Business Website Optimisation with Custom Google Analytics Reports

#Conversion Rate

30th May 2019

Google Analytics is a brilliant but overwhelming tool. Every website should take advantage of its insights, however, the convoluted user interface and occasionally unpredictable behaviour make it that much harder. We have browsed the Google Analytics Solutions Library and hand-picked the best Google Analytics reports and dashboards for any site, from simple business brochures to large e-commerce stores. Importing the reports only takes two simple steps, and each report comes with quick instructions on how to make the most out of it.

Google Analytics and other web usage analysis tools provide an abundance of data. But that’s not enough to optimise your website. Avinash Kaushik, the author of web analytics books and Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google came up with the 10/90 rule for analytics, which is:

To get the most value out of web analytics you have to invest £90 in analysts for every £10 the analytics tools cost you.

Avinash Kaushik

While this might not be the actual “golden rule” for analytics, investing more in web analytics is crucial for businesses.

This introduction is a little, fair warning from us – everything we’ll show you next provides great value to your web analytics efforts. But you won’t be able to magically identify all the issues with your website. This takes a trained eye, knowledge and lots of experience.

Before you dive into our more advanced tips, please take a moment to read our guide on easy website navigation analysis in Google Analytics.

How to import custom Google Analytics reports and packages

After following the link to a report, you’ll see the title of your report and an “Import” button underneath it.

Importing a report from the user interface of Google Analytics Solutions Gallery
Google Analytics Solutions Gallery interface for importing packages.

You will be redirected to your Google Analytics account and see an import screen similar to this one:

A screen of Google Analytics' import process where the user can pick the GA view and report features they wish to import.
A screen with the contents of the package you’re trying to import.

If you aren’t interested in the full package, you can uncheck the features you don’t want to import. In our case, we wanted to import all the goals in the package.

After verifying the settings, click on “Select a view” at the top. The dropdown contains all the Analytics accounts you can access.

Selecting views during an import from Google Analytics Gallery.

Select the view you wish to use the specific reports on and click the blue “Create” button at the bottom. Your brand new package will be imported and you can locate it depending on its type. Custom dashboards and reports can be found in the “Customisation” menu:

Google Analytics customisation menu
Customisation menu in Google Analytics.

Imported goals will act as if you created them yourself and can be seen in any report that includes a goal view.

The best custom Google Analytics reports, dashboards, segments and goals

WooCommerce goals

This package of Google Analytics goals contains 11 goals that your WooCommerce store might want to track. The included goals help you track how many customers have:

  • viewed a product
  • added a product to the cart
  • removed a product from the cart
  • Order Placed – this is a “destination” goal that counts how many visitors have reached the /order-received/ page
  • Placed Order – an “event” goal type to track the event that handles placing orders in WooCommerce
  • started the checkout process
  • used a coupon
  • completed the purchase
  • left a comment
  • wrote a review
  • ordered a product again

The “Order Placed” and “Placed Order” goals aren’t strictly duplicating one another, as there might be instances when one of the two goals won’t register an order, for example when the /order-received/ page fails to load. It’s worth to have both of the goal types.

Get WooCommerce goals

Content marketing analysis dashboard

Preview of the custom Content Marketing Analysis dashboard for Google Analytics
A preview of the dashboard from Google Analytics demo account.

Accessing the same data repeatedly or trying to compare it using standard Analytics reports can be a daunting task. Sometimes your filters will just disappear or you’ll go from one report to the other and forget the exact numbers you wanted to compare. Dashboards will fix that.

This dashboard puts together several metrics crucial for your content marketing strategy. It includes side-by-side statistics on:

  • goal conversion rates by landing page
  • page views and unique page views
  • average time on page and bounce rate
  • exits and pageviews
  • visits and the percentage of new visits on landing pages
  • sessions with interaction and users
  • pageviews by geolocation

The merged view can help you identify pages that have a high bounce rate and a low average time on page, meaning the page is underperforming, you can see which pages attract new visitors, and so on.

Get the content marketing analysis dashboard

AdWords target customers

Google Analytics dashboard summarising customers redirected from Google Ads
Preview of the transactions coming from Google Ads.

Google changed AdWords to Google Ads but we can’t get AdWords out of our heads, can we? Regardless of the minor naming scheme mistake, this report proves to be an excellent summarisation of your customers that found your site through ads.

Not only does it calculate your Google Ads revenue and cost, but also:

  • showcases the best products
  • reports the time and location of purchase
  • highlights the most popular keywords and Google Ads campaigns
  • shows the demographics of your customers

Get the AdWords target customers dashboard

Site speed metrics – multiple segments, dashboards and reports

Our next package includes a bunch of reports, dashboards and segments to track the performance of your site, the search traffic and social engagements.

Included data segments contain organic traffic separated by the device type (desktop, mobile and tablet) and 4 segments that optimise your data due to the way Analytics handles time.

Two segments are dedicated to include or exclude pages with “time on page” equal zero and the other two do the same for sessions with “session length” reported as 0.

The latter was created to avoid errors in time reporting, which are still frequent and the sessions with a length of 0 are included in the average session length calculation, which would skew the results.

Since it’s not uncommon for visitors to browse a website and then get occupied with something else without closing the page, it would often inflate the average time on page. Because of that Google always sets the “time on page” value of the last page in the session as 0.

Two included dashboards display the data about social engagement and site performance.

A custom website performance Google Analytics dashboard
A preview of the Site Performance dashboard.

The package includes seven custom reports:

  • JavaScript error log
  • organic search traffic excluding “not set” and “not provided” values
  • self-referral troubleshooting to identify issues with Google Analytics setup
  • SEO analysis for visits with keyword set as “not provided”
  • site speed metrics grouped by browser and browser version
  • social sharing report

The seventh report is optional, as it’s a custom experiments report. Experiments are Google’s A/B testing feature that was implemented in Analytics. However, Google is soon deprecating the tool and encourages its users to try the free Google Optimize instead. If you don’t have experiments set up, don’t import this report.

Get Site Performance Dashboard

Hours & Day report

Dan Barker has created a great Hours & Day Google Analytics report with four separate tabs and an e-commerce version.

Sample data of traffic divided by the hour of a day with the use of custom Google Analytics report
Dan Barker’s Hours & Day report.

Evaluating the peaks in traffic can be especially important for your content marketing. The report includes the following tabs:

  • Hour of Day – the time of a day that gets the most traffic
  • Day of Week – which days get the most traffic, with 0 being Sunday
  • Day + Hour Combined – combined view of the above, helpful when sorting by sessions to determine the most popular moments of the week
  • Linear Date & Hour – a variation of Day + Hour Combined, shows the historical data most popular points in time over a selected period (i.e. that 1 January at 1 AM was the most popular in Q1)

The e-commerce version of this report includes additional transaction metrics.

Get the general Hours & Days Report.

Get the e-commerce version.

Honourable mention – built-in navigation analysis

While it’s not a custom report, it’s a Google Analytics report that comes off as almost hidden to even some intermediate analysts. We have recently published a quick guide for navigation analysis in Google Analytics which walks you through the report, showcasing its capabilities and explaining various metrics.

How to use custom Google Analytics reports

While everyone should be able to get a lot of useful information out of our selection of reports and dashboards, unlocking their full potential requires a lot of knowledge and experience, as we mentioned before.

For that, you need to know that the last page in each session has a “time on page” value of zero. You need to understand when and why to include (or exclude) these pages from your data and how that affects the results.

However, it’s a great place to start. A cohesive presentation of key metrics will help you notice the weak – and strong – points of your site.

Let us know what you think about these reports in the comments down below. We’re happy to answer any questions about these packages. Tell us which ones have you tried and how did it go.

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