Breaking: Email Reports and PDF Export (in Beta) Now Available in Google Analytics v5 [Screenshots]

OK, I’ve been waiting for this functionality to hit the latest version of Google Analytics for some time, and I’m excited that it’s finally here! From what I gather, this is rolling out gradually (in beta), so not everyone is seeing what I’m seeing. About 10 minutes ago, my Google Analytics session froze. Upon refreshing, I noticed an “Email” button on the action bar with a beta label, along with a new option in the “Export” dropdown. You can now email reports as an attachment (in csv, tsv, tsv for excel, and now PDF!) That’s right, you can email pdf’s, as well as export them separately. You can also schedule emails by frequency (daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly), so you can automatically send reports.

Below are screenshots of the buttons in action:

Email Button in Google Analytics:
Email report functionality in Google Analytics v5

Export to PDF in Google Analytics v5:
Export to PDF functionality in Google Analytics v5

As of now, Google Analytics hasn’t officially stated this is rolling out, but I’m seeing it.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to provide more information until you receive the update!

[Update] Now that I’ve had some time to play with the new functionality, I wanted to explain more about export to pdf and the advanced email functionality in Google Analytics.

1. Export to PDF
From any report, you can easily click the “Export” dropdown in the action bar to export that report as a pdf. There aren’t options for tailoring the report, and it will be exported immediately. As with other reports, you can increase the number of rows exported by altering the table.rowCount parameter in the URL. For example, changing it to “50” will export 50 rows versus the default 10. The report in pdf format includes the trending graph, aggregate metrics for the report you are viewing, and the rows of data with associated metrics (based on the view you are currently in). For example, Site Usage, Goal Set 1, eCommerce, etc.

Sample PDF Report in Google Analytics v5

2. Email Reports (With Scheduling)
The second piece of functionality I’ll cover is the new Email Report functionality. As I explained above, you can also find the “Email” button via the action bar. When you click the button, you are presented with a set of options, including choosing the format of the report. You will notice that “PDF” is now an option. You can also set the frequency for the scheduled report, including once, daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. If you choose weekly, you can then choose the day of the week that the report will be emailed. If you choose monthly, you can choose the day of the month. Last, there is an arrow labeled “Advanced Options”, which enables you to choose how long the scheduled report should be active for. The dropdown list includes 1-12 months.

Scheduling Reports via Email in Google Analytics v5

Wrapping Up – The Power of the PDF
Once your account receives the update, you should test the new functionality for exporting pdf’s. I think you’ll like it. This is something that’s been much needed for some time. Now let me go schedule some more reports. :)

GG

How To Create a Custom Report in Google Analytics by Customizing a Standard Report [Tutorial]

Custom Reports in Google Analytics

Custom reports in Google Analytics are incredibly powerful.They enable you to tailor reporting, based on your own business, your own conversion goals, key metrics, etc.The problem is that custom reports can be confusing to create. You have metric drilldowns, dimension groups, report views, filters, etc. If you aren’t familiar with creating custom reports, the interface could be daunting. That said, you shouldn’t give up trying to create custom reports! Again, they can be very powerful for analyzing traffic.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through creating a custom report that displays organic search traffic from mobile devices. The report will also enable you to view those visits by location. It’s a nifty custom report for any local business. The report lets you quickly view top keywords leading to your site via organic search (mobile traffic), but also lets you view how many of those visits are from potential buyers (people located near your business).

In addition, Google recently released functionality for customizing a standard report versus having to create every custom report from scratch. This is a great option if you are new to custom reports and want to tailor some of the existing reports in Google Analytics to fit your needs.

Creating a Custom Report from a Standard Report
As I mentioned earlier, we’ll start with a standard report in Google Analytics and tailor it to meet our goals. Since we are going to create a report showing organic search from mobile devices, let’s start with the Mobile Overview report and customize it to display:

  • Organic keywords leading to the site (mobile traffic).
  • The region those visits are from (i.e. states).
  • The cities within those regions that visits are coming from.
  • The mobile operating system from those visits (android, iphone, etc.)

The goal of the report is to know the organic keywords leading to the site from mobile visits, and how many of those visits are from potential customers (people located near your business).

How to Create the Custom Report (from a Standard Report)

1. Open up Google Analytics, click the “Audience” tab, and then expand the “Mobile” link in the left side navigation. Click the “Overview” link to view the Mobile Overview report.

Accessing the Mobile Overview Report in Google Analytics

2. Click the “Customize” link in the action bar of the report. This will enable you to customize this report for your own needs (by creating a custom report based on this standard report). Note, not all standard reports can be customized this way. Tabular reports can be customized this way, but you will find other reports within GA that cannot be converted to custom reports:

Customizing a Standard Report in Google Analytics

3. When you click “customize”, the standard report will be loaded into “report builder”. The initial view will show you the current report mapped out already in report builder. Then you can tailor the various elements, based on what you are trying to achieve with your own custom report.

Report Builder in Google Analytics

4. You can keep the current metric groups if you want. If you ever want to go back and customize the metric groups, you can by editing the custom report. For example, you definitely want to set up various conversion goals and events so you can better understand quality traffic. Once you do, you can add them to your metric groups so you can view performance by traffic in your custom report.

5. Under dimension drilldowns, you will only see “Mobile” listed. Adding more dimensions will enable you to drill into each level to find more data. As I explained above, we want to drill into mobile traffic to reveal the organic keywords leading to the site. Then we want to view location by region and state. So, let’s add those additional dimensions to our report.

Adding Dimensions to a Custom Report in Google Analytics

6. Click the “Add Dimension” box in dimension drilldowns and select “Keyword” from the “Advertising” list.

Adding More Dimensions to a Custom Report in Google Analytics

7. Next, add more dimensions to your report. Click the “Add Dimension” box again, and include the “Region” dimension from the “Visitors” list. After adding “Region”, you should go through the same process to add another dimension for “City”.

Adding Location Dimensions to a Custom Report in Google Analytics

8. Filter Your Traffic
The last step is to make sure the traffic is only from organic search. We only want to view mobile traffic from organic search, so we need to tell Google Analytics to filter that traffic for us. Click the “Add a Filter” box under the “Filters” category. Select the “Medium” dimension under the “Traffic Sources” list. Then select “include” from the first filter dropdown, leave “Medium” as the dimension, leave “Exact” in the third dropdown, and then enter “organic” in the text box (without quotes). See the screenshot below to follow along. This text tells Google Analytics to include all traffic that exactly matches “organic” as the medium. “Organic” is what’s listed for all organic search traffic.

Filtering Traffic in a Custom Report in Google Analytics

Congratulations! You just created a custom report, based on a standard report. Click “Save” at the bottom of the report and you’ll be taken to the functioning report in Google Analytics.

You can start drilling into the report by clicking “Yes” in the mobile report, which will reveal all organic keywords from mobile traffic. Then you can click any keyword to view the region those visits are from. If you click the region, you can view the cities within that region. Again, this report can help you identify mobile traffic from organic search, the keywords being searched for, and identify if these are potential customers (based on their proximity to your local business).

Bonus: Access the Custom Report Template
As an added bonus, I have shared the template for this custom report and you can access it by clicking the link below. Once you click the link, you can add this template to a Google Analytics profile and start using the report today. You can also analyze the report setup so you can work through creating similar custom reports. Click the following link to access the custom report for organic search visits from mobile devices.

Summary – Customize It!
I hope this post helped clear up some of the confusion associated with building custom reports in Google Analytics. I love that Google added the ability to customize standard reports, since that’s sometimes all you want to do… If you are new to custom reports, then I recommend starting with a standard report and then customizing that report to fit your needs. Going through that process should help you get more comfortable with working in report builder and could lead to more advanced custom reports. And that can all lead to advanced analysis of your traffic. Good luck.

GG

How To Use Google Plus Ripples To Analyze Content, Sharing, and Influencers

How To Use Google Plus Ripples

Being neck deep in digital marketing, I can’t get my hands on enough data! Analytics is a core service of mine at G-Squared and I’m always looking for more sources of quality data (and tools that give me that data). Based on my experience over the past 16 years, I’m a firm believer that digital strategies should be guided by hard data and not opinion. And to me, Social Media Marketing should be no different. Yes, it can be a bit more challenging to get that information, but performance should dictate future efforts.

A core piece of Social Media Marketing involves the building and sharing of content. This includes developing the right content and sharing that content via number of mechanisms. It’s also incredibly important to build a following across social networks in order to spark that sharing, when you need it. That said, there are many times that marketers build some content, quickly shorten a URL, share on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, and then lose sight of that content as it hits the web. Sure, you can get some insight via various tools in the market, but it’s darn hard to track content as it gets shared across social networks. That’s an unfortunate reality.

So, wouldn’t it be cool if you could post an update and then view how that update was shared across a specific social network, including identifying influencers along the way? Yes, that’s my subtle lead-in to a free social analytics tool that enables you to do just that. It’s called Google Plus Ripples, it’s already live, and you can tap into its power right now. In addition, I’m going to help you understand more about Ripples and how you can use the functionality to impact your digital marketing efforts.

An Introduction to Google+ Ripples
Google Plus Ripples presents an interactive graph of public shares on Google+. It’s free to use and comes built-in with Google+. Ripples will visually show you who has shared a public post, along with any reshares. People who have shared a post will show up as a circle in the graph, and inside their circle, you can see others who have reshared that person’s post.

In addition, the size of each circle reflects the relative influence of that person. While interacting with the Ripple, you can hover over a member’s name to reveal their photo, name with a link to their profile, and their comment when they reshared the post. The graph is interactive, so you can zoom in, move around, etc. It’s awesome and enables you to drill into the various people (and now pages) that are sharing posts. To access a Ripple, click the dropdown arrow in the upper right-hand corner of any public post in Google+. Then click “View Ripples”.

Here is a screenshot of a Ripple in action:
Google Plus Ripples

Hovering over a user brings up their share, comments, and a link to their profile:
Viewing a share in Google Plus Ripples

The right sidebar contains the comments users have added when resharing the post. These are the same comments you will see if you hover over a person’s name in the graph. The sidebar lets you get a quick view of the comments people are adding as they reshare a post.

Viewing Public Shares in Google Plus Ripples Sidebar

But we’re not done yet. Below the graph is a timeline that shows how the post has been reshared over time. You can click the play button to view an animated representation of how that post has been shared by users on Google+.

Viewing The Share Timeline Google Plus Ripples

And last, but not least, you can view additional statistics below the timeline, including Social Hubs (people with the most reshares), the average chain length, and the native language in which the post was shared.

Additional Statistics in Google Plus Ripples

A few important notes:
* Ripples only show public shares, so you are not seeing 100% of the activity for each post.
* Ripples will show activity over the past 53 days. I don’t know why 53 days was chosen, but that’s what is listed in Google’s Help Center for Ripples.
* You can share any Ripple, by copying the URL and sharing with others.

How Digital Marketers Can Use Ripples:
I don’t know about you, but I think this is a pretty nifty tool Google has given us for free. Used properly, it can provide important insight for digital marketers. I have provided some ways you can use Ripples today to analyze how content gets shared across Google+.

1. Find and Connect With Influencers by Vertical
Finding the right people to connect with across social networks can be a daunting task. Google Plus Ripples enables you to see who has interest in specific pieces of content, who reshares posts, what they are saying about those posts, etc. In addition, you have a mechanism for viewing their profile right from Ripples (by clicking their names in the graph or from the right sidebar). This enables you to find people that 1) are actively sharing content, 2) are interested in content within a specific category, and 3) might be providing how they feel about that topic via their comments. That’s outstanding data for anyone looking to follow the right people.

For example, if you focus on selling the latest computer gear, then finding people that actively share content about computer gear is obviously a smart thing to do. Using Ripples, you can find those people, and then find the downstream users that reshared posts. Compare that process to browsing Circles to find people to connect with. I’ll take a user that actively shares over a profile bio any day of the week. :) Remember, these can be the people that end up resharing your own posts about a given subject.

2. Analyze How Various Types of Content Get Shared (and Which Types of Content Get Shared The Most).
If you are developing a content generation strategy, then analyzing Ripples can be incredibly powerful. Using the functionality in Ripples, you can identify the types of content that get shared heavily, how that content is written or presented, and which members are sharing it. You can also view comments about the content, which can tailor your own content generation plan.

For example, you can track how blog posts, videos, infographics, and whitepapers all get shared within your vertical. Based on the data you collect via Ripples, you can tailor your own content plan (which can give you a greater chance of success). Building content takes time, resources, and money. Ripples enable you to analyze what works and what doesn’t within your specific category. You can also combine this data with an inbound link analysis to view activity, shares, comments, and then inbound links that the content has built. More about linkbuilding below.

3. Using Ripples Data for Linkbuilding
Linkbuilding for SEO is extremely important. When developing a linkbuilding strategy, you want to identify the right content to produce, while also finding the right people to connect with that can potentially link to your new content. Google Plus Ripples provides a way to view both pieces of data.

As I explained earlier, you can view how pieces of content get shared and who is sharing that content. But then you can also correlate that information with the number and quality of inbound links the content is generating. Therefore, you can determine what to build, and who to connect with, in order to start building high quality links to your content.

Summary – Watch the Ripples
I hope this post helped explain what Ripples are and how to use them to analyze content, shares, and influencers on Google+. I’m excited that Google decided to empower users by providing a free social analytics tool that’s interactive, easy to use, and extremely valuable. Now it’s time for you to try out Google Plus Ripples. I have a feeling once you dig in, you’ll see how powerful it can be.

GG

G-Squared News: Glenn Gabe in Direct Marketing News and Google Analytics Featured Articles

I rarely take the time to post updates on my blog about company news, as I try to keep The Internet Marketing Driver focused on providing helpful digital marketing posts! That said, I’m really excited about some recent G-Squared Interactive news and decided to post an update today.

Direct Marketing News
First, in July I wrote a post on Search Engine Journal about Google+ Advertising Opportunities, based on the recent launch of Google’s social platform. That blog post was quickly noticed by Direct Marketing News, and a quote from my post was featured in the August issue. You can see a screenshot from the magazine below, and you can view the entire article as a PDF. If you end up reading the entire post on Search Engine Journal, you’ll understand the incredible opportunity Google has for connecting Search and Social, which is something that no other company has done in the past. Google could potentially add billions of dollars in advertising revenue via Google+, and my post explains some possible ways it can be implemented. You should check it out if you haven’t already.

Glenn Gabe in Direct Marketing News – Click the image below to view the full article (PDF):
Glenn Gabe in Direct Marketing News Regarding Google+

Google Analytics Featured Articles
In addition, I have exciting news about some of my analytics-focused blog posts. In June, Google reached out to me regarding my post about using Advanced Segments in Google Analytics to Identify SEO Problems. It ends up Google decided to feature that post in the Google Analytics Help Center! The featured article went live last month. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see Google feature one of my posts. I love writing in-depth tutorials about using Google Analytics to analyze digital marketing campaigns, Search traffic, etc., so I was honored to have Google feature one of those articles. In addition, I found out that several more of my posts will be listed in Google Analytics Help Center in the coming months. I will post updates here on my blog when that happens.

Glenn Gabe’s post about using Advanced Segments Featured in the Google Analytics Help Center:
Glenn Gabe's Post About Advanced Segments and SEO Featured in The Google Analytics Help Center

Subscribe to My Blog, Follow Me On Twitter, and Connect on Google+
Although I write extensively here on The Internet Marketing Driver, I’m also a columnist at Search Engine Journal and a contributor at the Microsoft adCenter blog. You should definitely subscribe to my blog to keep up with my latest posts about digital marketing. In addition, you should follow me on Twitter. My Twitter stream contains a constant flow of the latest news and information on technology, search engine marketing, web analytics, social media strategy, etc. You should also connect with me on Google+, which as you can probably guess, I’m a big fan of. :)

I look forward to sharing more exciting news from G-Squared.

GG

How To Quickly View Mobile Visitor Performance in Google Analytics Using The New Mobile Reports [Tutorial]

Analyzing Mobile Performance in Google Analytics

As smartphone sales boom, and mobile traffic is on the increase, I’m finding many marketers are unclear about mobile visitor performance. I say this because whenever mobile comes up during conversations, I ask how well that traffic is converting, and I typically hear crickets (unfortunately). On a similar note, there are some marketers that are making decisions about creating mobile apps, mobile websites, transforming content, etc. without analyzing their mobile traffic. They hear that Android phones, iPhones, and iPads are selling like crazy, so their knee-jerk reaction is to make serious changes to their websites. That’s dangerous, since they are basing changes on opinion and not data. And if you’ve read previous posts of mine, you know I’m a firm believer in basing changes on hard data. It’s one of the reasons that analytics is a core service of mine.

So, if you are wondering how your mobile traffic compares to your desktop/laptop traffic, then this post is for you. I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to use the new Google Analytics to understand top-level mobile performance. Note, you’ll probably want to dig much deeper than what I’m going to show you, but this process will give you real data about mobile performance. I want you to be comfortable the next time your CMO brings up mobile traffic at your weekly meeting. As everyone else in the room is nervously quiet, you can be the one that starts presenting real numbers, based on Google Analytics reporting. Let’s dig in.

Gaining a Mobile Baseline
In order to make smart and informed decisions about mobile strategy, you need to at least have a basic understanding of how your current mobile traffic is performing. In addition, it’s a wise move to have data points handy when asked how your current site handles mobile visitors. For example, if your CEO or CMO suddenly want to know the percentage of revenue or conversion coming from mobile visitors. As explained earlier, instead of awkward silence, you can be the one speaking up and giving hard numbers.

Using the methods listed below, you can fire up Google Analytics, access just a handful of reports, and view performance data for mobile visitors. In addition, you can view mobile performance by operating system (iPhone, Android, iPad, Blackberry, etc.), since we know that’s the next logical question your CMO will ask. :) Before we hop in, you’ll be happy to know that the latest version of Google Analytics provides mobile reports that contain this information. Using this data, you can quickly understand if mobile visitors are having problems when visiting your site, if they are bouncing, not converting, etc. After you run this top-level reporting, you can choose to dig deeper, identify changes to make, and form a stronger mobile strategy.

Two Quick Methods for Viewing Top-Level Mobile Performance
I’m going to explain two quick methods for accessing mobile reporting in Google Analytics. Both reports are contained in the Mobile reporting tab within the Visitors section of Google Analytics. The first will enable us to see a top-level report for desktop and mobile visitors, while the second report will enable us to view mobile visitors by operating system.

Accessing Mobile Reporting in Google Analytics:
In the new Google Analytics, you can access mobile reporting in the Audience section of the UI. Click Audience, and then Mobile to reveal two reports (Overview and Devices). Note, Google Analytics has updated the interface, and the tab used to be named Visitors.

Accessing the mobile reports in Google Analytics

The first report we are going to access is the “Overview” report. This report simply shows mobile visitors versus non-mobile visitors. Although this looks like a simple report, it can show you the overall performance difference between the two segments of traffic (mobile and desktop visitors). Once you access the report, you’ll see two rows of data, one labeled “Yes” for mobile visitors, and the other “No” for non-mobile visitors. View the screenshot below.

Click the image below to view a larger version:
The mobile overview report in Google Analytics

At this point, all of your mobile traffic is lumped into the “Yes” row. You can quickly view top-level metrics like Bounce Rate, Pages Per Visit, Average Time on Site, etc. After taking a quick look at the report, how does the Bounce Rate look for mobile visitors? If you see a much higher bounce rate with your mobile traffic, it could obviously mean they are not having a great experience on your site. You might start asking some questions at this point… Does your current site render ok for mobile visitors? Is your navigation missing or broken on mobile devices? Can users convert, complete a transaction, etc? When helping clients review this data, I’ve seen some reports show a bounce rate for mobile visitors twice that of desktop visitors. There’s probably an issue if you see this…

Checking Conversion for Mobile Visitors
If you have set up multiple conversion goals, then click the Goal Set tabs.

Viewing mobile conversion in Google Analytics

Now you can see the difference between desktop and mobile visitors with regard to conversion. If you run an e-commerce site, you can view revenue numbers for each segment, as well. Again, we are just looking at a top-level view right now. Based on what you find, you will probably want to dig much deeper into traffic sources, campaigns, keywords, content, etc., but that’s for another post. :)

By the way, notice the process you are going through to analyze mobile traffic in Google Analytics is quick and easy, but also very powerful. Many companies I speak with aren’t armed with even the most basic data regarding mobile performance. By quickly going through this process, you will have a top-level view of mobile performance based on data. This will enable you to make informed decisions about how to best move forward with your site content, how to drive conversion via mobile visitors, etc. Basically, you’ll have data backing your case.

Viewing Mobile Traffic by Operating System
Let’s say that mobile traffic has a high bounce rate and low conversion (obviously). Your next question might be, “which mobile operating systems perform best or worst on my site?” For example, Android vs. iPhone vs. Blackberry vs. iPad. The good news is that you can quickly see the breakdown via the “Devices” report in the Mobile reporting in Google Analytics. Once you click the “Devices” report, you can dimension the report by mobile operating system by clicking the “Operating System” link (which is located horizontally at the top of the report.) See screenshot below.

Viewing mobile reporting by operating system in Google Analytics

Once you click the operating system dimension, you will see all of your mobile visits broken down by mobile operating system. Then you can go through the same process we used above to view bounce rate, conversion, revenue, etc. You might find that certain OS’s have more problems than others. For example, maybe iPad traffic has a 92% bounce rate and very low conversion rates, where Android phones have a 42% bounce rate and decent conversion rates. You won’t know until you run the reporting. And again, you will probably want to dig deeper once you get a top-level view by OS. But again, that’s for another post.

Fast and Easy Can Still Be Powerful
The next time you’re in a meeting and someone asks how mobile visitors perform on your website, you can now be armed with data. As I’ve mentioned before, don’t base decisions on opinion when you can analyze hard data via Google Analytics reporting. In just minutes, you can gain a top-level view of mobile visitor performance, and then dig deeper to view performance by mobile operating system.

Are you ready to analyze your own site now? Don’t hesitate, go and access the reports I just covered in this post. You never know what you’re going to find.

GG