals, AdWords system would start importing the respective Smart Goals from Analytics interface into AdWords as Conversions.


How to optimize your AdWords account based on the Smart Goals that you measure?


Target Cost per Acquisition Bidding (CPA) methodology is what Google is currently recommending to optimize your AdWords account. You could also use manual budding to optimize the account. For CPA method, you should first be able to get regular conversions and met the threshold so that it can be applied. Based on that, set your CPA and optimize the account around the Smart goals. On the other side, you could also tweak the bids if you are comfortable using the manual bidding.



Few important points to remember about Smart Goals:-


1. Your AdWords account is linked with Google Anaytics.

2. Linked AdWords account has sent minimum 1000 clicks to the respective Google Analytics View  where you would like to configure the Smart Goals.

3. Google Analytics View shouldn't be receiving more than 1 million hits a day.

4. Data Sharing settings are enabled in Google Analytics.


Some of the limitations mentioned by Google around Smart Goals are:-


1. Currently you could have only one Smart Goal per Google Analytics View.

2. These goals are neither configurable nor can be customized.

3. Smart Goals are currently meant for websites and cannot be used for Mobile App Views.

4. If your Google Analytics View receives more than 1 million hits a day, sorry you cannot use Smart Goals at this particular time.

5. Sadly, View Through Conversions and Cross Device Conversions are currently not supported by Smart Goals.




All in all, it's an important move by Google where advertisers do have the option to measure high quality visits as SMART Goals. I am sure the shortcomings mentioned above are not going to be so challenging for Google and the enhancements would continue to improve Smart Goals in future.


about Pankaj Sabharwal

I am a Google AdWords lover. Always excited to learn something new about it. I am always engaged with the AdWords Community and love to interact and solve the problems to the best of my knowledge if I can.

CassieH Community Manager
December 2015

Thanks for shedding some light on this feature, Pankaj! This will be very helpful to advertisers who cannot easily measure purchases and leads.



pankaj1782 Top Contributor
December 2015

Hi CassieH, it's a small effort to make the users understand if they can't track conversions directly, they do have the option to track Smart goals and optimize the account.

Shekhar Goud
December 2015

Thank you for Sharing such a unique and new feature of Google Analytics .

You have very well explained  ! Pankaj 

pankaj1782 Top Contributor
December 2015

Thanks Shekhar Goud

December 2015

nice article, thanks for sharing

pankaj1782 Top Contributor
December 2015
Rick C
December 2015

Is this feature available in all countries? I'm in Canada, mett all the criteria, but cannot find it anywhere in my analytics account. Thanks

pankaj1782 Top Contributor
December 2015

 Hi Rick C,


Country specific announcement was not made. To the best of my knowledge, it should be a global roll out. But as they have mentioned, it would take few weeks to completly roll out for everyone. I hope you met all the prerequisites to be eliglbe for Smart goals. Thanks.

Md M
December 2015
Willam J
December 2015