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Webucator's Free Advanced Google Analytics Tutorial

Lesson: Custom Reporting

Welcome to our free Advanced Google Analytics tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Advanced Google Analytics course.

In this lesson you will learn how how to design and build your own custom reports.

Lesson Goals

  • Advantages of Using Custom Reports.
  • Fundamentals of Custom Reporting.
  • Selecting Valid Combinations of Dimensions and Metrics.
  • Designing and Building Your Own Custom Reports.

Introduction to Custom Reporting

Custom Reporting is a feature introduced by Google that allows you to develop tailored reports by choosing appropriate pairs of dimensions and metrics.

Why to use Custom Reporting

  1. Quicker access to the information you want to see, the way you want to see it.
  2. Less data overload.
  3. Build reports to suit your business needs.

When to use Custom Reporting

Custom reports are most useful when you need to combine metrics and dimensions that are not available in standard reports. You may also create a custom report to remove certain data from standard reports that is not relevant for your business. Here are some advantages of using custom reports:

  1. Less switching from one report to another. Bring relevant metrics and dimensions from multiple areas of Google Analytics into one place.
  2. Relevant drilldowns, break visitor behavior into workable segments which are more relevant to your business model.
  3. Share the right things with the right people. By using the tab feature in custom reports your colleagues can see only the data that is relevant to their activities.

Basics of Custom Reporting

Reports in Google Analytics are made up of rows and columns. While building custom reports, columns will be represented by metrics and rows will be represented by dimensions. Definitions for metrics and dimensions are as follows:

  1. Google defines a metric as a quantitative measure of how visitors interact with your site. Examples of metrics include; the amount of time visitors spent looking at a page (time on page), the number of times visitors viewed a page (page views), etc.
  2. Dimensions are attributes or characteristics associated with visitors on your website. Dimensions are the categories that the data in your reports fall under. A few examples of dimensions are, medium (organic or direct), region or source, etc.

Tips: Metrics are always expressed in numbers and dimensions are always expressed in words. Unlike dimensions, you can build a report using only metrics.

Valid Pairs of Dimensions and Metrics

Google has outlined the following guidelines for selecting a valid pair of dimensions and metrics:

  1. You can choose any metric to build your custom report. You also don't have to pair them with dimensions, which means there are no restrictions to which metrics you can use.
  2. When paired with dimensions, metrics are subject to certain restrictions. Invalid combinations won't be accepted by the Custom Reporting feature.
  3. Google has categorized certain metrics and dimensions into groups. If you want to select dimensions or metrics from two different groups, your options are limited.

Understanding Dimensions Categories

Category List of Dimensions
Visitor Dimensions Hour of the Day, Page Depth, Days Since Last Visit, Visit Duration, Visitor Type, Count of Visits, City, Language, Region, Country/Territory, Continent, Sub Continent Region, Sub Region, User Defined Value
Campaign Dimensions Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword, Ad Content, Ad Slot, Ad Slot Position, Source, Medium, Source/Medium, Referral Path
Content Dimensions Page Title, URL, Referral Path, Visit Type, Search Term, Refined Keyword, Site Search Category, Landing Page, Exit Page
E-commerce Dimensions Affiliation, Bill City, Bill Country/Territory, Bill Region, Days to Transaction, Product SKU, Product, Product Category, Count of Visits to a Transaction
Internal search dimensions Internal Search Terms, Internal Search Refinement, Internal Search Category

Understanding Metrics Categories

Category List of Dimensions
Visitor Metrics Bounces, Bounce Rate, Clicks, Entrances, Exits, % Exit, New Visits, Time on Page, Pageviews, Time on Site, Visits, Visitors
Campaign Metrics Cost, Impressions, CTR, CPC, CPM
Content Metric Unique Pageviews, Total Unique, Searches
E-commerce Metrics Unique Purchases, Product Revenue, Quantity, Revenue, Per Visit Value, RPC, Average Value, Shipping, Tax Transactions
Goal Metrics Goal Starts, Goal Completions, Goal Values
Internal Search Metrics Unique internal searches, Visits with internal searches, Number of internal searches, refinements, Visit duration with search, Visits with Search, Search Refinements, Time after Search, Search Depth, Search Exits

Valid Combinations

Category Valid Combinations
Visitor Dimensions Campaign dimensions, Content metrics, Visitor metrics, Goal metrics, Ecommerce metrics and dimensions, Internal Search metrics and dimensions
Visitor metrics Visitor dimensions, Internal Search dimensions, Campaign dimensions
Campaign Dimensions Campaign metrics, Visitor metrics, Visitor dimensions
Campaign metrics Campaign dimensions
Content Dimensions Content metrics, Goal metrics, Ecommerce metrics
Content metrics Visitor and Content dimensions
E-commerce Dimensions Visit level dimensions, Ecommerce metrics
E-commerce metrics Visitor, E-commerce, Internal Search and Content dimensions
Internal search Dimensions Visit level dimensions and metrics, Goal metrics, Ecommerce metrics, Internal Search metrics
Internal search metrics Visitor and Internal Search dimensions

Designing your custom report

Here is a list of suggested steps to follow before you build your custom report:

  1. Have a general outline of how the data should be presented in your reports. (Build a table).
  2. Select the appropriate pairs of dimensions and metrics. Ask yourself, what kind of dimensions you want to categorize the metrics into?
  3. Create a test report so that you can see how the report will look once it's completed.
  4. Create a relevant name for your custom report

Building your custom report

  1. Select the account you want to create a custom report in.
  2. Click Custom Reporting tab from the top right view of the Google Analytics window.
  3. Select on + New Custom Report. Note that you can also set categories of custom reports for viewing ease as well.
  4. You will now be taken to the Create Custom Report page.
  5. Name your report up top of this page.
  6. You can now click and add each metric on the blue dotted fields labeled metric. To undo any selection, simply click X on the top right corner of the metrics key.
  7. You can now click and add each dimension on the blue dotted field labeled dimensions. You are allowed to have up to four sub-dimensions to drill down to.
  8. You then have the option to add in any filters, as desired as well.

Take a look at the following example:

Custom Report Setup

Develop Custom Reports for the Given Scenario

Duration: 20 to 30 minutes.

1. You would like to see visits, pages/visit and bounces categorized by mediums into one single report. You want this report to have the ability to drill down through this information in reference to countries and cities. Create this report using custom reports.



  1. Select the account you want to create a custom report in (e.g RemoteCourse).
  2. Select any profile you wish and click on Custom Reporting tab.
  3. Select on + New Custom Report. Note that you can also set categories of custom reports for viewing ease as well.
  4. You will now be taken to the Create Custom Report page.
  5. Name your report up top of this page.
  6. Click through and add metrics (Visit, Pages/Visit, Bounces) into the blue dotted fields labeled metric.
  7. Click over to Medium as your top level dimension into the green dotted field labeled dimensions. Click and add Country and City as your sub dimensions.
  8. Click on Test Report to do a test run.
  9. Click on Save Report to complete the process.