Google Analytics – How To Use Custom Reporting

Google Analytics provides a tremendous amount of interesting and pertinent information about the way that your readers use your website. You can easily use it to determine how people find your website, what pages they view, how long they stay, and whether or not they return.

There are many combinations of information that are not built into Google Analytics interface. This is where the feature “Custom Reporting” comes in. You can use Custom Reporting to easily track complex combinations of data. Some examples of custom reports I have set up using this feature are:

  • Conversions, their source, & the hour of day they convert
  • Comprehensive use by mobile devices
  • Source & medium of e-commerce sales
  • Source & bounce rate, and bounce page of visitors

There are endless combinations of data you can track and analyze using the Custom Reporting feature of Google Analytics. Here’s how:

  1. Log into your Google Analytics Account
  2. From the Dashboard, click “Custom Reporting” then select “Manage Custom Reports”
  3. Click “Create New Custom Report”
  4. Select the Primary Metric(s) you would like to track, drag from the left navigation to the center of the screen – these will appear as secondary column headers in your tracking
  5. Select the dimension you would like to track, drag from the left navigation to the center of the screen – this will appear as first column header in your tracking
  6. Select any sub dimensions you would like to track – this is the path your tracking will follow as you “drill down” into your dimension
  7. Click Preview report to see how your report will look. If you are satisfied with the layout, close the preview and click “Create Report”.

You can now access this report at any time from the left navigation of Google Analytics by clicking Custom Reporting.

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Comments

  1. Karen Nierlich says

    Hi Melissa,

    The amount of data available from Google Analytics is amazing. This is an excellent how-to with the the screen shots, list of how to do it and what can be tracked. I can think of a lot of business owners that might be benefit from knowing when people look at their site…time of day or days of the week OR whether people are looking at them on a mobile phone frequently.

    • Melissa says

      Thank you for your comment, Karen – I agree, the amount of information Google Analytics provides is extremely valuable to anyone with a website, be it a business site, a blog, or otherwise. Using the Custom Reporting feature has made it very easy to track this quickly.

  2. Alex says

    One Question regarding the custom report::

    I’m currently using this to track where my Completed Goals came from (Referral path) and the referral sources I see vary widely.

    In particular, I have two Referral Sources that I’m curious about what they mean:

    /directory/maryland.htm
    /directory/virginia.htm

    Now my best guess is that this is connected to the filter settings I’ve set up in my Adwords account because that is the only place I can think of where I’ve divided my adwords PPC metrics by state.

    Can anyone tell me where they come from?

    • Melissa says

      Hi Alex,

      At first glance, I do not believe this has anything to do with your AdWords. Do the paths you listed above exist as pages within your site?

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