Would you like to create meaningful reports with Google Analytics? No problem. In this article, we cover all the steps necessary to create and work with custom reports.
What are custom reports?
With numerous standards reports, Google Analytics already offers you many options for evaluations and dashboards. But as soon as you have individual requirements and goals, these standardized reports are often not enough.
Therefore, you have the option of creating your own reports with the dimensions and measurements you want. This allows you to link existing data with your reports and thus obtain interesting results.
Create custom reports
First of all, you decide for yourself, using drag and drop, which measured values (page views, bounce rate, …) and dimensions (location, browser, …) should be displayed in your report. In the end, you can then have your customized reports sent to you in a certain time interval, for example, in PDF format.
Sounds good, right? That’s how it works:
- Go to your property
- Open reports
- Click Personalize → Custom Reports → + New Custom Report
- Enter a title
- Choose a report type: Explorer, Table List, Map Overlay, or Funnel
You can then define your dimensions and measured values.
- The measurement groups are the later columns in your report. You can select the groups that match your concerns, such as page views, duration of the bounce rate.
- The dimensions are the lines in your later Custom Report. Here, too, you can freely select dimensions such as the browser or location dimension. Optionally, you can also add filters, for example, to only show people from your region or city.
- Then click on Save when you have made all the settings according to your ideas.
View custom reports manage
To access the reports you have created, do the following:
- Go to your property.
- Open reports
- Click on Personalize
You will now see a table with all of the custom reports you have created. You can now summarize and organize these in different categories.
Custom funnels for Google Analytics 360
To see where most of your website visitors are jumping off, you can set up an analytics funnel ( only in Google Analytics 360 ). In contrast to the already known target funnels, these funnels are characterized by greater customizability and thus the more accurate analysis of the individual steps.
This function gives you important insight into the visitor behaviour of your website and shows you possible adjustments for a better conversion rate. With the help of these custom funnels, you can now visually prepare and understand the steps your users go through to complete a task.
Custom funnels can be found on their own tab in custom reports. You can call it up like this:
- Go to your property
- Open the Reports tab
- Click Personalize → + New Custom Report
- Select the Funnels tab
Configuration and application examples
You can select the funnel report in Google Analytics as an option when creating a new custom report.
Here you can now define the funnel type, the measured value and the subsequent phase.
- Funnel type: You can choose between an open or closed funnel type.
- A closed funnel means that users have to go through the first step of the funnel in order to be taken into account in the following steps.
- With an open funnel, however, it is precisely this type of lateral entry that is possible
- Measured value: By default, custom funnels show the number of users who have or have not completed a particular phase. Instead, you can also display the number of sessions.
- The next phase: In addition to setting the funnel type, the sequence of steps can also be specified in more detail. On the one hand, it can be determined whether the individual steps have to be run through one after the other, or whether other pages and interactions can be called up between the individual steps.
In the graphic of the custom funnel, you will now see the individual phases of the funnel, as well as the number of users who have completed the phase and moved on to the next. You also recognize users who have not completed all phases and have jumped off. The graphic allows you to see at a glance whether a certain phase has not achieved the desired performance and therefore, further analyzes necessary.
Why do I see more users than sessions in a custom report?
If you use a page-level dimension (like Page or Page Title) or the Hour dimension in a custom report, you may see more users than sessions. But why?
This problem can occur if you finish reading sessions for a certain type of dimensions at the page level. Since the sessions are increased with the first hit of the session and are therefore linked to it, this initially results in an illogical number of users and sessions.
In order to record the exact number of sessions in which a certain page was viewed, you should in the future use the measurement value Individual page views instead of sessions.
Web session information
Google Analytics defines a session as a group of interactions that take place on your website within a certain time frame. For example, a single session can include multiple pageviews, events, or social interactions.
A single user can open multiple sessions. The meetings can take place on the same day or over several days, weeks or months. After the end of the session, a new session can be started. Sessions can generally be ended in two ways:
- Time-based end:
- After 30 minutes of inactivity
- or at midnight
- Campaign change: This case occurs when a user joins via a campaign, leaves the session and then returns via another campaign
Difference between entry and sessions
Based on the terms, one might expect entries and sessions to be the same. However, Google Analytics calculates entries differently than sessions. However, you will see different values for these metrics in your reports.
The value of Entries is increased the first time a page or screen view is hit in a session. The value of sessions, on the other hand, is increased the first time a session hits, regardless of the hit type.
Identify users for user metrics.
You can see how many users have interacted with your website or app from the measured values Users and Active users.
In order to be able to assign accesses in Google Analytics to the corresponding users, a user ID is sent with each hit, which is assigned to the respective user. This can be a single first-party cookie called _ga to store a Google Analytics client ID. You can also use the User ID function together with the Client ID to identify users more precisely on all devices they use to access your website or app.
With a large amount of data, this analysis in Google Analytics is no longer based on 100% of the data, but on significant random samples. Since the entire amount of data would take up too much computing power, Google Analytics samples it. So you can access your reports faster.
But what if you want to work with 100% of your data? That’s exactly why Google offers you the custom tables. These tables allow you to create custom reports with a combination of dimensions, metrics, segments, and filters. Google Analytics will then process these days without taking random samples.
Create and use custom tables
The configuration of user-defined tables works exactly like the creation of a user-defined report. You do the following:
- To get started, your property on
- Click in the column property on Custom Tables.
- Click + New Custom Table
- Enter a title
- Select a data view from the View drop-down menu
- Click on + Add Dimension (you can add up to 6 dimensions)
- Click on + Add metric (you can add up to 25 metrics)
- Click + Add Segment (you can add up to 4 segments)
- Click + Add Filter
- Then just click on Save.
The data is then precalculated in the Google Analytics backend and made available after 48 hours at the latest. The unsampled report can be called up via the administration interface and the selection “Show user-defined table” in the drop-down action. You can also delete the user-defined table here.
Done! Custom reports are no longer foreign words to you, and you can customize and design your reports as you wish.