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Custom Reports, Google Analytics & What It All Means

Advertising & Marketing

Joshua Davidson wrote this article

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You are reading a guest blog post by Will Haire. 

If you are in the business of Search, SEM or anything else related to digital marketing, metrics are your bread and butter.

They’re the best way to explain to precisely measure the results of your campaign, and demonstrate to your clients how effective they are. One of the most robust and versatile tools at your disposal for gathering useful metrics is Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, you can dissect, scrutinize and interpret all sorts of data about your website and its traffic.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through some of the best features of this powerful tool: dashboards and custom reports.

Getting Started

Google has a solutions center for Google Analytics, and they provide tons of free custom reports for you to load into your campaigns. It’s also completely free of charge (gotta love crowd knowledge!).

These reports are generated by users, staff and SEO ninjas like ourselves.

Before you start using GA, I recommend downloading the New Google Analytics User Starter Bundle. This is a great package and provides enough custom reports to cover most of your reporting needs. This is one of the first things I implement when taking on clients. It’s easy to review, and it helps to show off your advanced knowledge of Google Analytics. Alright, now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into some of these advanced reports!

Dashboards

The starter bundle comes with 2 custom dashboards:

Mobile Ecommerce

This Dashboard is customizable and provides a visual breakdown of mobile e-commerce data. In my experience, any data that can be made visual is always easier to understand. The dashboard provides insights which include:

1) Revenue
2) Abandon Cart Metrics
3) Organic Keyword Traffic
4) Bounce Rate
5) Top Pages & Campaigns
6) Top Products Purchased
7) And more

Site Performance

This Dashboard is also customizable and provides useful information regarding your website speed across platforms, domains, and browsers all in one area. You can use this information to analyze page speed across landing pages to figure out if your loading speed is affecting your conversions.
These are useful dashboards, and I urge everyone to check out Google Analytic’s Solution Center for additional custom dashboards that can be used for any application. Let’s press on to Reports.

Custom Reports

The starter bundle comes with 9 custom reports that will give you a deeper insight into different aspects of your traffic, referrals and user behavior. Let’s take a look at my Top 3!

SEO: (not provided) Analysis

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when you are analyzing Google Analytics for search queries that drove traffic to your website, and a majority of the traffic is “not provided”? This was actually part of a Google update back in 2012. The update was designed to protect the privacy of users by hiding search referral keywords for organic traffic. Unfortunately, this report will not provide those keywords, but it will provide the landing page URLS along with the page titles. This report provides a sense of the general keyword themes that searchers are searching on Google before arriving on your website.

Visitor Acquisition Efficiency Analysis Report

This report is great for measuring mediums of traffic, how effective your landing pages are, and if your goals are being met. I use this page to gauge users consumption and engagement. It shows me where they are coming from, what percentage are new users, and if they interacting with the web page the way it was designed. This is a great page to review internally with your team.

Social Sharing Report

Have you ever wondered how far a social ripple goes for a really popular piece of content? With this report, we are able to answer that question and analyze the popularity and reach of your social content. A Social Sharing Report will show you if these social users have been to your website before, where they came from, what they shared, how they shared it, and the impact these events had on your website’s traffic. Social Media is ubiquitous in our society and forms a vital part of any digital marketing strategy. Being able to show the impact of popular content is a great way to show growth and value.

These reports help tremendously with website and campaign performance. I highly recommend downloading the starter bundle and playing around. While I am in the mood to share resources, check out Avinash Kaushik’s blog. He has achieved the rank of a Digital Shinobi and has created a great set of custom reports that split Google Analytics data into even more precise pieces. He is also is a digital genius and his insights are massively helpful.

Share some knowledge! What custom Google Analytic Reports do you find the most helpful?

About the writer of this guest blog post: Will Haire is the Director of Digital Marketing at Checkmate Creations, one of Connecticut’s fastest growing Digital Advertising Agencies driving brands and businesses to reach their full potential through online mediums. Will and his team are responsible for all digital marketing activities including SEO, SEM, Content Creation, social media marketing and much more. You can find him on Twitter: @MarketingChimp1 or LinkedIn.

Are you interested in writing a guest blog post for our readers here at the Chop Dawg blog? Email us at Hello@ChopDawg.com!

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