Internet Marketing

Calculated Metrics: Measure your Google Analytics data and drive action

17. 12. 2015

At 9thCO, we believe that strategic business decision-making should be based on actual data rather than a hunch. Google Analytics is constantly evolving and has recently introduced a Calculated Metrics feature, making it possible to perform calculations on standard metrics right in Google Analytics’ interface.

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can provide us with a wealth of data including how many people are visiting our site (views), how long are they staying (average duration), and where they are coming from (geographic location). By putting these important individual data pieces together, we can analyze meaningful data to help influence important business decisions for our clients and ultimately drive action.

Examples of Calculated Metrics

Total goal completions per user

In many cases, we have multiple goals set up for our clients, for example, tracking if a user downloads a brochure, makes a call, or submits a form. If you want to see how many goals a user on average completes, you can use the following formula:

Name: Total Inquiry Goal Completions
Type: Integer
Formula: {{Form Submit (Goal 1 Completions)}} + {{Brochure Download (Goal 2 Completions)}} + {{Phone Call (Goal 3 Completions)}}

Revenue per user

One of the most important Calculated Metrics for any e-commerce website is to know how much each user spends on average. This can now easily be done within Google Analytics, using the following calculated metric:

Name: Revenue per User
Type: Currency
Formula: {{Revenue}} / {{Users}}

Pageviews per user

While we can easily see how many pages have been viewed per session, we can now track the average amount of pageviews per user, giving us better insight into the behaviours of each visitor.

Name: Pageviews Per User
Type: Integer
Formula: {{Pageviews}} / {{Users}}

Revenue from CAD to USD

Converting the currency of your total revenue can also easily be done in Google Analytics use the following formula:

Name: Revenue from CAD to USD
Type: Currency
Formula: {{Revenue}} * 0.74825

These are only a few examples and the possibilities are vast.

Setting up Calculated Metrics in Google Analytics

1. Go to Admin and click Calculated Metrics BETA under the view level

2. Click on + New Calculated Metrics button

3. To create a calculated metric, you need to fill in the following fields:

Name: Provide a descriptive name that makes it easy to identify your custom metric (e.g. “Pageviews per User”).

External Name: This field is automatically populated based on what you defined in the name field and Google advises not to change this.

Formatting Type: Choose one of the two following five formatting types based on the results you want to generate:

  • Integer
  • Currency
  • Time
  • Float
  • Percentage

Formula: Here you can let your creative juices flow and use basic operators to make your formulas. The operators you can use include:

  • Plus (+)
  • Minus (-)
  • Divided by (/)
  • Multiplied by (*)
  • Parenthesis
  • Positive cardinal numbers (0-9), can include decimals

Important to note:

  • You only get five Calculated Metrics with Google Analytics Standard. However, you can get 50 Calculated Metrics if you are using Google Analytics Premium.

Once all of the details are filled in, you are ready to hit Create.

Accessing Calculated Metrics in Google Analytics

Alright, so now you have created your first calculated metric in Google Analytics and you are eager to apply it. But where can you apply them?

1. Go to Customization and then select + New Custom Report

2. You can then find your custom metrics under “Other”

3. After you add your custom metric, you only need to apply a dimension (e.g Default Channel Grouping) and you will be able to see your custom Calculated Metrics in your custom report.

Alternatively, you can also add the Calculated Metrics as a widget to your dashboard by going to Reporting and clicking on + Add Widget.

The introduction of Calculated Metrics is just one of the many improvements Google has added to their analytics platform, giving us a great tool to streamline our analytical efforts and provide our clients with better insights, ultimately guiding business decisions.

What kind of custom metrics are you using? Let us know in the comments below.

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