If you remember from the beginning of this Playbook, Google Analytics is all about asking questions and finding the right data to answer that question. Within the Analytics sidebar, you’ll notice that there are 5 different reports.
You can think of these 5 reports as the location for information on 5 different topics. Let’s break down each suite, and when you would use a report within that section…
Realtime reports answer questions about what is happening on your website right now.
Ex: you just posted a link on social media that drives people to a new opt-in page on your website. You want to see if anyone is acting on your email, so you go into the Realtime and look at the Content report and see how many people are on your new opt in page.
Audience reports answer questions you have about the characteristics of the users on your website.
Ex. You’re about to go live with a new Google Ad, but you aren’t sure what location you should be targeting the ad to. So, you go into the Audience report, under Geo, and click on Location. Now you can see a breakdown of users by country.
Acquisition reports answer questions about how your audience got to your site.
Ex. You need to find out which traffic sources product the most revenue, so you go into Acquisitions, under All Traffic, and click on Source/Medium to look at all your traffic sources and see how much revenue each source has created.
Behavior reports answer questions about what people do once they get to your website.
Ex. You’re wanting to figure out where you have the most leverage on your site, so you go into the Behavior suite, under Site Content, and look at All Pages. This shows you which pages on your site have the highest traffic and would benefit the most from updates.
Conversions reports answer questions about if your users are taking the actions you want them to take (converting).
Ex. You want to know what path your users took to complete a goal, so you look at the Reverse Goal Path, inside the Goals section, under the Conversions Suite, and it shows you the 3 pages leading up to the goal completion location (usually a “thank you” page after they complete a purchase/sign up, etc).
There are a ton of different reports nested within each of these topics. Google will often add in new reports that they are testing and provide information about how to use them as well.
Take a second to look through the analytics suites and look into the different types of reports. While you’re looking, think back to the goals you set in the last module. How could you use these reports to help gain insights from the goals you set.
Action Item: On The Second Page Of Your Google Analytics Planning Guide, Write Down The Names Of The Reports That Interest You, And Might Help You Track Your Goals. (Overview, Locations, Traffic Sources, Etc…)
There is a ton of free documentation online about all these different reports, but we suggest you start with this blog post on 3 Google Analytics reports every business should monitor. The blog post is written by Chris Mercer, who is a long-time analytics expert, and the guy we call when any of our Analytics metrics go awry.