Custom Reports in Google Analytics

We recently wrote about Google Analytics’ advanced segments functionality. They are also working on Custom Reports features that allow you to quickly build your own tools for analyzing your profiles.

The Custom Reports section allows you to use almost any parameter available in Google Analytics. Reports consist of data table and associated charts. The charts are created automatically, so all you need to do is setup the table. Specifying the primary dimension (left-most column in the table) is as easy as dragging the parameter of choice from a categorized list into a clearly labeled diagram of a report. You can then specify the columns that you’d like in the order your prefer. You can also drag in additional parameters so that you can drill down into any row of the table, and you can specify additional tables by creating additional tabs, much like “Site Usage” and “Goal Conversion” that appear in various pre-defined reports.

One of our most useful reports examines landing page effectiveness relative to exit pages, goals, and e-commerce transactions. We call it, appropriately enough, “Landing Page Effectiveness.”

Custom Reports in Google Analytics

Our primary dimension is “Landing Page”, and the 1st drill-down dimension is “Exit Page”. We’ve defined 3 tabs for summary, goal, and transaction information. The latter two tabs provide more detail about goals and transactions than would conveniently fit on a single report.

Custom reports can be very simple, overcoming shortcoming in existing reports like the lack of the count of goal completions in addition to percentages. They can also be more complex, like one with multiple drill-down levels.

Combining custom reports with advanced segments enables analytics users to answer 99% of the questions they are likely to have about site visitors. For instance, we use the above Landing Page Effectiveness report along with filters for different traffic sources to see how marketing campaigns convert as a function of landing pages, and then we can drill-down to see if they left immediately after completing a goal or if they view more content.

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2 Responses to “Custom Reports in Google Analytics”

  1. Robert Says:

    I like this article and the idea of the landing page effectiveness but what are the initial Metrics that you used for each tab and the dimensions that also are used.


  2. Josh Says:

    The dimensions I use are Landing Page and Exit Page. The Summary tab’s columns are Entrances, Bounces, Total Goal Completions, Goal Conversion Rate, Transactions, and Revenue. The 2nd tab is “Goals”, with columns for Entrances, Goal 1 Completions, Goal 2 Completions … Total Goal Completions, and Goal Conversion Rate. The rest or more client specific, related to e-commerce and goal rates that aren’t on the other two tabs.