Google Analytics is a powerful but complex tool. Most people don’t have time to spend hours digging into their data and typically only require a few key metrics for their reporting needs. The first step here is to figure out what you want to report on – perhaps pick your top 5 KPI’s (Key Performance Metrics), and create a report for each. The important part here is to add the report to your dashboard, this saves the setup and structure of your report “query” so that you can access the data from one overview screen whenever you need to produce a marketing report.
To get you started I’ll walk through an example. Here my goal was to produce a report showing “organic search from Google – excluding branded and paid search”. The reason I want to exclude branded search is that I want to discover how “true” organic visitors are interacting with the site without being influenced by those who had already heard of our brand (Unbounce in this example). I also want to exclude paid search (like AdWords traffic) so that I can report on that separately for a paid search ROI report.
Setting up a custom report
- Log in to your Google Analytics account
- Select Traffic Sources -> Search Engines
- Click on “google” as your choice of search engine (1) – then click “non-paid” to remove paid search traffic (2)
- Filter any keywords that contain branded search (the word Unbounce) and click “Go”
- Add the report to your dashboard. Now you’ll have instant access to this data any time you need it (without having to fiddle with any settings).
Now you can get a quick overview of the metrics you consider most important without having to repeat these steps every time.