How To Leverage Custom Metrics for Faster Analysis

If you set up events well, they will cover all pages to make it faster.

Brad Redding: 

We just learned, in the overview of custom events or behavior events inside of Google analytics, about one of the limitations where if you want to view events by pages, you really have to use event labels. But there’s an even bigger limitation that can come along with wanting to evaluate events from a set of pages. Here we’re looking at the products, which we’re just looking at in the previous video. Event category of products, which contains some different event actions that are really spanning across all products in my catalog. Now, if we wanted to look at, for example, our size fit guide click and evaluate how this particular event action is performing across all different pages, then I can add the secondary dimension of event label. And now I can look at how each individual page and the size fit interaction is performing, how many people are utilizing it, what’s the conversion rate for those sessions, etc.

But now let’s look at how could I view event actions for one specific page, but I want to look at all of the event actions. I want to see for my set of pages, the count of size fit guide clicks, preorder, add to carts, product specs clicks, reviews click, etc., without having to create these reports individually and try to analyze them. The answer to this is custom metrics. Custom metrics is really not a widely used feature that we see inside of Google analytics, but it can really help make the process of fast analysis or bulk analysis really effective without having to wade through, like we were just looking at, tons of reports to merge different event action event label, or ultimately your page URL reports together. Custom metrics are a feature that live on your property level.

Looking at your property settings within Google analytics, all the way at the bottom, you’re going to see you have custom dimensions and custom metrics. On standard GA plans you have a max of 20 custom metrics that you can create. As you can see here, here’s 18 different custom metrics on one account, that are really covering a wide array of interactions that are ultimately tagged as events. Things like newsletter sign up versus interactions on product pages like we’re looking at with reviews click, these are really simple to set up. In the custom metric, you name it, you can select a scope of a hit or a product. If you wanted to apply an enhanced eCommerce custom metric, so something like costs or something similar to that, you can select a product scoped custom metric scope type.

Most of the time it’s going to be hit. And especially what we’ll be looking at here, it hits scoped custom metric with a formatting type of integer, with a minimum value of zero max value of one. And how this works is inside of your tag, in Google tag manager, you’re going to have all of our standard event setups. Here are category action label, and we have our Google analytics setting variable selected here. All you have to do on the tag is click enable override setting on this tag. You’ll have a more settings option and you’ll see the custom metrics where we can set the index and a metric value. The index number two is the exact index. We just go back here. That is listed in your property settings for custom metrics. Newsletter sign up, index of two. We assign index of two, set a metric value of one. Now every time that somebody triggers this events, by signing up for a newsletter, it’s also sending a value of one to this custom metric.

Now the way that we would start to pull that back into our reporting, we’ll look at two different examples here. The first example is, we are looking at a custom report. We have our user engagement with custom metrics assigned. If we just look at how this custom report is created, we have our source medium. These are the metrics that we’ve assigned to this report. Or we have sessions, there’s a newsletter sign up that we just looked at. Here’s a little bonus, which is a newsletter sign up ratio, which is a calculated metric. And then there’s a few other custom metrics that we have assigned here. When you are adding a new metric to the report, you can see custom metrics that you’re able to add to this report.

Just closing this out, you can see we have our source medium, and now we are able to look at by source medium, who’s driving the most signups. This is the calculated metric, which is also a native feature in Google analytics, where we’re just dividing total number of newsletter signups by users. And you can see all the way across. By our channel, we can look at these four or five unique custom events, which are all tags. Just going back here, these are all tags that we’ve created. They’re all pushing in our event category action label, just like we’ve gone through in many different videos. The only difference is we’re attaching a custom metric to this. And now we’re able to analyze in bulk by channel, who’s driving the most interactions and most behavior. Bringing this back to a page, we can do the same thing with our pages.

This is looking at a list of pages and I want to evaluate percentage of email signups, percentage of people who are scrolling 90%, number of social shares, number of a call to action or promo click, by using a custom report where page is the dimension. We’re assigning the custom metrics, just like we looked at in the previous report for source medium. Now I’m able to actually view in bulk how all of my different pages are performing across four or five types of events in bulk. We can sort these, we can filter the report, just like we have looked at with the other event based reporting UI. We can filter it and we can do whatever we want. This is really an answer to if you have 10 features or 10 interactions on your product page, and you want to evaluate them in bulk, this is the way to do it. We create our custom metrics, apply them to our tags and GTM, add them to a report.

Here’s our custom metric list. Add them to our report. Now we can analyze in bulk and these, depending on how you’ve created the report, you can see that we’ve even applied our standard conversion metrics. If we wanted to look at adding in revenue as an example, so we can add in revenue. With this, you can have a combination of behavior metrics like signing up for a newsletter or scrolling on a particular page and evaluating it in the same row, the same reports as your conversion metrics. Conversion rate revenue, average order value, etc. This is a really powerful way to take a limitation of the out of the box custom behavior events, and really maximizing the power of it with another native feature that you can simply use with Google analytics, and a small setting change and Google tag manager. Really unlock the power of your analysis across events on a large subset of pages.


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