Google Analytics is a free tool used by many marketers. With so many features available, it can be intimidating finding your way around the Analytics dashboard. However, there are a few features that help make navigating Google Analytics a bit easier.
Google Analytics has several segments built-in (Search traffic, visits with conversions, mobile traffic, etc.). While these segments can be very useful, I find that custom segments are even more useful. Utilizing custom segments allows users to create their own segments that are useful to their particular interests. I like to create custom segments for individual AdWords campaigns or specific locations that we want to target. Although you can find this information in other locations in Analytics, I have found that using custom segments is an easier way to look at metrics for these specific segments and to also compare multiple segments to each other.
Along the same lines as advanced segments, custom reporting allows you to build reports customized to your specific reporting needs. For our clients that require regular reporting, I have found that setting up a custom report takes less time than searching for that information each time I need to produce a report.
The dashboard screen is made up of various widgets, all of which are moveable. You can also add more widgets that are useful to your goals or design multiple dashboards that you can switch between. Additionally, you can download or email your current dashboard.
For easy tracking of any of your campaigns, be sure to include custom tags on your URLs. Google provides an easy tool to generate these URLs, which include campaign name, source, medium, and specific advertisement identification. The more information you include in these URLs, the more tracking ability you will have within Google Analytics. If you are using AdWords, be sure to sync your AdWords and Analytics accounts and enable auto-tagging.
Download and Email Reports
Another useful feature of Google Analytics is the ability to download or email any of the reports you can generate. It is important to keep in mind that the information shown in your window is what will be downloaded, so if you have rows that are not shown in your current view, be sure to add more so that all of your information is showing. When emailing reports, you can designate various options and whether to send reports regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly) or only once.
What are your favorite tips and tricks for navigating Google Analytics? Let us know below!