Configuring Goal Destinations Correctly in Google Analytics

Recently I reviewed all of our Google Analytics goals for One note of caution that I want to convey centers around the goal destination, particularly when using funnels for destination type goals. Goal funnels in Google analytics are a great way to measure usability. While they are most commonly used in checkouts to analyze flow and abandonment, they are broadly applicable to many different situations.

The important thing to keep in mind with funnel steps (the note of caution) is that they inherit the configuration set on the destination input. This means that each step of the funnel will validate based on the destination setting.

Screenshot of the destination dropdown on Google Analytics' goal configuration page
Goal Destination Validation

This is important because certain steps in your funnel may require more flexibility. For example, while the goal destination on’s Purchase goal is always the same URL, the login step of the funnel may be one of two URLs. Being that all other URL’s in the funnel require an exact match, the best solution is to validate each step based on a Regular expression. That way, I can exactly match every step of the funnel except for the login step where I use a regular expression to match against two possible URLs (see result below).

Screenshot of the goal funnel steps on Google Analytics' goal configuration page
Goal Funnel Steps

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