3 Google Analytics Reports you can’t live without

Google Analytics is often criticised for data mismatching or lack of functionality but the bottom line is for a free Analytics tool it allows you to run thousands of reports and gives a good indication of user behaviour on your website.

Google have invested a lot of time and resource on keeping their Analytics up to date with the requirements of any website owner. The functionality on everyone’s lips lately is Attribution, so true to form Google’s Universal Analytics incorporates an attribution modelling reporting section.

If you are not already using Google Analytics I would strongly recommend setting it up. It is free and can offer some level of comparison to other systems you may be using. If you are using Google Analytics you will be familiar with some of the reporting, here are a few key reports we think you can’t live without when analysing your website performance.


  1. Technology report

What is it?

This report allows you to see data on “Browser and Operating systems”, and “Networks” allows you to see the network providers.

Why is it useful?

Now not all this information is highly useful but the interest does lie with the Browser data. Would you be interested to know that last week year on year saw a 20% drop in Internet Explorer traffic for one of my clients yet a growth of 15% on safari, and 20% growth on Chrome. So what are the benefits of this data – firstly ask yourself, does your website perform on all browsers as well as it should do. In most cases the answer is no.

Take a look at your payment gateway, does it work as well on PC as a tablet, is it as effective on Internet explorer as it is on Safari? The answer may surprise you.

This report is great to allow you to understand how users behavior is changing. If you run a browser comparison report to this month compares to last year the same month, then select a secondary dimension of Device Category – you can see if your safari PC, Tablet or mobile traffic is converting the most effectively and also identify if you should be making the conversion process on different browser s and devices more effective.


  1. Keyword Position Report

What is it?

An AdWords combined Analytics report which shows insightful data about how your keywords perform in different ranking positions on Google’s Search Engine Results Page.

Why is it useful?

Sometimes it is difficult to know if position 1 is the best strategy for your keywords in your AdWords account. The benefits may be a good Click Through Rate, or high volume of traffic but is the cost of appearing in position 1 actually driving sales or conversions? This report allows you to understand on a keyword level how each position performs. It is surprising to see that sometimes appearing in the top right hand box is much more cost and conversion friendly than position 2 or 3.

Simply select the Keyword Position report, select which keyword you are interested in or use the search box to find a keyword. Then choose the metric your want to review – clicks, bounce, goal, transaction, revenue etc… The example below shows how position 4 (side1) can actually convert better but will cost you less. Important information for any PPC analyst.



  1. Multi-Channel Funnels

What is it?

Visitors tend to arrive on your site via a number of different channels and then convert, this report allows you to understand that path and which channels of advertising are potentially assisting others.

Why is it useful?

We have all questioned how valuable our display advertising is, or whether we should be advertising on PPC brand keywords and if those expensive generic keywords are costing more than they are worth. The Multi-Channel Funnel report tries to bring a level of clarity where there is currently a lot of confusion.

The assisted conversion report allows you to see which channel of marketing is either Assisting, Last click conversion or Direct conversion. This could be for example PPC has last click or direct conversions of 60% of all traffic.

You can dissect the data via a number of interactions:

  • Last Interaction which attributes 100% of the conversion value to the last channel which received a click from the customer before buying or converting.
  • Last Non-Direct Clicks ignores direct visits and attributes 100% of the value to the channel which generated the last click before converting.
  • First Interaction attributes 100% of the value of  the conversion to the channel which generated the first interaction.
  • Linear, this model allocates equal value to each channel which generated the conversion.
  • The Time Decay model – although not always relevant allocates more credit to the conversions which happened closer to the time of conversion.
  • Position Based allows a collaboration of Last interaction and First Interaction, for example 40% attributed to first and last and 20% to any other interaction in the middle.

The other very useful report in Multi-Channel funnels is Top Conversion Path. This allows you to see the channel of a conversion via the source, campaign, and even keywords. This can give you a much better understanding of where in the mix your advertising sits. e.g. MCF Path



By breaking down each path you can understand if the channel’s you thought were high cost but low converting were actually helping to influence sales further down the buying cycle.

Just an idea of some great reports which can help you get a much better understanding of user behaviour and how to attribute value to your online marketing channels.

Rachel Mepham
With over 15 years’ experience in Digital Marketing, Rachel heads up the team at Digital Clarity. With a deep skill set in the Paid Search, Social Media and Analytics, Rachel is regarded by both clients and peers as one of the most experienced and prolific women in the UK digital space. Her approach and application to digital strategy planning has been used by some of the biggest brands as well as leading advertising and marketing agencies.