Welcome to Part 9 where we’ll look at the Google Analytics advanced segments, custom reports and dashboards. You can find the previous chapters of the guide here:
9. Advanced segments and custom reports. Dashboards.
Now that you have everything setup and you can start collecting and analyzing your data, the advanced segments and custom reports in Google Analytics can be very valuable. Here are some of them that you can setup from the start.
The advanced segments allow you to slice the data in your GA profile. There are some default segments like New visitors, Returning visitors, Search traffic, Visits with Conversions, etc. But we can also create our own segments by clicking Advanced Segments and the button + New Custom Segment.
Good-to-have advanced segments:
- branded organic/paid traffic – copy this segment, and don’t forget to specify your brand name; you can also choose specific medium like organic or cpc
- non-branded organic/paid traffic – copy this segment, and don’t forget to specify your brand name; you can also choose specific medium like organic or cpc
- (not provided) traffic – copy this segment to see what’s the behavior of the visitors using secured search
- keyword length – interesting to understand the performance of head keywords and long tail search: 1 word keywords, 2 word keywords, 3 word keywords, 4+ word keywords (longtail)
- social media traffic – copy this segment to see the combined social media traffic from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, Youtube, Stumbleupon, Quora, Tumblr, Delicious, Digg, Flickr, Pinterest and some others. You can easily edit this advanced segment to select only the social media networks you want.
- content ideas – copy this segment, go to Organic reports and apply it: you’ll see what type of information people are already searching for using keywords including questions (how, who, what, why, where, etc.), so you can get ideas for new content creation.
- segment by subdomain / subfolder – if you’re tracking multiple subdomains together, this type of advanced segment will show the performance of the specific subdomain or subfolder you specify.
- visits from country – this can be useful if you’re interested in the visitors’ behavior from particular country.
- visits that dropped out of the funnel – copy this segment, it will show who started the conversion process but dropped at some point without completing it.
The other helpful tool in Google Analytics are the custom reports. They allow you to group the metrics and dimensions you need very quickly and easily. Even if there’s a more detailed standard report that I can use, I prefer to create a new custom report with the primary and secondary dimensions and the one or two metrics I specifically need for better exporting purposes.
You should be careful, however, when combining different metrics which are hit-based and visit-based (please read this wonderful article on hit and session dimensions by Avinash Kaushik). With this warning in mind, here are my favorite custom reports:
- Conversions by source/medium – dimension: Source / Medium, Keyword; metrics: Visits, individual Goal Completions, individual Conversion rates.
- Conversions by landing page – dimension: Landing Page, metrics: Visits, individual Goal Completions, individual Conversion rates.
- Conversions by country – dimension: Country, metrics: Visits, individual Goal Completions, individual Conversion rates.
- Conversions by time of day – dimension: Hour of Day, metrics: Visits, individual Goal Completions, individual Conversion rates.
- AdWords performance – dimensions: Campaign, Keyword; metrics: Visits, % New Visits, Bounce Rate, Impressions, Clicks, Cost, CTR, CPC, individual Goal Completions, individual Conversion rates; filter: medium = cpc.
- AdWords keyword vs. matched search query – dimensions: Keyword, Matched Search Query; metrics: Visits, Goal Completions, Transactions and whatever else you want to see.
- you may also create custom reports for advertising campaigns on other networks, different SEO-related custom reports, and so on.
The Dashboards in Google Analytics show summaries of different reports as widgets on a single page. You can monitor many different metrics at once and check what’s going on quickly. Here’s how to create your own dashboards:
Also, this useful article from Econsultancy shows 10 useful Google Analytics custom dashboards.
Go to the next chapters of the guide:
10. Custom alerts
Or jump to the whole thing: Google Analytics Implementation Guide.
Still have questions? You can ask them as comments below and I’ll try to answer.