A List of Useful Google Analytics Reports

By 29th Nov 2019Blog, Google Analytics
A List of Useful Google Analytics Reports

In this post I’ll be giving a list of some useful Google Analytics reports. I spend a lot of time analyzing data using Google Data Studio, but there are some great reports in Analytics that I wanted to share.

1. The Real-time Events report

The Real-time section shows you what’s happening on your website at right now. There are several different sections in the Real Time section of Google Analytics. But I think that the ‘Events’ section is especially useful.

Ga - Real Time - Events

The great thing about this part of Real-time report is that you can use it to see whether the Analytics tag you’ve created in Google Tag Manager is working correctly. First you can open up the GTM preview mode and see whether or not the tag is working. Then you can open up Real-time > Events report in Analytics and see if the correct information is being sent from GTM to Analytics. You can see if the event information is being sent as you intended, and if not make the necessary changes in Tag Manager.

Testing events using the Real-time event report that shows events in real time.

Remember to test out your events using a view that doesn’t exclude your IP address. Typically this would be your “raw data” view with no filters added.

2. The Acquisition > Channels report

This is an obvious report, but just including it because it’s usually the first report I visit when checking out an Analytics account. It gives an overview of how much traffic each channel brings in, how engaged users are, and how many goals they’ve completed.

Google Analytics - Acquisition > Channels report

It’s great as a starting point, and you can then dig deeper by adding in secondary dimensions, comparing the data to previous periods and seeing which channels are leading to which goal conversions.

3. The Behaviour Flow report

The Behaviour Flow report in unsurprisingly found in the “Behaviour” section of Analytics. It helps you understand the general flow of visitors to your website, as it shows their landing page and each subsequent page they visit.

The Behaviour Flow report in Google Analytics which allows us to see what pages users visited on the website

The Behaviour Flow report lets you visually see the bounce rate and exit rates of various pages. We can see how many users arrive on a landing page and then leave. For the users that do stay, we can see which pages they visited next.

For another way of visualizing how users navigate your site, check out Visual Analytics from Brett Romero. It has a cool section that animates how users enter, navigate and leave your website.

4. The User Explorer report

One of the main goals of Analytics is to understand how people are using your website. This is a difficult question to answer, and there are several ways to go about answering it. One way to get an understanding of how users interact with your site is to see individual user journeys. The User Explorer report allows us to do that.

The first part of the User Explorer report shows us a list of users with unique Client IDs. For each Client ID we can see the number of sessions, the session duration and whether or not they completed any goals or transactions on the site.

A list of unique users that visited a website in the Google Analytics user explorer report.

The second part of the User Explorer is the most exciting part, as it gives us an overview of each user’s experience spent on the site.

Each User is assigned two IDs. The first is the Client ID which is “a unique ID that Analytics assigns to each device from which users engage your content.”

The second is a BigQuery Client ID. This is a “Hashed value of the Google Analytics Client ID as exported to BigQuery.”

An Overview of a User report in the User Explorer section of Google Analytics.

We can dig into a User’s unique experience on the website. We can also see how many sessions did they visit on a specific day, what time they visited, what type of device they used, how they arrived on the website, how many page views each session had, and whether any events or goals during their sessions.

A User Explorer journey in Google Analytics.

In analytics, it’s often a goal to try and understand the big picture in one chart or graph. User Explorer is on the other end of the spectrum. It allows us to take a detailed, granular look at each visitor to the site and what they did.

5. Ecommerce Shopping Behaviour report

The enhanced Ecommerce section of Google Analytics is an amazing way to analyze the sales of your online store. While much of the Ecommerce data can be displayed in Google Data Studio, the Shopping Behaviour report gives a nice overview of your online sales funnel. It shows the total number of sessions, sessions with product views, sessions with Add to Basket, sessions with Check-out and finally, the number of sessions with transactions.

Google Analytics Ecommerce Shopping Behaviour report

You can quickly get a sense of how many of your website visitors are actually become customers, and begin to investigate ways to improve your conversion rate.

6. Multi-Channel Funnels report

The Multi-Channel Funnels report in Analytics is one of the more complex but interesting reports at your disposal. It essentially tries to create a picture of how different channels interact with one another during the conversion process.

Multi-Channel Funnels report in Google Analytics

Multi-Channel Funnels are quite a complex topic, which I won’t get into in this blog post. I’d recommend reading up on them and this video below gives an introduction.

Multi-Channel Funnels are found under Conversions in the main Analytics menu.

showing the multi-channel funnels report within the conversions section of the google analytics menu

The Model Comparion tool allows you to assign value to different stages of a conversion. For example, let’s say someone finds your site on social media. They then search for your site on a search engine and visit it. Next, they click on a Google Ad, visit your site and complete a transaction. Which channel should get credit for the sale? Social media, SEO, or Google Ads? Using the Model comparison tool you can assign different values based on your own marketing strategy.

Showing the different types of models in Google Multi-channel funnels model comparison tool

This is a very quick overview of a complex report, so take some time to read up on Multi Channel Funnels and the various reports within them.

My Other Blog Posts

If you found this article about Google Analytics reports interesting, you might enjoy my other Blog posts!

I’m Michael

I’m a digital analyst with seven years experience in digital marketing. I’m skilled in web analytics, tag management and data visualization.

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I'm Michael