Wednesday, September 16, 2009

#4 - Fun Times with Google Analytics

I've recently started using Google Analytics, but have always been a little afraid of the custom reports--until now.

I kept looking at my views for my store (pretty small so far, but then again, I don't have anything in there) and wanted to know a little more about my viewers. When did they visit? What time are people awake and browsing etsy? (maybe an occasional 2am, like me?)

Imagine my surprise when I found out that it isn't scary at all to make these reports--far from it. All you need to do is a little clicking, a little dragging, and you've got a report.

So, to help others who are also wondering these same questions, I've written up a little tutorial on how to create a custom report. This report focuses on creating a custom report to tell you the day & time someone visits your store, but once you've made one report, they can only get easier from there.

To start, go to your Google Analytics and click "View Report" for the profile you want to create a custom report. Next, click on "Create a Custom Report" and we're on our way...

You’ll now see blue and green boxes for your metrics and dimensions.
  • Metrics are what you want to analyze, such as page views, time on your site, or any goals you have created (I haven’t set up any goals yet—once I figure it out I’ll post it here too!).
  • Dimensions are how you “dig down” into your data. Since I made this report for looking at the day and time people come to my store from different areas of the world, I’ll focus on those dimensions. However, explore the other options—you could end up discovering some great metrics! 
First, choose your metrics. To add them, click on the category name (site usage, content, etc.). This will open a drop-down list of the metrics available. Click and drag the metrics you want to use to an empty metric box. I chose to view Visits, Time per Visit, and New Visitors.

Next, add the dimensions. In my report, I used the dimensions available under “Visitors”. I made Country/Territory my primary dimension and then drilled down from there:
  • Region
  • Day
  • Hour of the Day
You can drill down further if you want, but I decided to save that for a different report. Gotta keep it simple.

Last step! Give your report a name…you can call it anything as long as you’ll know what the report is when you come back later.

If you want to see what your report will look like before you complete it, click the “Preview Report” button at the bottom of the page.

Once you’re ready, click “Create Report”. Your report will now be saved in your account to view whenever you’d like. If you ever need to make any tweaks to it, just open it up and click on the “Edit Report” link near the report name.

I haven’t been able to figure out how to create the custom report once and then run it for multiple profiles—like if you wanted to use this report for your store and blog. If you know of a way, please let me know! It doesn’t take long to create, but it would definitely be helpful. Maybe another idea to research and share later…

Let me know if you have any questions and I hope this helps!


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