Google Analytics offers you a variety of options for evaluating website data. In addition to the standard reports, which are always available by default, but whose composition of dimensions and metrics can only be changed little, you can also create personalized reports to analyze your website data. I’ll show you how to create a custom report, what thoughts you should make beforehand and how you can then share it with your colleagues.
Personalized reports – possibilities and limits
In the standard reports of Google Analytics you only have limited options for customization, e.g. by adding a secondary dimension or a filter. If you close the report, however, these will be lost. If you want to call up the data again in the same form, you have to click the secondary dimension and filter together again. In addition, the standard reports often contain a large number of metrics that cause you to lose track.
Personalized reports – also called custom reports – have the advantage that you can call them up again and again as soon as they have been created. You can also determine yourself which metrics you need for your evaluation requests and how you combine them with one another. However, you should be clear beforehand which combinations of dimensions and metrics make sense . If you combine the wrong dimensions and metrics, it can easily lead to misinterpretation of the data.
Advantages of personalized reports at a glance:
- Creating a personalized report requires minimal effort and often saves time afterwards. It can be called up with just one click, once it has been created.
- Only the data you need is recorded. This eliminates the need to search for the required data in the standard reports.
- The custom reports can be shared quickly and easily with other people.
- The filter settings of the personalized reports are saved. In this way, the data is available to you in the same form as long as you need it.
- The reports can also be sent automatically by email. It does not matter whether the recipient has access to the Google Analytics account or not. For example, you can set a specific report to be automatically sent to you as a PDF every Monday. A report for further processing in Excel can also be sent automatically.
Create personalized Google Analytics reports
Before you start creating a personalized report, you should first ask yourself a few questions:
- What is the goal of the evaluation? (What is the role of the report?)
- Is it a one-time report or do you want to receive the report regularly?
- For whom is the evaluation intended and for what purpose does this person need the data (documents, further processing, customer submission)?
- Which data should be shown in the report? (Which dimensions and metrics are needed?)
If none of the existing standard reports offer what you need, the personalized report can help.
Creation of a personalized report – step by step
If you have decided to create a personalized report and already have a precise idea of what the report should say, the report can be created in just a few steps. Go to your Analytics account and the data view for which you want to create the report. You can create the report in the “Customization” area under “Custom reports”.
To illustrate the whole thing, let’s work with an example. Let’s imagine that we only want to receive data on users who have viewed pages on the lunapark blog (in the / blog / directory) with their mobile phones. The articles on search engine market shares should not be listed, however, as they differ in format from the other articles and tend to be used differently than the rest of the blog articles. We also want to know which articles have been viewed and how often.
The metrics we are interested in in this case are:
- Pages / session
- Average session length
- % New sessions
- Bounce rate
All data are now entered in the mask that opens.
The first step in creating a report should always be to give it a meaningful name . This will make it easier for you to find it again afterwards. And if you work with multiple users in one account, the others can better see what the report is about.
I call our example report “Mobile phone users in the blog”.
A personalized report can contain up to five tabs , which should also be given meaningful names.
My report will only consist of one tab, so I’ll save the naming. But I could create two tabs and display the mobile accesses in one and the desktop accesses in the other. It all depends on what kind of data you need.
Under ” Type ” you have to specify how the report should be structured. Depending on which type you choose, the possibilities of the dimensions and metrics to be used also change.
- ” Explorer ” is the form already known from the standard reports, in which you can view different data tables in different tabs. In this variant you can select several dimensions, which open in the “drill down” as soon as you click on a dimension.
- ” Table lists ” offer you the option of displaying several dimensions at the same time.
- The type “ map overlay ” shows the metrics using a map.
- Google Analytics 360 also offers the option of creating the report as a ” funnel ” type .
In my example I have chosen the “Explorer” type.
Now we come to the content of the report. In the ” Measurement groups ” area you can add the measurement values (metrics) that you need for the evaluation. However, you should first devote yourself to the ” dimensions “, as they serve as a kind of “organizational unit”. You can then select the appropriate metrics. Since you cannot insert as many dimensions as you like, it is best to use the option here to go deeper into the data via the dimensions. For example, if you were reporting on Google Ads campaigns, you would choose the following dimensions: campaign, ad group, and keyword.
For my report, I choose the dimension “Page” because I want to know which articles were viewed and how often. In order to be able to understand later which source and medium the accesses came about, I add this as a second dimension, but subordinate it to the first dimension.
In the “Measurement groups” area you can now add the measurement values (metrics) that you need for the evaluation. Use the subdivision into measured value groups to better structure the report. You can use up to 10 measured values within a measured value group. The metrics appear in the finished report in the order in which you define them here.
Here I use the metrics that I have already defined: Sessions, Pages / Session, Average Session Duration, New Sessions in%, Bounce Rate and Users.
There is also the option of using a filter on the dimension level , for example to only examine certain pages of the website.
So that only the desired data comes in in our case, I add three filters:
- The first filter ensures that only the mobile access data is displayed in the report.
- The second filter ensures that only pages from the directory / blog / are taken into account.
- The third filter excludes the articles on search engine market shares.
Information about the RegEx, which I used to create the filters, can be found in the article ” Regular expressions for Google Analytics “.
Optionally, you can now choose for which data views the report should be created.
The custom report now shows the desired metrics for the blog pages only and only for mobile users. By clicking on the individual pages you will get an overview of the source and medium of the accesses.
If you want to edit the report afterwards, you can do this very easily using the navigation above the report:
As with the standard reports, you can then apply a secondary dimension, segments or filters to the finished report . If you leave the report, they will be lost afterwards. Unless you click Save in the navigation bar above with filters applied. Then everything remains what you have chosen.
Download custom reports
Would you like to continue working with the data in the report? No problem. You can also download the report using the navigation above. Simply click on “EXPORT”. As with the standard reports, you also have the option to export the data as PDF, Excel, CSV or directly to Google Sheets.
Send custom report via email
Simply enter the desired e-mail address here, select the format of the report (PDF, Excel or CSV) and specify whether the report should be sent once or regularly. You can also write a message to the recipient. In this way, you have set up regular reporting that is sent automatically without much effort.
Ideas for more personalized reports
Our example report is a very simple report that only covers a tiny fraction of the possible spectrum. It can also be significantly more complex. Other areas of application for personalized reports are, for example:
- Google Ads clicks, costs and impressions right next to sessions and conversions
- Calls to error pages generated by external links
- Absolute numbers or percentage of different conversions per city, source or campaign
- Listing of full referral URLs
- Host name breakdown
- Sales per calendar week
- Day and time of the week with the most sessions and conversions
- List of campaigns including achieved conversions and sales
- Page title listing of a specific website directory
- List of mobile access including jumps, target achievements and conversion value
- Traffic per month, week or date
Personalized reports for download
Don’t you have the time or feel like creating a personalized report yourself? Are you lacking in creativity? Or do you just want to see what other web analysts use for reports?
In the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery you will find a large selection of reports, dashboards, segments and filters from other users, which you can easily import and use in your Google Analytics account.
We have also already created templates for custom reports and dashboards. These are checked by us and contain the correct or meaningful dimension-metrics combinations.
The custom reports in Google Analytics allow you to create reports with your own measured values and dimensions that are not covered by the standard reports. The nice thing about it is that selected filters and dimensions stay in place even if you close the report. In addition, the reports can be easily shared with other employees, exported and sent by e-mail. For those who like it a little more visual, the Google Analytics Dashboards or Google Data Studio are a good addition to the reports.