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Top 5 Google Analytics Custom Reports & Dashboards

Tim Hopma 5 years ago

We recently wrote a post for the Zazzle blog about reporting in digital marketing and such was the reaction to its publication that we wanted to expand it into other areas of genuinely useful data insight for those tasked with reporting digital performance.

Whilst specific reporting is essential, equally as important is the need to monitor performance in real-time to ensure issues and wins are highlighted and communicated.

Luckily, Google Analytics (GA) provides custom reporting functionality that allows you to create reports and dashboards tailored to your needs. Whilst you might not report on a daily basis, being able to see what’s happening with your channels everyday is massively useful, and custom reports let you do that without having to filter through unnecessary data.

There is a huge community around custom reports and any report you build is shareable and can be applied to multiple profiles within GA, making it easy for you to run similar reports across different clients or websites.

Below we have listed my top five custom reports, some of which we use in-house at Zazzle and some which we’ve uncovered through researching custom report communities like Google’s Solution Gallery. I’ve provided links so you can add these reports directly to your GA profiles.

To install any of the below reports on your profiles, just click the link and either import from the Gallery or just add directly to your desired GA profile.

  1. Custom Organic Dashboard

A must for any in-house SEO and also for agency-side Account Managers and SEO Leads. A great overview of real-time organic performance, allowing you to be on the ball and react quickly.

The dashboard looks at organic performance across keywords and landing pages, traffic split by engine and sessions over time. The report also shows goal completions but this can easily be changed to transactions, revenue or conversion rate, for example.

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  1. Organic content dashboard

Similar to the dashboard above, this version focuses on content performance, great if you have a blog or a lot of static content pages on your site. We use this at Zazzle to link traffic to ranking movements for long tail terms.

The report allows you make links between goal completions and impactful metrics like sessions and bounce rate, and also shows how beneficial the extreme long tail is to incoming traffic.

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  1. Site diagnostics for mobile/tablet traffic

As mobile and tablet devices, and their usage, become more prevalent, plus the recent focus from Google on rewarding mobile-friendly sites, understanding how your site behaves on such devices is essential.

This report shows several key metrics that allow you to highlight particular issues with regard to your site’s mobile/tablet usability. The ‘Yes’ row is those sessions that are on mobile or tablet, and the ‘No’ row is desktop.

Being able to compare metrics like load time and server response time etc. across all device types is useful to ensure your site experience is always optimal, whatever the device.
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  1. Internal linking

This report allows you to look at the impact of internal links across your site. This is especially useful when using lots of internal citation links in your blog and static content, as you can see exactly how many users are clicking those internal links.

Assessing this against the positioning of those links, what anchor text you use, and where you link to, can give great learnings for internal linking in future content.

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  1. Broken links

Whilst this data is available through other tools, many of them are paid tools and it is useful for all marketers to have at least a basic view of broken links. From an SEO perspective, especially for a content-heavy site, broken links are one of the biggest opportunities for link growth available, simply due to high reward from low effort.

A broken link is usually caused when the destination URL on your site no longer exists. Even if that old URL redirected to a new page, the link equity is passed but is somewhat diluted. Contacting site owners to change the link URL to a live page can restore the full link equity back into your profile.

post5We really hope you have found some or all of these custom reports useful, please feel free to suggest your favourite reports in the comments below.

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