Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | Analytics, SEM | March 24, 2015

Google Analytics Automated Reports

All Analytics users have their “go-to” pages that they click through when analyzing traffic. For example, many users will go straight to Aquisition –> All Traffic –> Source/Medium because it does a good job of displaying their overall traffic and goal completions:

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Communicating this kind of data to clients and co-workers is extremely important, but it can also be time consuming. Did you know that you can schedule these reports to be generated automatically? Knowing how to automatically generate Analytics reports will allow you to communicate relevant information to whoever is interested without having to dig up these kinds of reports each period.

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Today I am going to review some commonly used reports within Analytics. I’ll also explain how to set these up and send them out. To see what reports you currently have scheduled, log into Analytics and click the Admin tab at the top –> then click Scheduled Emails.

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This will bring up a list of your scheduled reports. Assuming you’ve never set these up before, this list should be empty. We’re going to fix that! Let’s start off by reviewing 6 different reports that I commonly use: Demographics Age & Gender Overview: Audience –> Demographics –> Overview. This report shows the age/gender of users coming to the site.

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Interests Overview (Affinity Categories, In-Market Segments, Other Categories): Audience –> Interests –> Overview. This report displays affinity categories and in-market segments. You can use this information in Google AdWords Display campaigns when deciding what types of audiences you would like to target with your ads.

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Geographic: Audience –> Geo –> Location. This report’s default is to show everywhere in the world. You may only be interested in one country (like the United States, for example), so you may need to drill down further to focus on the traffic that is relevant to your advertising campaign. Here’s a resource for how to set up geographic targeting and ad scheduling within AdWords.

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New vs. Returning Visitors: Audience –> Behavior –> New vs Returning. This page segments your traffic based on whether users are new or if they’ve visited your site before. Most people are interested in driving new users to the site, so tracking this data will help you analyze the performance of your campaigns.

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Engagement: Audience –> Behavior –> Engagement. This report displays the duration that each user spent on the site. This page is similar to the ‘bounce rate’ statistic, but gives you a more granular breakdown of exactly how long people are hanging around. Breaking this down by each individual campaign and/or traffic source will help you further analyze the effectiveness of your traffic generators.

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Mobile Overview (Desktop vs. Tablet vs. Mobile): Audience –> Mobile –> Overview. This report is great for measuring the effectiveness of your advertisement on different devices. You can easily manage your bids on mobile devices within AdWords.

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These are some basic reports to get you started. You will certainly want to adjust your reports to fit your needs. You’ll also need to make sure to check the time frame. Segments are extremely useful to include/exclude pieces of information depending on what’s relevant in your reports. For example, if your boss tells you, “I want to see how much traffic our paid advertisement generates each week and compare it with the previous week,” then you can set your time frame to the last 7 days and compare it with the previous time frame. Then, you can use a segment to go deeper into only the traffic that came from CPC sources (like Google AdWords, Bing Ads, etc). Once you’ve found the page that you’re interested in reporting on each week, then you’ll want to click the Email button on the top bar:

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Type in the e-mail(s) of everyone you want to send the report to (separated by commas). You can send the reports as a CSV, TSV, TSV for Excel, Excel (XLSX), or PDF. I generally send these as a PDF so it’s easily presentable, but use whatever suits your needs. Set your frequency (one-time, daily, weekly, monthly, etc).

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Click send and your reports will be scheduled to send out. Keep in mind that you can also merge reports by clicking the Add to an existing email option in the bottom right hand corner of the e-mail reporting set-up. You may be interested in viewing multiple pages at once, so it’s good to merge these reports together rather than stringing them into your e-mail(s) individually. As a final note, these reports tend to get sent out at random times throughout the day. For example, if you schedule the reports to send out every Friday, then they’ll generally show up at random, various times throughout the day. Unfortunately, there isn’t yet an option to have them send out at particular times of the day. I have found these automated reports to be extremely helpful for communicating data efficiently without having to set up custom parameters for the same information each reporting period. Hopefully you are also able to use this tool to your advantage. Happy Advertising!

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