Tracking your CRO efforts is very important, as it will give you a strong insight into what your customers really want. Hence, you should make sure to select the correct tracking tools that will allow you to accurately track your projects. (More on tracking tools can be found at here. Most of these tools have standard and custom reports. In this post, I will talk about google analytics’ custom reports, how to leverage them and give you some examples of interesting custom reports that you should be using.
Most of GA’s standard reports do not offer a comprehensive view into what you would really need to check. These reports are standard to all kinds of websites, but you would like to get more customized reports catered to your website (blog, ecommerce, etc.) and to your customers. Custom reports allow you to achieve this personalization and to see, on the same reports, the exact dimensions and metrics of interest. For example, let’s say that you have defined a couple of goals in GA and would like to have a report that will show one of these goals as a metric. In this case, you will have to design your own custom report.
It is quite straightforward to set up a custom report. The report creation screen looks like the following:
Please check these links in order to get a more detailed understanding about setting up these reports: http://econsultancy.com/blog/63882-how-to-create-a-custom-report-in-google-analytics and https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1151300?hl=en&ref_topic=1012046. I would like to make a quick remark concerning the “Dimension Drilldowns”, which I find quite interesting. As you see in the figure, the first level is “Source / Medium” and the second level is “Landing Page”. The report will show you the performance of the various traffic sources. If you would like to investigate one of these sources, you could click on it, and get its corresponding landing pages. Hence, you will be able to understand, in more details, what affects a particular traffic source. All that, in the same report!
Amongst many reports that I check on a daily basis, I would like to share with you three of them, which will allow you to keep control of your CR:
1. Hourly Report:
This report will allow you to understand the fluctuations in your website’s metrics throughout the day. Hence, you will be able to distribute your marketing budget more efficiently and to spot when your website CR is showing a weaker performance than usual.
Looking at the “Dimension Drilldowns”, you will be able to investigate the traffic sources and landing pages per hour and, hence, understand, in more details, how each is performing.
In addition, using filters is always interesting in order to restrict the report to your specifications. For instance, in this case, I only wanted to check the data of specific countries. As a final note, I recommend you to use custom segments to your advantage. For instance, adding custom segments for mobile, desktop and tablet, will allow you to understand the hourly performance of each device.
2. Landing Page Report:
This report will allow you to check, nearly in real-time, the performance of your (top) landing pages. It is important that you keep an eye on the metrics of your top LPs as they will mostly be driving the CR of your website. I have included traffic sources as a second dimension drilldown as it will give you more insights into the performance of each traffic source per LP.
Let’s say you’re analyzing the performance of your homepage and you notice that the bounce rate is higher than usual. In this case, you will directly know which traffic source is driving the BR up and, hence, you will be able to talk to the channel heads about that issue.
3. Traffic Sources Report:
This report is the inverse of the LP report as it first highlights the traffic sources and then the LPs. This report allows me to keep track of the daily performance of each source/medium and to compare this daily performance to the previous seven days’ performance. The comparison between these two date ranges gives me an indication of whether I should further investigate a certain traffic source or not.
As a conclusion, using custom reports allows you to really take advantage of your tracking tools and gives you a strong insight into the website metrics. Through custom reports, you will be able to customize the metrics and dimensions that are of interest and to deeply understand the data behind your website CR.
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