In the next instalment of Google Analytics unravelled we are going to look at Custom Reports. A custom report is a great way of seeing the data you use frequently in an easy to read format and allows you to come back to the same dataset time and again.

One great use of custom reports is creating a report which shows the number of conversions you’ve had from different sources. Standard reports in Google (such as the traffic sources reports) allow you to see the number of visits you’ve had to your website from a given source (such as Google Organically) and also allow you to see the conversion rate for these sources. From this you can do some sums and say that from the 1000 visits you’ve had from Google this week you had 250 people download your brochure or complete your form. BUT, you have to do the maths! Now, we’re all busy people so wouldn’t it be great to have a nice report already prepared that you could call on every week/month or whenever you like, which does that maths for you and just said (in plain English) “Google Organic: 1000 visits, 250 completed conversions”?

Custom reports can allow you to see this.

To set up a custom report you’ll need to understand the difference between a Metric and a Dimension, so if you missed my last Google Analytics Unravelled blog post, which was on this subject, and you’re not sure, why not check this out now?

OK, so you know what a Dimension and a Metric is (great!) and you have Google Analytics open and are raring to go. So, let’s set up our conversion report.

First of all click on the Custom Report tab, in orange at the top of the menu (after “Home” and “Standard Reporting”)

Custom Reporting Button

This will pull up a list of the current customer reports and give you the option to add new custom reports to your account. Click the Add report button.

New Custom Report Button

The next screen is a form builder, but it’s nice and easy to complete as you know all about Dimensions and Metrics.

For our report we want to know what advertising type is generating the most conversions for the site so we can see how many visits and how many conversions something like the SEO and PPC activities have driven in any given period.

So we need to set the report up as the image below:

Setting up a Custom Report

Out metrics are “Visits” and “Goal Completions” however if you want to see goal completions by type (goal 1 = your brochure download, goal2 = your contact form and goal3= a completed sale etc) then instead of adding 1 metric for goal completions you can add “goal 1 completions”, “ goal 2 completions” and “goal 3 completions” etc instead of this rolled up ALL goal completions metric.

Our Dimension is “Medium” which tells us if a visit and conversion is from Organics or PPC (called CPC in Google Analytics

I’ve also given the report a name and given the tab a name too.

Once you’ve got used to adding these reports you can add reports with multiple tabs

The final option is Filters. This report does not need filters but here’s a brief explaination of what they are.

A Filter is a dimension by which you want to limit your data – for example do you only want to see the keywords (keyword is a dimension) which DON’T contain your brand information? A filter is how you would do this.

I’ll be covering filtering and searching reports in a later Google Analytics Unravelled (see I do plan ahead!)

Once you’ve created your retort press save and your Visits and conversions report will load showing a nice graph and a simple table showing you your mediums (CPC, Organic, Direct, Referral) and then next to these the number of visits and the exact number of conversions without that pesky conversion rate.

You could also change the Dimension from Medium to Source (Google, email etc) or Source Medium which shows you Google Organic and Google CPC as well as direct and the like. You might also want to have a report where the dimension is “keyword”

If you run an ecommerce site you can also add another metric for revenue.

Happy reporting