Access Google Analytics
In order to perform the steps below, you will need to have Google Analytics installed on your site and have access to the statistics using a Google Account.
If you have a WordPress site, the Analytics code is already installed and we can grant access to any Google Account. If you don’t already have an account, or would like to use a BU Google Apps account, create one now.
Once you have access, you can view statistics for Boston University by following these steps:
- Log in to Google Analytics at http://www.google.com/analytics/.
- Under the main Boston University heading, expand http://www.bu.edu, and then select Boston University.
This will show you the statistics for all of BU.
Create a Custom Report
Custom Reports work the same way as standard Google Analytics views (e.g. Audience > Overview or Content > All Pages). If you regularly view the same sets of data in Google Analytics, creating a Custom Report lets you easily view them all in one place.
Custom reports are attached to your Analytics account, and will not be visible to other users unless you choose to share them.
The following steps will walk you through creating a simple Custom Report that shows analytics data for just your site.
- In the upper left-hand corner of the menu bar, make sure you have selected the default Google Analytics Profile for www.bu.edu. This is the profile that displays all data for sites at www.bu.edu.
- In the menu bar at the top of the page, click Customization.
- Click the button that reads New Custom Report.
- Enter a Title for the Report, typically your site’s name.
- Edit the tab Name if you like; this report will use only one tab.
- For Type, click Flat Table.
- Dimensions are the aspects of your site you are choosing to measure. Click Add Dimension.
- In the list of Dimensions, click Behavior to expand this section, and select Page.
- Metrics are the sets of data you will be viewing for your Dimensions. Click Add Metric.
- In the list of Metrics, click Visitors to expand this section, and select Pageviews.
- Repeat steps 9 and 10 to add Metrics for Unique Pageviews, Visits, Unique Visitors, New Visits, Bounces, and Bounce Rate.
- In the Filters section, click add filter.
- In the list of Filters, click Behavior to expand this section and select Page.
- Ensure the drop-down menu before Page is set to Include.
- Set the dropdown after Page to Regex.
- In the text field following Regex, enter ‘^/site/’, where ‘site’ is the directory for your website at www.bu.edu. For example, for www.bu.edu/research/ you would enter ‘^/research/’. This will limit the data shown in the report to pages within your site.
- Click Save at the bottom of the page.
- The resulting table will show you sortable data about visits and pageviews for the pages on your site. You can experiment with adding different Dimensions and Metrics to capture the data that interests you.
- While viewing the Custom Report, you can edit its settings by clicking Edit in the subnavigation below the report name. From anywhere in the Custom Reporting section of Google Analytics, you can click Overview in the left column to view and edit your Custom Reports.
Share Your Custom Report
You can share your Custom Reports with other users of Google Analytics. When you share your report you are sharing its settings only. If you subsequently make changes to the Report, you would have to share it again for the other user to get the changes.
- Go to the Custom Reports Overview by clicking Customization in the top menu, or, if already in Custom Reports, click Overview in the left column.
- Find your Custom Report in the list and click Actions.
- Click Share.
- An alert will pop up with a URL. Send this URL to another BU Google Analytics user. When they follow this URL they will be prompted to apply your Custom Report setup to one of their Google Analytics Profiles. They should apply it to the same Profile you did (the default Profile for www.bu.edu).