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Are smart goals really the way to go? I know I have not written on this blog in a while but I wanted to talk about why smart goals are maybe not a good idea for your current campaigns.

What are Smart Goals?

According to Google

To generate Smart Goals, we apply machine learning across thousands of websites that use Google Analytics and have opted in to share anonymized conversion data. From this information, we can distill dozens of key factors that correlate with likelihood to convert: things like session duration, pages per session, location, device and browser. We can then apply these key factors to any website. The easiest way to think about Smart Goals is that they reflect your website visits that our model indicates are most likely to lead to conversions.

Ok sounds awesome, I am especially loving the machine learning integration, but according to Google it is suitable for small to medium sized business that don’t have conversion tracking enabled.

So how would it help?

Well if you import this goals, ( Goals are conversion in Google Analytics ) into Adwords then you have the ability to run conversion tracking without having to have conversion tracking on your website. In other words you can track users that will become customers as “smart Goals”.

But how does Google know my business?

They don’t and that’s the scary part, Its like winging it on thanksgiving and only relying on some notes your drunk buddy gave you that could help. There a variance, and uncertainty that these conversions might not be right, and you could be spending more if you decide to do “Cost-Per-Action” or CPA’s.

Smart Goals have now been around for almost a year but I have yet to use it, I always try to figure out a way to convince my customers to install conversion tracking at any cost.

I still do like the AI part of this feature but only time will tell how good they could become

Stay tuned!


Jonathan Alonso
Jonathan Alonso

I turn question marks into exclamation points. My work in digital marketing has allowed me to become a full stack marketer with deep knowledge of not only Analytics and tag manager implementation, But also of paid search strategies, technical and off-site search engine optimization, social and even marketing strategies that encompass both tradition and digital.

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