Google Analytics has plenty of standard reports. There are at least 80 standard reports available to you as soon as your tracking snippet is live on your site and sending data to Google Analytics. However, as an analyst, I use only a small fraction of them on a regular basis, and I'm even less likely to use a standard report for a client.
That is not to say that most of the standard reports are useless. There's definitely a great benefit to having such a wide variety of reports available at your fingertips. Clicking around the standard reports is one way to familiarize yourself with a new site and can be just as telling as exploring the website itself. Consider standard reporting the wide-angle view, a way to understand the landscape. There is a lot of information to take in from these reports. But when it comes to making informed business decisions, these reports contain too much data and the data is too generalized.
Using the standard reports is like looking up at the stars with the naked eye. To better understand what objects in space really look like, you need a telescope. This is what custom reports, defined goals, and advanced segmentation can provide -- less field of view, but more clarity. This is the kind of laser-focused attention most marketers and business executives need from their web analytics program. Most of the time, the problem with analytics is not the lack of data, it's the lack of being able to draw insight from the data you already have.
Before you do anything, make sure you have your site goals defined and aligned to your organization's overall business goals. Remember, if you don't write down your goals, they are not goals, they are fantasies. Yes, this applies to analytics too, not just life coaching.
Now I will welcome you to Café Digitaria, where I will be your analytics server for the night. We have a full menu of hand-crafted, custom Google Analytics reports that I think you'll find completely irresistible. In order to download these reports into your own Google Analytics profile, you will need to first log in to Google Analytics, and then click on the links from this article.
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Truly great and helpful custom reports. I will use all 9 of them and appreciate you sharing!
Totally awesome Rachelle, Absolutely useful. And everyone who wants to drill down to the real data- these reports are goldmine and the links to pre-made reports are absolute time saver. Shalabhhttp://TheWhizTimes.com
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