Google Analytics Goals are a way to measure conversions on your website. A conversion occurs when a visitor does something you want them to do on your website. Goals can vary and can be as simple as viewing a specific page on your website or completing some type of process such as signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product. Setting up goals is one of the most important steps when configuring Google Analytics as without goals, there is no easy way to measure conversions.
Funnels go hand in hand with goals. A funnel represents the path that you expect visitors to take on their way to converting to the goal. Defining these pages allows you to see how frequently visitors abandon goals, and where they go. This can help you determine why people are exiting off the funnel and allow you to implement changes to try keep them on track, For example, funnels in an e-commerce goal may include the first page of your checkout process, then the shipping address information page, and finally the payment information page. The only report that shows the funnel path is the Funnel Visualization report.
Setting up Goals and Funnels in Google Analytics is important for all websites. It not only allows you to count the number of conversions and track conversion rates which in turn helps to measure the success of your website, it also allows you to see visually where people are going off track which highlights areas for change.