How to Create a Google Analytics Custom Report

We are drowned in too much data and it becomes so overwhelming we start to ignore analytics.  Application developers keep on adding on more and more analytics whereas sometimes we just want a simple report.

Do you celebrate your good results?  We do!  Here’s a picture of my mum and dad when we were out celebrating a good month.  We’re Irish so of course we celebrate over a drink!


Ians mum and dad

When you get good results why not celebrate them! – A picture of Ian’s mum and dad on a happy occasion


Ok, Let’s move on!

Google analytics provides you with the ability to create custom reports which can be e-mailed to you daily, weekly or monthly.  You can set up these reports so they are suitable to your needs and this means you can ignore the noise and focus on what is important to your business.

One part of our site that is important to us is e-mail conversions.  I want to know how many conversions we get and I want to know what is the source of these conversions.  Is it from twitter or Facebook, from guest blogs we did, articles we appeared in or other.  If you know you get great conversion from a particular task or site this encourages you to do more of it.

In this post I give a demonstration of a weekly report I set up based on eMail conversions on the site.

1.  Creating the report

In Google Analytics select the customization option followed by ‘New Custom Report’.


Create a new custom report

Create a new custom report


In the example below the report we want is one that shows where traffic is coming from, how many email conversions we get from this traffic and what is the overall conversion rate.  We want to see is Facebook working better than twitter, is guest posting on blogs working on some blogs better than others etc.

Note: For this to work you will need to set up goals.  Read our post on which shows how to set up goals in google analytics.


Google analytics custom report setup

This is where you set up your report


1  Enter the overall name of the custom report.

2. Within the report you can have multiple sub reports.  So add one on if you want one!

3. Each sub report needs a name.

4. Decide on the type of report you want.

  • Explorer report  – This is the same style you are used to when looking at Google analytics data.
  • Flat Table – The flat table report is if you want a very basic table report, you’ll probably use this if you want to export your report to excel.
  • Map Overlay -  The map overlay report is a report that shows you your data on a map.  Use this if you want to see results by country.

5. Metric Groups – These are the rows within the table that you want displayed.  In our example above I have selected the following:

  • New Visits – The number of new visits to the site (this will be broken down by source, see dimension below)
  • eMail Conversion Goal – The total number of people that converted to an e-mail subscriber
  • eMail Conversion Rate – The percentage conversion which is visits divided by goals achieved.

6. Dimension Drill Down – This is how how you want the metrics above displayed.  In our case I want to display the source (where the traffic is coming from) so I can see where we are getting the best conversion.

7. Filter – You may want to filter out some traffic or data from your report.

8. Additional Profiles – If you have more than one website you may want to use this report for other websites/profiles.

Running the Report

When you run the report you see a graphical display which shows the visits and then it will show a summary of statistics for visits and conversions.


Google analytics graph report

An overview in graph format of your traffic/conversions


You can also drill down to find out what the traffic is coming from and which channel is getting the best conversion.  In the example below LinkedIn is achieving the highest conversion rate so this could be a channel we should spend more time on.


Google Analytics Report

This shows you the type of report you can get

2. Set up an automated eMail

Once you have a the report set up you should then set up an automated eMail so you get it on a weekly basis.  By reviewing these figures on a weekly basis this will help significantly to focus your attention on improving conversion and spending time in the right places!


Google Analytics email setup

Select the ‘email’ option within the report


Then configure the settings for the email you want sent.  You can define the address you want it sent to, the day of the week it should be sent, format of the report etc.


Google analytics email report setup

Configure the settings for the report that will be emailed


So there you go!  Now you’re ready to set up a Google analytics custom report and you will become more focussed on conversion.

Let me know if you have any custom reports and/or if this post was useful to you.



  • Kelly Hungerford

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the great, straightforward and easy to understand post on a what seems to be, for me at least, a not-always-so-straightforward-tool to configure. I think you could author a Google e-book (hint)!

    Couple questions for you:
    -Have you compared Google stats to any other service’s? I ask because we experienced a delta in percentages when comparing.
    -Are you tracking links opened in mails with Google also?

    Love the picture of your mom and dad. Nice touch!

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Kelly. My plan is certainly to do an eBook. I just have another couple of posts to go!!!

      I have noticed differences in tools also. For example, my aweber e-mail conversion stats and my goals end up different. I must try and see what results this brings up.

      Nope, not tracking links opened in emails, I use aweber for that. I was considering trying this out using something like or using custom links using Google. What do you guys use?


    • Christian Karasiewicz

      @twitter-240851123:disqus, Google Analytics stats will differ from many other analytics tools. Which services are you comparing?

  • Erick Treetops

    yes that is nice and simple. But is there a way to just get totals in a custom report that is emailed to you. I don’t want a daily list of all visits just a total of visit for th whole month. But there doesn’t appear to be a way to just have totals. Am i mistaken ?

    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Erick,

      Did you try changing the report so it’s a monthly view (top right) and then get an excel report. This can show you just totals, if that’s all you have in your graph?


  • Adma L

    There are only 10 records/rows show in the excel file send via the scheduled email. How to have all the records/rows exported to the excel file?

  • Richard

    Hi Ian

    Very well written. Couple of questions for you.

    1. When an automated GA report is set up and emailed as a scheduled PDF report it only shows the first 10 rows of data, how can it be set up to show all the rows when sent weekly etc?

    2. How can you add graphics to the email text or even font formats?

  • Derek

    You may like our tool as well. We’ve found that most people find the Google Analytics reporting emails to be too complicated and include too much information to read through. We created a tool to email you an overview of your most important information that matters whenever you want to get your reports and you can brand it so your clients don’t know we are even there.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Derek, I’ve added it to the list to check out. It reminds me of Quill Engage. Ian

  • SpidiWeb

    Hi, Can we change the displayed line graph to bar graph in any manner? To me, Bar chart is more easily readable.

    Please respond asap.


    • Ian Cleary

      Unfortunately you can’t!