Report Displaying Exactly How You Want It? Save It as a Shortcut

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Shorcuts preserve report settings.

If you’ve applied any special report settings that you want to easily access again, you can save a shortcut. In this way, shortcuts are somewhat akin to custom reports, in that they preserve specific report settings.

Shortcuts save the report as configured with any of the following features:

advanced segments

secondary dimension

• table filters, default and advanced

• table sorting by column

Comparison, Percentage, and other display types

One point to note is that shortcuts are not available under Share Assets in the view admin. Although it certainly would be useful to share shortcuts, advanced segments are created on a user-by-user basis, so the other GA users with whom you’d want to share the shortcut would not necessarily have all the necessary dependencies to recreate the shortcut configuration on their end.

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“Unique” Pageviews and Events Can Sound Like the Opposite of What They Mean

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Unique pageviews represent the number of sessions during which the page was viewed at least once.

In Google Analytics, unique events and unique pageviews almost mean the opposite of what they sound like.

The unique events metric doesn’t indicate the number of unique times that an event occurred, but instead the the number of sessions during which this event occurred at least one time. Same thing for unique pageviews: the number of sessions during which the page was viewed at least one time.

It seems like the idea behind these metrics is that sometimes the fact that someone saw a page or completed an event at least once during a visit/session is more important than the number of times that this happened.

For instance, a page gets page value or counts towards a goal funnel the same way whether it was viewed one time or ten times prior to a goal or transaction. Similarly, if you set up an advanced segment based on page or event, the number of times that the page was viewed or event was completed during a session (or across all sessions if you set you advanced segment to User scope) doesn’t matter, as long as this happened at least once.

When you see unique as part of a metric name, think in terms of sessions.

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View Traffic by Day of the Week

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You can display session by day of the week in a custom report.

Over the last six months, which day of the week saw the most visits to your site?

You won’t find an answer, at least not in aggregated numbers, within the standard Google Analytics reports, but we can easily display this data in a custom report.

First step is to create a custom report in Explorer format, with Day of Week Name defined as the primary dimension and Session (as well as other metrics, such as Bounce Rate, as needed) as the metric.

Once we display the custom report, we can apply Day of Week (as the numbers 0-6) as a secondary dimension so we can sort the report from first day of the week to last (Sunday-Friday). We can also apply alternate displays, such as Percentage or Performance, instead of the default Data display.

Don’t forget to take advantage of custom reports. They’re easy to use and available individually to each user, and they often allow you to display dimensions and metrics in ways that are not possible in the standard reports.

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Chart Visits from Specific Traffic Sources Using the Plot Rows Feature

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Two dimension values are charted using Plot Rows.

By default, the main “over-time” graphic in Google Analytics reports displays an aggregate metric for all dimension values, but you can also use the Plot Rows feature to chart up to six specific dimension values.

Plot Rows is simple and easy to overlook, but it can be a quick and powerful way to break down aggregate trends into more specific insights.

Also keep in mind that you can select metrics other than the default to display in the chart. For instance, in the All Traffic report, we can display Ecommerce Revenue instead of the default Sessions metric.

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To Chart Metrics Relative to Site Average, Switch to Comparison Display

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Comparison display shows metrics for each dimension value relative to site average.

Most reports in Google Analytics default to the Data display, which presents report metrics in table format. Somewhat hidden in each report, however, are a variety of options for displaying your data.

Among these is the Comparison display, which allows you to chart a metric for each dimension value (that is, each row within a table) against the site average, such as bounce rate for each site referrer. One report that does default to Comparison display is Behavior > Site Speed > Page Timings.

The bad news? At this time, Google Analytics does not support Comparison display in dashboard widgets, which is exactly where we would want to take advantage of this easy-to-understand format for our data.

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