Google Analytics Reports
Understanding Full Reports
At the bottom of an overview report, there’s a link to “view full report” where you can see expanded versions of each sub-category of that report.
You can choose to view data through different lenses like Summary, Site Usage, or relevant Goal data. This helps to organize your data into particular categories.
Within the data table you can select both a primary and secondary dimension to further segment your data and look at specific types of users. In the search bar you can add filters to further specify the type of data you want to analyze. You can visualize your data in different ways as well; as a data table, pie chart, performance, comparison, pivot table. This allows you to compare your data in different ways to make interesting comparisons between segments.
Sharing and customizing reports
Once you’ve found meaningful data in your reports, Google Analytics offers several ways to share or refer back to that report under the report name at the top.
- “Save” lets you create a link to the specific report in the Customization area in the left-hand navigation under “Saved Reports.”
- “Export” lets you save a report to your desktop in different file formats such as PDF or CSV.
- “Share” lets you email a copy of the report as an attachment and even schedule regular email updates.
- “Edit” lets you customize the report content by adding metric groups, filters, or additional views. This creates a new report in the Customization area of the left-hand navigation under “Custom Reports.” We’ll cover Custom Reports in the advanced course.
Hover over the green check icon next to the report name to view the percent of sessions that the report is based on. Sometimes, Analytics has to crunch through so much data, that in order to return your report faster, it will only analyze a sample of the data collected. This is called “sampling” because it returns an estimate of the exact count based on a sample of your data.
To change the report sampling rate, mouse over the green data quality icon and click the pulldown menu. If you want your data to be more accurate and don’t mind the additional response time, leave this set to “Greater Precision”. If you wish to speed up the time it takes to generate a report and are willing to sacrifice more precise metrics, select “Faster response.”
Real Time Reports
Real-Time reports let you look at live user behavior on your website including information like where your users are coming from and if they’re converting
Audience reports can help to better understand the characteristics of your users.
Different audience reports, like location, provide insight into where you should target marketing campaigns. You can compare the number of new users in different countries or look at places with high conversion rates, but low traffic to find opportunities for targeted marketing.
Shows how many users had at least one session on your site in the last day, seven days, 14 days, and 30 days. We call this “site reach” or “stickiness.” The more your site content encourages users to visit and return, the number of active users in each time frame should grow.
This section provides information on your users age, gender, and interests. This can help you better understand your target market and make sure your site is reaching your desired audience.
In this section you’ll be able to see your user’s continent, sub-continent, country, city, and their language settings. If you see a high number of users using foreign languages, it’s a good idea to make sure the information you are providing is available in the most used languages for your site.
Under this section you are able to see data on the frequency of new vs. returning users to your site.
Underneath these two sections you will be able to see the Browsers and Operating systems your users use, such as Chrome, Safari, Edge, as well as the device they are viewing the site on. If you notice a high volume of users using tablets and mobile devices to view your site, you’ll want to be sure your content still works on smaller screens.
You can use acquisition reports to look at the sources of traffic, compare their conversion effectiveness, and look for opportunities to shift or improve your marketing strategy.
Mediums & Sources
The medium is the mechanism that delivered users to your site. Mediums include: organic (traffic from unpaid search result), ppc (pay per click), referrals (click coming from website other than search engine), email, or none (directly to the site by typing).
“Source” provides more information about the medium. If the medium is referral, the source is the URL of the site that referred the user. If the medium is organic, the source is the search engine (i.e. google, bing, etc).
Ideally, traffic should be “high quality” meaning that users should engage with the website or complete a conversion. Bounce rate can be a good indicator of traffic quality. You can click into the comparison view to compare the Bounce rate of the source/mediums with the average on the site. You want to make sure that users are landing on a page that is valuable to them so that they don’t leave immediately when they don’t find what they want.
Using the Channels report you can view traffic by “channel” which bundles the sources together under each medium. Clicking into the individual channels will break out the sources that make up that channel. You can create custom channel groupings in GA.
You can look specifically at Referrals to understand what sites are linking to your site. You can then add a secondary dimension of “landing page” to determine which pages on your site are being linked to.
Every time a user loads your page, Google’s tracking script will register this as a “pageview”.
The “All Pages” report gives you information about the behavior of users on each of the pages on your site, providing information on pageviews, bounce rate, and average time on page.
Content Drilldown allows you to look at pages according to your site’s directory structure. The pie chart view allows you to see which sections of the site are most popular.
The Landing Pages report shows the pages where users first arrived on the site. You can use this to monitor the bounce rate of your most common landing pages. High bounce rates indicate content that is either not relevant or not engaging for the user.
The Events report tracks how users interact with specific elements on your website. You can use this report to track when users click on a video player or a download link. Setting up event tracking requires additional setup.