3 Best Ways to Customize Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful tool for tracking website performance. As a service, this tool is expected to be worth $59 billion by 2027. But to get the most out of it, customization is key. In this article, we will explore several ways you can customize this tool to better understand your audience and improve your strategy.
1. Customizing Google Analytics Dashboards
Customizing your Google Analytics dashboards allows you to gain valuable insights into your website’s performance and user behavior. By modifying the default dashboards and reports, you can focus on the metrics that matter most to you.
Adding Custom Reports
To add a custom report in Google Analytics, navigate to the ‘Customization’ section. Here you’ll find options to create a new custom report or dashboard. Select ‘New Custom Report’ and choose the dimensions and metrics you want to analyze. For example, you may want to create a report that shows Sessions, Bounce Rate, Pages/Session, and Average Session Duration for your top content pages. Name and save your report to view it alongside the standard reports.
Custom dashboards contain multiple reports, visualizations, and analysis tools of your choosing. Create a dashboard to gain an overview of how your website is performing. Add reports for traffic sources, content metrics, ecommerce stats, and more. Likewise, you can also include annotations, custom alerts, and benchmarking tools in your dashboards. Rearrange, add, and remove elements at any time.
2. Using Custom Segments for Deeper Analysis
Custom segments are groups you define to analyze user behavior. To create a segment, go to Audience > Custom Segments. Here are some examples of custom segments you can make:
Location - Group users by country, region, or city to see location-based trends. This can help determine where to focus marketing efforts.
Device - Create segments for desktop, mobile, and tablet users to see how the experience differs by device. You may find certain content performs better on some devices.
Traffic source - Build segments for different referral sources like social media, search engines, or email campaigns. Then analyze how traffic from each source interacts with your site.
Conversion metrics - Group users by whether they completed a desired action like making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. Compare the behavior of converting and non-converting users to optimize the customer journey.
3. Implementing Custom Dimensions and Metrics
To gain valuable insights into your website traffic and user behavior, implement custom dimensions and metrics in Google Analytics. Custom dimensions allow you to track data that is meaningful to your business or site. For example:
If you have an ecommerce site, create a custom dimension for “Product Category” to see which types of products are most popular. This can help with inventory planning and marketing strategies.
Add a custom dimension called “User Type” with values like “New Visitor” and “Returning Visitor” to analyze how different types of users interact with your site.
Once you've set up a custom dimension, you can view reports on how that dimension impacts other metrics like pageviews, bounce rate, and goal completions. Custom metrics allow you to track metrics that matter to your business, like “conversion rate” or “cart abandonment rate.”
To implement custom dimensions or metrics:
Log in to your Google Analytics account and navigate to Admin > Custom Definitions > Custom Dimensions or Custom Metrics.
Click +New Custom Dimension or +New Custom Metric.
Enter a descriptive name, select the scope (hit, user, or session), and specify any additional details.
Choose a slot number between 1 to 200 for your new custom dimension or metric. Slot numbers must be unique.
Review and save your new custom dimension or metric.
In reports, you can then apply segments or filters based on your custom definitions to analyze trends and uncover insights.
Google Analytics is employed by 50 million websites to evaluate their digital marketing campaigns. With some customization, it can become one of the most useful tools in your digital marketing toolkit to gain actionable insights about your audience and business performance. Take the time to explore all the options to customize Google Analytics to your needs and reap the benefits of data-dependent decisions.