Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    Google Analytics: Setting up a Custom Growth Report

    This isn't a trade secret or anything, but everybody should know how to quickly set up a custom Google Analytics report that tracks all the growth campaigns they are running.

    A recent conversation with Marek from CrowdTilt about growth tactics inspired this blog post.  At one point in the conversation, Marek asked me how much time I spent gathering and deciphering analytics versus actually executing a growth tactic.  This question confused me because I spend close to no time looking sorting through the analytics of the tactics I am executing.  Marek's question made me wonder if I was spending too little time on analytics.  However, I soon realized that Marek was tracking his analytics in an extremely time intensive way, while acting on the same data points I was.

    I think it was Eric Ries that said something about making all your data easily accessible and in one place.  Basically, analytics only works when it is easy and fast.  The majority of time should be spent executing and testing tactics, not gathering analytics and deciphering what tactic is working.  

    Image representing Google Analytics as depicte...
    Image via CrunchBase
    "Everything in one place" is the philosophy when I set up a custom Google Analytics report (Good tutorial on setting up custom reports).  Basically, I get all the results of my growth campaigns to show up in one custom report by tagging all my campaign links with the same unique UTM.

    An example of a custom report I set up:

    As you can see, there is a filter for the Source UTM "JLAUTest1" which means that only traffic coming in with a link tagged with that Source UTM shows up in the report.  I distinguish between tactics by tagging the Campaign UTMs accordingly.  It is best to name the Campaign UTMs in a way that you can immediately tell what tactic it relates to.

    Campaign UTMs allow me to see which tactic the traffic came from

    Building UTM tagged links painlessly

    The Google Analytics URL Builder Chrome extension is ugly but it works!
    I quickly build all my UTM links using the Google Analytics URL Builder Chrome extension.  The extension lets me save presets as well, so I do not have manually renter in the UTM each time.  It even has built in shortening so I can track clicks in real time.  I advise using the bundling feature in to stay organized with your links.


    It really is that easy and quick to track which one of your growth tactics is working.
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