Essential Marketing for Florists

Creating Custom Reports in Google Analytics

Google Analytics is hugely under-utilized though it has very useful features.  One of these is the ability to create custom reports that display only the data that you or your customers want to see.

Custom reports let you filter your metrics based on a number of factors, as well as your own chosen settings.  They are created by combining metrics, which are the information itself, and the various dimensions they are categorized by.

Metrics measure many site statistics, such as number of visitors, sources of traffic, landing page success, and conversion rates.  When it comes to custom reporting, metrics come in five categories – Content, Site Usage, E-Commerce, Goals, and Advertising.

Dimensions organize your metrics.  If you want to see how well your flowers are selling as a result of multiple online marketing campaigns, for example, you can organize your page views and conversion rate metrics by traffic source.  This will help you determine the relative effectiveness of your campaigns, helping you progress towards conversion optimization.

Creating the Custom Report

To create a custom report, simply click the ‘Custom Reporting’ tab, and then click ‘Overview’.  Next, click the ‘+ New Custom Report’ button and enter a name for the report. Then you will need to choose the type of data table you would like, either Explorer or Flat.  These will be explained below.

Next, you will have the option to set a filter if you wish.  To do so, choose a dimension, select ‘Include’ or ‘Exclude,’ and choose whether you want an ‘Exact’ or ‘Regex’ match.  (Regex stands for regular expressions, which include special characters to capture certain pieces of information).  Then enter the value you would like to filter by.

Add any additional profiles you would like this report to be available to, and then click ‘Save.’

Explorer Table and Flat Tables

The Explorer Table consists of a series of hierarchically-organized, hyperlinked data tables.  This allows you to compare several different groups of metrics along the same dimensions.

To create an Explorer Table, input a name for the first group of metrics and click the ‘+ add metric’ button to add each desired metric.  When you are finished, click ‘+ add metric group’ and repeat the process to add another group of metrics.  Click the ‘+ add dimension’ button to add your dimensions.

A Flat Table consists simply of a table with up to two dimensions and up to 25 metrics.  Input the information in a similar manner to Explorer tables.

Custom reports are a very powerful way to analyze your online marketing success, but they must be created in the correct way.  You cannot match up just any dimensions with any metrics, as they are not all compatible with each other.

For an extremely useful table of all the valid dimension/metric combinations, see the Google Analytics Dimensions & Metrics Reference site.

12 thoughts on “Creating Custom Reports in Google Analytics”

  1. cliverederson

    Thanks, this was helpful. I’ve been trying to delve a bit deeper into Google Analytics and it’s a bit daunting for someone like me. I’m new to SEO, but I find it interesting.

  2. Thank you for this article!! I’d been wondering about the best tactics for custom set-ups. This is perfect. I’m gonna go put it into action on my website right now.

  3. Thanks man! This really helped me navigate through Google Analytics, I didn’t know how much I was missing out on!
    This makes it much easier for me to survey my target demographic, see who’s using my services and such.
    I look forward to using this in the future. Again, thanks for the information!

  4. Google Analytics is a great tool, but many people only use a few basic features of it. When there are so many options, it might be hard to find your way around, especially if you’re not so technical. People need to experiment a bit, explore what is possible with Google Analytics. I was surprised to find out how detailed you can make your reports, and what kind of information that can be delivered with just a few clicks. Really valuable information.

  5. I knew the custom reporting feature existed but had no clue how to use it properly. Lesson learned: look past the most basic features. Thanks for the free “lesson”!

  6. It’s incredible how most people who use Google Analytics only probably use 10% of it’s true functionality.

    At its core it is one powerful piece of software and in the right hands there really isn’t many things you couldn’t do.

    I suppose that’s the overall difference between *accessibility* and *capability* in the software world and Google really does a great job bridging the two.

    Great post covering this.

  7. I really believe that the Reporting Features of Google Analytics is where this this software really shines! It’s one thing to have data in front of you, but it’s something completely different when it’s arranged in graphs and tables that you can easily comprehend and base decisions from. Thanks for this reminder.

  8. Thanks, Google Analytics had always confused me before. This really helped me understand it better. One thing that I noticed when I ѕhаred a сuѕtоm rероrt iѕ that thе link will rеflесt the ѕtаtе оf thе report when уоu firѕt сrеаtеd it. This mеаnѕ if you сrеаtе a rероrt аnd ѕhаrе it with a coworker, thеn gо back in аnd еdit thе rероrt a week lаtеr thе link you ѕhаrеd will nоt include thе еditѕ.

  9. I have never explored custom reports using Analytics before but this blog post has motivated me to try it out. I will try it out and then come back here to report on how I liked it. 🙂 Thanks for the informative post!

  10. Wow! I just took a look at my custom reporting options and I didn’t realize that you could drill down and customize your reports to the extent that you can. Google Analytics is some amazing software.

  11. I am glad to stumble upon this blog. I am just amazed to know about the usefulness of Google Analytics. The only data I check when I visit it are the number of visitors, time spent, and bounce rates. I have little or no knowledge at all it can be used to track metrics that can help in the conversion of visitors. This is a nice article and thanks for the tips.

  12. Thank you so much for these tips on how to use the custom reports in Google Analytics. Likewise I appreciate the links to the Google Web site for more details as one can easily meander trying to find the page that addresses a specific issue.

    I had no idea that you could do so much with Google Analytics. I’m new to it as I just switched over from StatCounter. Being able to track and compare so many metrics is nothing less than empowering. This will be extremely helpful going forward as I continue working on building my sites with new content and working to get more visitors on a daily basis.

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