This blog post is to help website owners stay informed of their website activity. All too often, we get busy and simply forget to login to our Google Analytics dashboard to see what’s happening. The tool has a couple of ways to stay informed of the activity, by receiving emails on a regular basis. The first method is a predefined Monthly Performance Report that emails one of your accounts. Its alright, an ok start but you can do far better through the Email Reports tool.
Monthly Performance Report
This overall report sends a snapshot of some key website traffic metrics every month. Visits, Bounce Rate, Time on Site and Average Pages. This is a standard report that Google produces, its got the basics and a good one to setup so you can get the numbers at a glance. Here’s an example of one the emails I received on behalf of a client:
To set this report up, sign in to Google Analytics, click the gear icon on the top right, then select User Settings. Select the “Performance Suggestions and Updates” checkbox and save settings. That’s it.
However, if you manage multiple accounts Google Analytics, for some reason, only allows you to set this setting on one account. So when you pick User Settings, it takes you to one of the accounts that it chooses. When you try to switch to another account in User Settings it redirects you to Account Settings. Frustrating to say the least. However, all is not lost, you can still get a similar report on your other accounts, see the next step.
Export and Email Reports
One of my favourite features for business owners is the Email Reports. From any report in Google Analytics, you can have the report emailed to you, your boss, client or anyone. Here, we’re going to start with the Audience Overview report. From the report screen, choose the Email button on the upper left corner.
Form here your email options are as you’d expect, email Subject, Attachments, Frequency, Active period, and email body.
The attachments are mostly data formatted files, Comma or Tabs Separated Values, Spreadsheet formats or the only non-raw data format, PDF. PDF generates an image that is like a print screen of the report page you’re on and include the PDF as an attachment to your email. For our purposes, to stay informed I’m going to set the Google Analytics Audience Overview to email a PDF Weekly on Mondays. A nice way to start the week.
When you would like to receive multiple reports, you’re in luck, you’ve got some great options. You can create a scheduled email report for any report, any frequency. This is simply a user preference, if your website is an integral part of your strategy, set it to weekly, otherwise monthly reports could be fine. However, we recommend to bundle multiple (2-3) reports into one weekly email.
Email Report Active Status, in the drop down in Advanced Options, its default is to be active for 6 months. So if you wonder why in half a year what happened, this is why. There is no indefinite period of time, which is too bad.
How to Bundle Google Analytics Reports
The option to look for when you create your second report, is the “Add to an existing email” from the Email Report popup seen above.
Our Key Reports Bundle
So, now that we have a weekly email for Audience Overview, I’m going to bundle reports from across the Analytics sections. Next will be the report for Acquisition, Overview. go to Email, choose PDF and then Add to an existing email, pick the weekly email we just setup.
Onward we go, next I’ll go to Behaviour Overview and lastly since we’ve setup goals I’m going to add the report Conversions, Goals, Overview report. This bundle is broad by design, it should be just enough for us to see what happened in the last week and if you want to find out more, then you can login to investigate details.
Another bundle of reports might be the Audience reports mentioned in the Google Analytics Review, Understand your Audience section. As you mature your online presence, your reports and measures are going to change. Some of our clients may want to see their ecommerce numbers, or perhaps you’ve setup some customized reports.