What is the first emotion that the sheer power and magnitude of Google Analytics makes you feel? Is it unmixed joy or is it, in fact, despair and confusion? Based on our own team here at Devrun Web Agency, for many webmasters and web designers out there, it is often the second option that prevails, especially in the beginning. Even a brief glance at the possibilities and potential that Google Analytics has built-in can be quite a revelation, and the expectation of complexity and stress may push some users away from wading in and trying using the reporting capacities of Google Analytics to improve their search engine optimization. These Google Analytics reports, however, are the main reason you would be exploring this powerful toolbox in the first place, so why stop half way?
But how do I start if I don’t understand all of the options?
The best and easiest way to get a practical feel for what Google Analytics reports can and cannot do is to create a custom report in the system. This way, you remain under total control of the variables and do not have to worry about the multitude of other options remaining outside of this particular report.
To start on the journey, click on ‘Customization’ in the top center part of the screen and choose ‘New custom report’. Once the new screen opens, do not spend too much time on the report title, but dive right into the good stuff. As you can see under ‘Report content’, you can create several tabs to analyze different things all under the same report heading. For the purposes of your very first Google Analytics report, one tab will do. The report type will greatly depend on what it is you want to look at – if it’s user location data, choose Map Overlay, and for a chart and table use Explorer (the Flat Table option is just the table, of course).
What should I study in my report?
While Google Analytics reports are a great and even indispensable tool to understand the value of traffic, keywords, advertising and so on and so forth, the platform itself will not give you advice on what it is you should take a look at. Follow your best business sense. Do you want to see conversions or number of visits or perhaps the average time a person spends on a particular page?
The possibilities are truly endless, as you can put the various components together in unpredictable ways – as long as the correlations between different factors make sense to you, they can be put through the Google Analytics reporting system. The drilldown and filter options allow you to view data both at the higher and the lower levels in different sections of the same report. Once you are ready, you can view your report.
How can this information be helpful?
Once you have created your report based on the parameters you’ve set, it’s possible to analyze the data and see where you can make improvements to your Website user experience. While creating your Google Analytics report may have been much more enjoyable once you knew what you were doing, the proof of the pudding is, of course, in making sense of the graphs and tables that appear as a result. Happy hunting for helpful insights! If you need help, get in touch with the Devrun Web Agency experts for a consultation.