How can custom reporting be useful for you?
Today, I was consulting a client (small business) who was interested in some very specific data from Google Analytics. They required help with setting up a proper Custom Reporting to see details which are relevant to their goals. They are definitely on the right track, as measuring is the most important part of your marketing efforts. Still, with all of these factors taken into account, it is extremely difficult to really know what is influencing a sales. Having said that, Goals and Custom Reports in Google Analytics can give you very useful insights into the two things that your visitors care about:
- Things That Lead to Sales
Sales are the macro conversions— this is where we want to get to, while “Things That Lead to Sales” are the micro conversions—the actions taken to get there. These micro conversions are something which don’t have a direct hit on our finance, however they give us a clue of the actions which were needed to get that juicy sale.
Break down of “Things that lead to sales”
- Acquisition: How did visitors get to your site (search, referral, direct), how many visitors came from each source; did they bounce?
- Activation: What are your visitors’ on-site behaviors: number of pages viewed? Repeat visits? Do they sign up (newsletter, email, membership, subscription)?
- Retention: Do you capture their attention (email opens, CTR)? Does your content interest them (returning visits)?
- Referral: Do your visitors love you so much they tell other people about you? Blog and other media mentions, retweets, +1s, likes etc.? AND, do they tell other people who then also sign up, like, follow, refer, buy, etc.?
Break down of “Sales”
- Revenue: Do they buy from you?
Setting up goals in Google Analytics provides an easy way to track sales, especially if you are using Goal Funnels.
What’s a Goal Funnel?
A funnel represents the path that you expect visitors to take on their way to converting to a sale. It’s a defined set of steps or pages in the checkout process. The most common funnel example is from E-commerce websites, where a visitor adds a product to his/her shopping cart, presses “Proceed to Checkout”, fills in the required information and gets directed to payment processor. Each and every page in that example is a step in the funnel. A Goal Funnel shows the funnel conversion rate, as well as the pages along the path where a visitor abandons the task. Not only are funnels important for shopping sites, they can also be implemented to simple quote request, contact form, e-mail subscription. Goals and Goal Funnels will tell you the conversion rate for the macro goal so you can do some forecasting and they will help you understand what steps are problematic for the visitor.
Once you have Goals and Goal Funnels set up in Google Analytics, it is time to proceed with Custom Reports which will give you even more information about those micro conversions “things that lead to a sale” like website visitors, time on site, number of pageviews, sign ups, click throughs, repeat visits and referrals.
How Do You Set Up a Custom Report in Google Analytics
Step 1 – Log into your Google Analytics account
Step 2 – In the top navigation, find the tab called Custom Reporting, open it
Step 3 – Click New Custom Report
Step 4 – Label your report and name the report tab
Step 5 – Add the Metrix box
Click on the blue Add Metric box to add your KPIs (key performance indicators) and select the relevant fields from the dropdown menu. These metrics will make up the columns of your grid.
Step 6 – Add Dimension box
Click on the green Add Dimension box to create a hierarchy or drilldown structure. For example, if you are running a banner ad campaign, you may want the top-level reporting to show that the source/medium is referral traffic from the National Post, but if you have more than 1 banner image/copy, then you may want to drilldown to see what ad specifically is sending traffic to the site. Same with Google Adwords campaigns, you may want to see what Campaign, Ad Group and Keywords are performing best.
Step 7 – Save your report
Custom Reporting is an effective tool to understand what is really happening on your website. Where are you getting the best conversions? What keywords are really cost-effective? WHAT WORKS?
Simple break down -
Step 1: Pick Good Goals
Step 2: Set up Goals in Google Analytics
Step 3: Create a Custom Report
Step 4: Experience the Awesome