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5. OVERVIEW OF BASIC GOOGLE ANALYTICS REPORTS

Info provided to Analytics is grouped thematically and processed to form reports. Analytics provides us some basic sets of reports and a lot of options for their individual configuration: date range, by segmentation, ending with a variety of filters. Most reports can be presented in several forms i.e. data table, graph or even as a video showing data changes.

Let's begin from presenting and discussing the interface of Google Analytics:

LEFT SIDE COLUMN

analytics menu

Left column is the most important and also the most commonly used navigation menu. You'll find here links to all reports.

Reports are divided into 5 groups::

  1. Real Time - set of basic data collections which main advantage is real time data presentation. You can analyze geographic data, traffic sources, behaviour on the website, events and conversions.
  2. Audience - set of data associated with characteristics of people entering your website. Here is where you can find demographic and geographic data, interests, behavior patterns key, involved technology. Available custom variables, comparative tests and users funnel visualization are perfect for advanced users.
  3. Acquisition - very important data describing the sources that lead users to your website. It is possible to get derails of sources enabling Google to pull additional info such as: keywords, campaign, info about social communities, SEO details and cost analysis.
  4. Behavior - analysis of what is happening on the pages of your website. You will find out what pages are viewed and how, to see what do users look for and how long does it take to load any element of the website. For advanced users: events, AdSense info, experiments and Analytics extension.
  5. Conversions - the most important group of for e-commerce reports. It is a collection of data concerning business events on your website. Main topics of reports in this group are e-commerce goals conversion, multi-channel funnels and conversion attribution.

Selected reports will be discussed in later section.

Except the available reports references you will also find the following items:

  1. Dashboards - links to own previously prepared dashboards - for advanced users,
  2. Shortcuts - direct links to selected reports,
  3. Intelligence events - a set of automatic info from automated Analytics system and personal alerts - for advanced users.

TOP NAVIGATION BAR

There is a navigation bar at the top. It contains:

  1. Home page,
  2. Reporting - most often used part of reports,
  3. Customization - here you can create your own reports - for advanced users,
  4. Admin - configuration which has been simply discussed in the previous chapter,
  5. A drop-down menu with info about the logged-in user, the currently selected website and data profile,
  6. Google account settings icon,
  7. The notification icon - a drop-down menu displaying system suggestions and info about your configuration condition.

THE TOP MENU OF THE REPORTS

Each report's header consists of a title and a few additional elements. Each report can be sent by e-mail, exported to a selected file format, added to the panel or to any of the shortcuts. At the far right there is located an educational icon to open the Analytics tutorial and range of date selection menu.

Date range menu is a key feature of the system. Our data can be analyze in a selected period of time. In addition, two ranges of dates can be compared simultaneously. Advanced benchmarking function is a remarkably conveniente feature.

REPORTS MEANINGFUL FOR E-COMMERCE MANAGER

According to the methodology described by me earlier, only a few important reports are selected to analyze an e-commerce business.

The essence of the use of Analytics is striving for improvement of certain business aspects. Set your priorities. Use only selected reports.

I'd decided to choose the following reports. I recommend adding them to shortcuts in order to have them easily available.

Selected reports:

1. Audience / Overview

Primary report summarizing the condition of your website. You'll learn how much website visits you have, how many pages are viewed per user, what's the balance between new and returning users, what's the global bounce rate of a website (in simple terms: how many users leave the website short after entering it). Data of this kind should be tracked in time and be compared in analogical time periods i.e. year to year, month to month comparison etc.

2. Audience / Mobile / Overview

Here we're speaking of a interesting, worth to follow report to find data about the devices your potential customers are using to view your website. First of all, find out if the number of mobile users is significant. Secondly, see if the website works fine on mobile devices.

3. Acquisition / All traffic

Reports essential for person responsible for acquiring traffic to a shop i.e. selecting SEO strategy or advertising campaigns etc. Here are all traffic sources along with the crucial parameters such as: visit number, bounce rate, goal conversion rate and e-commerce conversion.

4. Acquisition / Campaigns

"All traffic" report lists specific entries from campaigns including data such as: number of visits, bounce rate, goal conversion rate and the e-commerce conversion.

5. Acquisition / AdWords / Campaigns

"All traffic" report also lists specific entries from AdWords campaigns including data such as: number of visits, bounce rate, goal conversion rate and the e-commerce conversion.

6. Behavior / Site content / All pages

The most important information about your websites parameters condition. Here we have to fill in all the places from which the customers leave our website, abandon the shopping cart or other order stages, namely list all the bottlenecks.

7. Conversions / E-commerce / Overview

Sales conversion data of the store. They include conversion rate, number of transactions, transaction value and the average order value. It's a great summary report to assess our business. We recommend you to use periodic comparison: year-over-year or month-to-month comparison.

8. Conversions / E-commerce / Product performance

Detailed report about the purchased products. A detailed product ranking due to their value and popularity from which you can easily find out about the most popular product and quantities purchased from the offer.

9. Conversions / E-commerce / Time to Purchase

Simple but brief report. The average time elapsing between the first entrance to your website and the purchase of a product. Because of planning marketing activities and other advanced elements of the advertising campaign it is a vital report.

10. Conversions / Multi-channel Funnels / Assisted Conversions

A significant report to observe the Full Customer Journey. You'll be able to determine what traffic sources are involved in conversion and what was their position - if they were i.e. the beginning of user acquaintance with the shop or were they directly preceding the conversion. After reading this report you can consciously optimize your marketing. Not knowing this report you're doing it indiscriminately.


We've reached the number of 10 reports. It's enough for everyday work. What's more, even the top ten reports have a specific hierarchy: regularly check the 5 highlighted reports. You can do it less often for the rest of them. Keep an intermittent track of other reports to increase analysis. After you learn these 10 reports, the further work with Analytics will become much easier. Outcome of certain features will get obvious to you.

By focusing on 5 essential reports you'll avoid being overwhelmed by the numbers.

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