Custom reports give us a quick, detailed look into the metrics that we care about the most. The best part is that you can tailor them as deeply as you want so you can drill down into each dimension. You can then have them sent to yourself or your boss every week automatically. If you take it one step further you can even have it compile multiple reports into one.
Setting it Up
Head on over to Google Analytics and login to your account. Once in, you can select the profile that you would like to work with. At the top of the page you will see the “Custom Reporting” that will take you to the Custom Reports dashboard.
On the Custom Reports dashboard you can create a new custom report. Let’s add a title to our Custom Report. We’ll call it Location Source. The blue box is waiting for the metrics (columns) we would like to add. Click on the blue box to add a metric. Let’s type “visits” into the search bar. Click on Visits to add it as our top metric.
We can now add dimensions (rows) in the the green box. Click on the green box and type in “city” to the search bar. Click on city to add it. We can add another dimension just below it. Let’s add “Source” in the same way we added city.
Go ahead and click save when done. You’ll be taken to the custom report overview where you can see the metrics and dimensions that we entered. As you look down the city list you can see how many visits you are getting from each. If you click on a city you will be able to see where those visits are coming from. This can help you target your ads or see how well a local search campaign is working.
Emailing Your Reports
One of the powerful tools in Custom Reports is the ability to email these reports. When you are in your Location Source overview, click on the email button near the top of the report. In the dialog box you can enter the email address(es) you would like to send the report to. You can set the attachment to csv or pdf. The frequency can be set to allow a weekly digest or maybe a monthly statement. Click “Send” and you are all finished.
This is a quick video from Google about building custom reports.
There is a lot that can be done with Google Analytics. Try to think of what’s most important to track in your business. Do you need to know the highest producing sources with the least number of bounce rates? How many people come form a certain location and what device do they use to view your site? Any metrics you think of can be made into a Custom Report to make your life easier. If you would like some further reading from a great resource you can check out Search Engine Land’s Top Five Custom Reports.