I really like using goals as advanced segments to find out what is working on the site.
Say your Goal #1 is a lead generation goal to get email sign-ups from people who want you to contact them later for more information. Set up an advanced segment for Goal1 Completions and then add it, and only it, to your report.
Now you’re looking at everything that went just right with these visitors: 1. Their expectations of what they were going to see before they clicked matched what they saw. 2. What they saw was engaging. 3. They trusted you enough to give you a chance and then they converted. Here’s some ideas on how to figure out what those 3 things were so that you can make it happen more often:
1. What kept these visitors from bouncing was that what they were expecting, by clicking on the search result or link in a referring site, is what they got. This can be found under Traffic Sources. What keywords and referring sites are driving these visitors who convert? I’m going to try to maximize the traffic from these sources especially to the page that they landed on. Under Content > Top Landing pages I can find out which landing pages worked. Make more content like that with those same keywords. Include those keywords in your SEO efforts.
2. How engaged does someone need to be before they convert? Back to Visitors > Visitor Loyalty > Depth of Visit you can see how many pageviews it it takes on average before someone converts. If the sweet spot is between three and four pages then I can start trying out strategies for getting more pageviews per visit. More up-sells (people who like this also like this) and more links to similar content to keep people on the site.
3. The amount of trust it takes can be found under Visitors > Visitor Loyalty > Loyalty. Here you can see how many visits on average it takes for someone to convert. Once I see how many visits it takes before someone trusts me enough to convert I can set a goal to get those repeat visitors. Creating content more frequently and maximizing the ways people can get alerted to new content (Twitter, RSS, Facebook) can help get repeat visitors.