Google analytics custom reports

GA Custom Reports QA

Google Analytics can be an extremely powerful tool to convert your raw data into valuable insights to build effective online customer acquisition campaigns. During our most recent webinar, our CEO Udayan Bose and Analytics Manager Don Rodriguez spoke about this very topic. Here are some must-read answers to questions asked by our attendees that will help you better understand how to get the most out of your Google Analytics data.

Q: With Cost Per Acquisiton (CPA) bids going away, what is the alternative?

It’s true that Google is eliminating Max CPA as an option in the Conversion Optimizer algorithm. However, the Target CPA option is still available.  Here is a quote from the article that details Target CPA bidding and also explains why Max CPA is being dropped:

In the coming months, we’ll be removing the ability to set a maximum cost-per-acquisition (max CPA) bid in a campaign using Conversion Optimizer. Soon after, we’ll begin to automatically switch campaigns that are still using max CPA bidding to target cost-per-acquisition (target CPA) bidding. If you’re using a max CPA bid, we recommend switching to a target CPA bid or the target return on spend (ROAS) flexible bid strategy.

Keep in mind the flexible bid strategy options mentioned have some powerful aspects as well.  For example, I’ve worked on campaigns that were incapable of producing 15 conversions in a month, the hurdle you need to clear for the Conversion Optimizer algorithm. For some of these campaigns where we had the typical pareto principle of a handful of keywords driving the lion share of clicks, I was able to use a flexible bid strategy that not only let me manually control my costs on top keywords, but also use Google’s maximize clicks algorithm for the rest.  This produced a notable increase in clicks with a disproportionate increase in cost, i.e. the % increase in clicks outweighed the % increase in costs.

Q: Are there other examples for using Event Tracking in Google Analytics?

Event tracking is a feature of Google Analytics that lets you measure a level of user engagement you won’t find in basics analytics reporting. It can be set up to “record” any clickable action on your web site that does not generate a page-view. For instance, some popular applications include tracking how many users download a piece of content, post a product review, click on a link to an external web site, print a coupon, sign up for email lists and interact with videos – play, stop, rewind, fast forward are all trackable events.  You can learn more about the types of events you can track in the Event Tracker Guide here.

Q: I have multiple accounts in Google Analytics and want to know if there is a way to transfer a custom report from one view to another?

Yes, after playing around in Google Analytics a bit, we were able to find a way to copy a custom report that saved us significant time and helped us streamline the process of gathering the essential information we needed.

Here is the step-by-step process:

The first option is to use the share feature.

As you can see below, go to the customization tab in the account with the report you want to copy.


Then, click share from the Actions drop down menu for the report you wish to copy.

Google Analytics will then give you a URL, which you can paste into an email, an IM or directly in a browser session if you are logged into the account where you want to copy the report design.


This method can help make copying your custom reports a simple process. This way, no matter how many domains you have, you’ll be able to pull all the data you need in as little time as possible.

Q: We are a business that provides free samples on our web site.  That means we have transactions going through the site that have $0 in revenue.  We’d like to do is break it out in GA so that we can view product orders and free sample orders separately.  Can we accomplish this in Google Analytics?

Yes, you can use the advanced segmentation capabilities of GA to create a segment that contains only sessions which include a sample order.  If you define your segment using the following conditions you will end up with a segment of users that ordered a free sample.  The conditions for the segment definition are:

Product Revenue Per Session = 0 AND Transactions Per Session > 0.

This will identify all sessions in your chosen time period that had a transaction and generated no revenue.  The logical AND on the conditions is the key element to filter your sessions appropriately.  You can then use all of the other reports to look at traffic sources, etc.

Please note there may be other ways to accomplish the same thing depending upon the setup of your site and your product data. For example, if your free samples SKUs have a common nomenclature, either in the name or in the unique identifier or SKU number, e.g. 123456-SAMPLE, you could create a segment that includes all sessions generating orders that included a free sample by defining your condition on the Product SKU, Product, Product Category Ecommerce dimensions in GA.

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