Google Analytics's standard reports can be limited, so a little customisation is necessary to improve the quality of insight you can gain.
If like me, you're a relative amateur with Google Analytics, ready-made custom reports can save you a lot of time.
There are various reports here, some useful for publishers, some for ecommerce sites, and some for SEO analysis.
Just log in to your Google Analytics account and click the links to add these to your custom reports list...
Track the effect of (not provided)
Google's decision to encrypt search referral data means that many sites now have a lot less to work with when tracking SEO keywords, and Econsultancy is no different.
In fact, as with other IT and tech related sites, we have been hit harder than others, to the extent that more than 40% of our organic search referrals are (not provided).
The rise of (not provided) on Econsultancy.
With this encryption spreading to Firefox and iOS6, this trend is set to continue.
Thanks to Avinash Kaushik's custom report, you can moan about the impact to other marketers, backed up by accurate data.
Time of day report
This one comes from Dan Barker, who answered my Twitter question about tracking posts by publish time with a fully formed custom report, thus saving me loads of time.
Using this you can see which days of the week are most popular, and use the data to experiment with your publishing schedule:
Time of day report for ecommerce
This one also comes from Dan Barker, and does much the same as the previous custom report, but is aimed at ecommerce sites.
It shows transaction metrics on top of the traffic stats by time of day and day of week.
This combines Adwords acquisition data with revenue data under one roof, and saves you going back and forth between different reports.
This report looks at your most popular keywords (minus the ones that Google isn't telling you about) and shows visitor metrics, conversion rates, goal completions and page load time.
Other tabs also show engagement and revenue metrics.
This report strips out the branded keywords and shows visits, goal completions and revenue.
You'll need to go in and edit the report to exclude your own branded keywords. In this case, I've excluded 'econsultancy' but I should also remove the various spellings and hyphenated versions:
This report shows how different browsers are working for your site in terms of visits, revenue, bounce rates and purchases.
It's also a good way of picking up potential problems. If bounce rates are especially high for one kind of browser there may be an issue with the way your site looks in Internet Explorer, Safari etc.
Should I go mobile?
This one is from Lens 10, and aims to answer the question above.
You can judge from metrics such as pages per visit and goal completion rate and decide whether a mobile site is ready. The answer is very probably yes for most sites.
Referring sites report
Thanks to Anna Lewis from Koozai for this one, which shows referring sites alongside goal completions and conversion rates.
Link analysis report
This one, from SEObook, helps you to see which of your inbound links are sending the most valuable traffic, showing visits, goal completions and more.
Do you have any other useful custom reports to share? Please let us know below...
I've rounded up 10 more custom reports here.
Econsultancy's Crunch - Data, Analytics and the Rise of the Marketing Geek, takes place on October 10 at Truman Brewery, London. Crunch is the event for the analysts, strategists and boffins who turns raw numbers into insight, then revenue. This event is one of five that make up our Festival of Marketing.