The purpose of the template is to get answers faster to questions that cannot be answered in the Universal Analytics interface, or it takes too long to get answers.
Table of contents
- The purpose and the value of the template
- How the template works
- How to get started with the template
The purpose and value of the template
The template was created for data visualization of Universal Analytics data, not the new Google Analytics 4. It consists of two versions:
- For sites where success is assessed by goals.
- For sites where success is assessed by transactions.
They are almost identical. Only in the second version, all metrics by goals were replaced with metrics by transactions. Since my e-commerce site is not configured, some of the charts in the second report are without data. Do not be alarmed, as soon as you connect a view with a correctly configured e-commerce, everything will be fine for you.
If you do not know what a particular metric or parameter in a report means, use this checklist from Google.
The aim of the template is to get answers faster to questions that cannot be answered in Universal Analytics, or it takes too long to get answers.
At the same time, the template does not replace the Universal Analytics interface itself, but only supplements it, since Universal Analytics has reports and functions that cannot be applied in Data Studio: for example, a user journey map, multichannel conversions, cohort analysis, segment comparison, and others.
Two questions may arise here at once.
1. Why create another report if the Data Studio template library is already full of reports on this topic?
There are many templates, but they do not suit me, each one is missing something. Somewhere little data is shown in dynamics, somewhere the design is not very good. But you will carefully study the library, maybe you will like some of the templates more than mine.
2. Why make a report for Universal Analytics if Google is actively moving users to the new Google Analytics 4?
Half of the users have not tried the new analytics yet, and those who have tried it think that GA4 is worse than the old version.
Yes, when creating a new analytics resource, Google strenuously hides the ability to create a resource in the old version, not the new one, and thus a large number of new sites will only have new analytics.
But on sites with old analytics, a large number of integrations, events, reporting are tied up, a lot of data has been collected. And the full transition to new analytics will take a long time. Moreover, many valuable functions from the old analytics are not available in the new version.
Therefore, I think that the report will be relevant for several more years.
How the template works
All template pages contain a calendar, filters and the ability to select Universal Analytics resources available on your Google account.
The Universal Analytics calendar and connector work at the report level – the data specified in them on one page will be applied to all pages of the template.
All pages have a default data range for this year.
Otherwise, they are different.
Let me remind you that if you have configured to achieve different types of goals in Universal Analytics, then you will need to either create a view where the goals will be of the same type or change the metrics inside the report from general data for all goals to data for a specific goal.
Also, the Euro currency is selected in the Goal Value metric in the template. If you copy the report, then this currency will also be displayed in the report, even if you have selected a different currency in Google Analytics. Therefore, after copying, you need to click on the metric and select the currency that is configured by default in your Universal Analytics view.
1. Goal Completions or E-commerce
Consists of three thematic blocks. The first is a table with characteristics of users who have recently reached the goal. This is valuable for those who like to frequently update their statistics or check how certain changes on the site were reflected in the conversion.
The second block, a summary of the main success metrics in tables and charts by dates, weeks, months. You can also change the metrics you want to view on the charts.
This block makes it possible to look for trends in the fall or rise of key metrics from different heights of time.
The third block is static tables with an assessment of the effectiveness of various types of parameters: which landing pages, countries, sources, devices bring the most conversions and revenue.
A table for assessing the effectiveness of traffic sources with delta changes in absolute numbers. For example, in my case, it is clearly noticeable that during this half-year there was traffic from go.mail.ru and baidu searches.
Unfortunately, Data Studio cannot sort a table by delta. If this function is important to you, then export the table in Google Sheets and sort it already there.
Next are the graphs and the corresponding pivot tables:
- User dynamics by the most popular traffic sources;
- Dynamics of achieving goals for the most effective traffic sources by goals.
You can also change which data to display on the chart, but the sorting of parameters will remain the same. For example, in the graph below, you can choose to view the dynamics of users by the most effective sources to achieve goals.
If you want to evaluate the effectiveness of traffic only from referral links, it is better to use Google Analytics backlinks report for this task, since social networks and various junk traffic are filtered from referrals there.
Here, the entire page consists of three types of graphs for each audience parameter:
- dynamics of users by month;
- the number of users in absolute terms;
- share distribution of users.
On the first and second chart views, you can also change metrics in two clicks.
4. Behavior (landing pages)
A table for evaluating the effectiveness of landing pages with delta changes in absolute terms. If you have dashes in the delta, it means that there is no data on the page for the past period: either there were no views on the page, or it did not exist at all at that time.
Grouping traffic sources by the most popular pages by conversion.
All other charts and pivot tables on the page are arranged in the same way as on the Acquisition page.
5. Behavior (pages)
If the main traffic to your site comes from search and users do not look more than 1-2 pages, then this report will largely coincide with the data of the Landing pages report. But for blogs, media, media, forums, where there is a large amount of direct traffic and the number of pages viewed per session, the data can be very different.
The important thing is that Pages has no conversion, only audience engagement metrics. But Google has some cool Page path level parameters that make it easy to filter pages by category if you have them in your page URLs.
6. Behavior (site speed)
Dynamics by speed metrics weekly. You can clearly see when there were some problems with loading the entire site.
Static data by page.
Static data for various parameters on which the page load speed can strongly depend: country, device, browser, and so on.
7. Behavior (site search)
The report will work if you have configured to track search queries on the site.
A static table for the most used queries on the site and metrics that characterize user behavior after the received result on the request.
A table with the place where the search started, the search query and the page that the user went to after the search.
Dynamics of search queries on the chart and in the pivot table.
How to get started with a report
Select a report for the type of conversions by which you measure the effectiveness:
- Report for Goal Completions;
- Report for E-commerce.
You now have three paths.
1. Save link and work without copying
Since every page has a Universal Analytics connector, you can simply open my report and select your resource to see the data.
This is not the best option, since data loading will take more time.
But here’s the plus that any updates that I make to the template, you will immediately see them and be able to work with them.
2. Copy it for your site and do not change anything
Copying is as simple as possible here.
You only need to select one view of the data that you want to connect to the template and that’s it. This is what will be the default in the template. If you have more than one site, then it makes sense to copy the template for each separately.
Further, you do not change anything in the report, but simply use the functionality that is.
3. Copy it for your site and customize it for yourself
You copy the report in the same way as in the previous step, but after copying, you change some settings for yourself.
What you most likely want to change:
- the default date range on the calendar that applies to all charts;
- deltas change from absolute to relative;
- remove/add some parameters or metrics to existing charts and tables.
Even if you redo it a lot, it will already save you a lot of time, since many graphs and tables are easier to edit and duplicate than to create from scratch.
This template is still extensible, especially for e-commerce metrics.