How to Use a Google Analytics Report



February 23, 2021 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

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A Google Analytics Report is an organized collection of data that shows what’s going on behind the scenes of a website. These reports give business owners, marketers, and content managers a look into the site’s web traffic, the effectiveness of content marketing, and a picture of other marketing efforts. Standard and custom reports are both available to users so they can view general and specific information for the management of their unique site.

What Is Google Analytics?

Analytics reporting is an aspect of marketing management that businesses rely on to guide their various campaign efforts. Google Analytics is a specific analytics service that’s easily accessible to any business owners, supervisors, or anyone looking to manage a company website.

Image via Flickr by Kansir

Under the Google Marketing Platform brand, Google Analytics offers marketing analysis and website optimization. Google has access to unique data thanks to its many features, learning abilities, and reach across the internet. Learn where customers are finding information about your site, how they are accessing it and from where, how often they are returning to the site, and much more.

What Is a Google Analytics Report?

A Google Analytics Report brings all the data gathered regarding the traffic to a particular website into one place and uses well-designed reports and graphics to provide a complete picture of customer engagement. Analytics report design depends on the data being reported, but all of the reporting is customizable. Beginners can see the basic data they need to optimize their website without much experience with the program. If more detailed information is desired, tons of online resources offer tips and tricks for optimizing, organizing, and customizing the data.

What Questions Do They Answer and How? 

Good analytics reports show site managers and marketers how their web content and links are reaching a target audience. Basically, is the website doing what it’s designed to do? Is it generating traffic that leads to customer and client interest, sales, and brand recognition? CopyPress provides high-quality content to help sites accomplish these goals, but we don’t stop there. We also work with clients on content promotion. This aspect of content marketing ties in closely with Google Analytics reports as CopyPress works with businesses to figure out what type of content a website needs, link placement, etc.

1. How many visits do I get per day and from where?

A simple audience report can show how many visits your site has received in the past day, week, month, year, or whatever period of time you want to view. Audience reports can also be customized to show the actions of individuals, such as how many site visitors viewed a certain product and whether they returned to purchase that product. You can also see the tendencies of active users, people who visit your site regularly.

Google Analytics reports can also show demographic information. See which cities, states, and countries are most drawn to your site. This is vital information when figuring out whether you’re reaching a target audience or whether your target audience should be adjusted.

2. How many users are visiting from Desktop/Mobile/Tablet?

Find out how people are accessing your site. Are they primarily using a desktop computer, mobile phone, or tablet? If the majority of your users are visiting your site through a smartphone, maybe it’s time to consider creating an app for your business.

3. Which are the most popular pages of my site?

Google Analytics can easily break down web traffic data by page visits. Are your visitors looking at products, blog posts, or something else when they land on your site?

4. Which pages do people see first (landing pages) when they visit my site?

The landing pages of a site are the pages that people first “land on” when they visit a site. This data shows how people are getting to your site. Are they accessing your homepage through a specific brand search? Are they landing on informational pages or blog posts from links featured in outside sources or from SEO efforts? Use this data to figure out if your content marketing is generating the traffic you want the way you expect it to.

5. How many people are viewing my website right now?

If you recently added new content to your site, you can see your website views at any specific time so you can access how quickly content is generating traffic. This is a quick and easy way to view real-time information on web traffic.

6. What buttons do users click as they browse my website?

Are users clicking on detailed product information? Are they making purchases? Are they saving items for later? Are they adding products to a cart but not checking out? Button clicks can reveal a lot about the patterns of your shoppers and site visitors.

7. What time of the day do I receive the most visits?

In addition to seeing how often people visit your site, you can also break it down to specific times of the day. If most of your visitors are checking out your site in the morning, maybe that says something about your content. There’s so much to glean from the detailed data that Google Analytics reports provide.

Seven Essential Google Analytics Reports Every Marketer Must Know

Some of the best analytics reports show unique aspects of web traffic that some marketers might not think of. Here are seven Google Analytics reports marketers should really be looking at and using in their strategizing.

1. Mobile Performance Report

In today’s world of web traffic, the majority of people visiting sites on the internet for shopping, information gathering, social media, etc., are doing so from a mobile device. Websites have to be mobile-friendly in order to successfully generate traffic. Google’s mobile performance report shows how accessible and user-friendly your website is for mobile device use. This pertains to websites, not apps.

2. Traffic Acquisition Report

Traffic acquisition reports show how your site is generating traffic. Are people coming to your site from referrals, social media, or organic searches, or directly? This is probably the best place for content marketing managers to start looking to see what their content is doing for their site.

3. Content Efficiency Report

One of the most important analytics reports for content marketing is the content efficiency report. This report shows what your content is doing specifically. Which blog posts are generating sales? Which posts are being shared and bringing in new visitors? If your site is loaded with content, this report can tell you where to cut content and what types of content are doing your business the most favors.

4. Keyword Analysis Report

Keyword analysis reports will tell you which keywords are working for you. This report shows visitor metrics, page load times, conversion rates, and more so you can see which keywords to focus on.

5. New vs. Returning Visitors

Is your site bringing people back? The new versus returning visitors report shows whether the traffic you’re generating is turning into satisfied customers. Is your content building relationships that have visitors wanting more interactions?

6. Landing Pages Report

Find out which pages of your site people are visiting first when they access your site. Landing pages reports show another look into how people are getting to your site and why.

7. Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate Report

Bounce rate shows how many site visitors are coming and going from one page without clicking to other pages of the site. Exit rate shows how many visitors are clicking on different pages on your site and browsing before they leave.

How to Setup Google Analytics Reports

Get started with Google Analytics reports by signing up for an account. You can start an account for free to see how well it works for your business needs. Once you sign up, you’ll set up a “property,” which is the website you want to analyze. Google Analytics will then start gathering data from your site. You can then move forward to set up various views for your data. Choose what data you want the program to analyze; for example, do you want it looking at certain sales regions or something broader? Finally, you’ll need to add a tracking code to your site to allow Google to gather data.

How to Create a Custom Report

Custom reports can show you specific data that you design a report for. You choose the dimensions, metrics, and display. Certain dimension and metric combination rules must be followed to generate useful reporting. From your Google Analytics dashboard, click on your reports and then on “Customization” to start creating custom reports.

  • Give your tab a name: Start by creating a title for your custom report and add a tab for the report if you want.
  • Report Content: Define your report’s dimensions and metrics.
  • Select your report type: Choose the type of report you want to make (more on types later).
  • Name your metric groups and add the metrics you want to see in your report: Metrics are the measurements for your dimensions.
  • Select your dimensions: Your dimensions are the descriptions or elements of your data.
  • Select your Zoom Level for Map Overlay: If you’re creating a map overlay type of report, you’ll need to choose a zoom level.
  • Add a filter to your report: Filter out specific cities or have the report narrow down locations to a certain area.
  • Select what views this will be visible in: Finally, you can choose where your report will appear. You can open it up to all views available or only specific ones.

How to Run a Google Analytics Report

To run a Google Analytics report, you’ll simply sign in to your Google Analytics account and view your data. All the basic reports will show real-time data on your dashboard. If you’ve created a custom report, the report will begin running once you’ve saved your setup.

Interacting With Your Completed Report

So, you’ve got a bunch of completed standard and custom reports — now what? There’s much to learn from these reports and many ways to get even more specific information.

  • Applying Custom Segments: Customize your report even further by focusing on specific data segments of users within certain age groups, genders, etc.
  • Changing or adding a second metric to the graph: Multiple metrics can be added to the same report and graph.
  • Change report date: Date ranges for reporting are easily changed to show different time periods and compare.
  • Adding a secondary dimension: Additional dimensions can be added to a report for a more complete picture.
  • Additional filtering: Many types of data filters are available to show more detailed information,

Basic Types of Custom Reports

There are four basic types of Google Analytics custom reports:

  1. Explorer report: This is the standard type of report, which displays a data table and a line graph with options to sort and search the data and apply secondary dimensions.
  2. Flat Table report: This report displays the data in sortable rows.
  3. Map Overlay report: Within a world map, this report uses shading and coloring to show web traffic and customer engagement in particular locations.
  4. Funnel (360) report:  Only available with the Analytics 360 service, a custom funnel report displays how customers accomplish tasks on your website, such as the steps a visitor takes to make a purchase.

Google Analytics Report Templates

No matter the lifespan or size of a business, web traffic, design, and marketing content is vital to success. Let CopyPress come alongside you and help you get the most out of your business’s online presence. The right combination of web traffic analysis, content promotion, and graphic design leads to a successful site that will generate traffic and sales.

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CopyPress writer

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