T: @DuaneBrown

How To Build a Custom Report In Google Analytics

Google Analytics Custom Report

Last months we talked about running paid search globally while staying a nimble team. Once you’ve launched a global account, you’re going to want to optimize & lower your CPA while growing your business.

One way I like to optimize a global adwords account is by building custom reports in Google Analytics. Custom reports can present different data sets and show:

  • Which country is driving the most conversions
  • What times of day are converting e.g dayparting opportunities
  • What days of the week are we losing market share
  • Month over month or year over year comparisons
  • Which products are selling / country

These are just some of the options when building a custom report in Google Analytics. Anytime I’ve said I wish I could see X or slice data by a third or fourth dimension in Google Analytics, custom reports has saved the day. This is especially true if you’re not a fan of pivot tables or don’t want to download thousands of rows of data.

We’re going to take a look at the first option on my list above; which country is driving the most conversions. It’s a basic report but a key one since we can’t easily get that data in AdWords. I deliberately chose not to add each country, outside our top markets, in our global adwords account as I wanted to save time and I wasn’t sure what countries would perform well. Below is what the standard custom report would look like.

When you login to Google Analytics, click “customization” at the very top navigation by “admin”. This will take you the custom reports homescreen. Click “+new custom reports” which show you the above screen without any information filled in. You’ll want to fill in Metric Group & Dimension Drilldowns:

Metric Group: These are your goals, which could be sales, leads or event tracking you’ve set up in Google Analytics. You can’t build a custom report without having goals already set up in your account. Click “+add metric” and search for the goal you’ve set up.

Dimension Drilldowns
: This is how you’ll slice your data which could be by account, day or hour, country or any micro-level view you’d want to look at. Click “+add dimension” and pick “country” from the list. This tells Google Analytics to show you the above goals at a country level.

Filters: This options helps you filter some of your data. Here you’d pick “Account” and tell the report which is your global AdWords account. This way you don’t have data from all your other AdWords accounts filtering into your report.

Once you’ve everything filled out above. You simple click save and you’re done. Just pick the date range you’d like to see for your AdWords Account and you’re off to the races. I look at my report a couple times a week but sometimes less if I’m really busy.

Bonus Point
One important note about dimension drilldowns is that you can layer your data. I could add another dimension called “days of the week”. Once I go into my report, I’d see all my countries are hyper linked and once I clicked on any country. I’d be taken one level deeper into my custom reports and it’d show me how that country is performing for each day of the week. I could go a third layer deep and show “hours of the day”, which would let me click on any day of the week and see how that day performers over the 24 hours in a day. I rarely build reports 3 or 4 layers deep but the options is there for those special cases.

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