Are you Using Google Analytics the Smart Way?

It happens to all of us! We use a tool or software and just focus on some of its features, but clearly forget to use other features, that may be more helpful to us. And the reason behind this is simple- we never explored the software/tool enough to find out what hidden gems it may have that makes our work easier, impressive and speedy.

Such is the case with Google analytics.  Most of us use this software, but only about 20% of its features are actually used, the rest 80% are either not known to people, or they have never used it or sometimes they know about it, but never implemented them. For example, there is attribution that helps you take better decisions for your website. There are many others too.

But if you want to fully use the potential of this tool, than you need to know about all its features. It will definitely help you to generate more traffic or know more about your users.

Here check these features/reports/concepts out:

#1 Customize the existing report using shortcuts

Customize the existing report using shortcuts
Customize the existing report using shortcuts

For our page and site, Analytics provides us with a number of reports. They are standard reports that have all the details we require. Also, they are easily accessible with just a few clicks. But sometimes one or few metrics that we absolutely require is missing. Now, creating a whole new custom report from scratch is time- consuming, which can be used for other important things like tweeting about the products.

Now for ease, Google has a ‘shortcut’ that lets you make a new report based on one of the existing standard ones. Here’s how you can create this:

  • Click the customize button at the top of the report you want to build a customized report on
  • A “create custom report” page will pop up; it will have all the metrics and dimensions already filled out. You just have to make changes to it and add the metric/s that is missing.

#2 Feature for selecting the whole month

This is a simple yet very effective tool and most analytics are not even aware about it. If you want the data of whole month, then instead of selecting the first and last date of the month, just select the whole month from the date range that is on the upper right corner of the Google analytics page.

#3 The channels grouping feature

The channels grouping feature
The channels grouping feature

As an analytics, you must be familiar with the channel feature that shows how the site’s traffic is distributed amongst Google Analytics’ default channels like organic search or direct.  But if you want to define your very own channels then it doesn’t support. For this, you have to enable the channels groupings feature. Here’s how to set this:

  • Just click on the admin tab and select channel settings and then channel groupings.
  • Click the new channel grouping button and name them. Now you can define these channels according to your needs.
  • To view the report, go to channels report and click on default channel groupings.

The use of this feature is that it clears the mess which is caused by referral traffic from social media and other sources. It helps in understanding the customer journey. Also, if you define the channel for say Facebook then all the traffic from it would be in one place which is easy to browse when needed.

#4 Set the number of channels for calculating reports

When due to high volume Google samples your data to form a report, it uses a large number of sessions to make quick reports. These reports are made faster but are less precise. This happens when you create custom reports or apply dimensions or segments to a standard report.

But if you want more precision in your reports, you can adjust the sampling size when viewing a sampled report.

You can choose this feature by just clicking on the small squares icon and moving the slider from faster processing to higher precision. But higher precision means slow loading time, so check your priorities before making changes.

#5 The feature of weighted sort

If you sort the report by bounce rate you may notice 100% bounce rate entries with visit entry showing only 1 or 0. This is not helpful to increase the overall performance of the site, but thankfully Goggle has a tool named ‘Weighted sort’ for this.

It takes into consideration the number of visits for each row, enlightening you about the things that really need attention. This will give you report that will actually help you in improving your business. Here’s how you can enable this feature:

  • Sort the table by bounce rate and choose weighted in the drop down list. It will be next to sort type.

So, how many of these features you were aware about? Let me know in the comments and also mention which tool has proved most helpful for your website.

Author Bio:

KavitaKavita is Independent Marketing Analyst and Blogger. When not glued to her laptop, she can be found making travel plans that rarely happen 😉 Connect with Kavita on Twitter and Linkedin.

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