Customize Google Analytics with Shortcuts

Everyone who uses Google Analytics has different needs. If you’re an executive you need different data than a marketer. If you work in an ecommerce business you want to view different data than someone in the publishing business.

While you could alway do some customization in Google Analytics you could never save a report with all of your changes, like a new sort order or different table visualization.

That’s where Google Analytics Shortcuts come in.

Shortcuts are a way to save almost any customization to a report.

You can save the following report alterations using a Google Analytics Shortcut:

  • Advanced Segments
  • Secondary Dimensions
  • Column Sorting
  • Plot Rows
  • Table view vs. a data visualization (ie comparison to site average, word-cloud, etc.)
  • Number of visible rows
  • Metrics plotted over time
  • The data over time graph granularity (day, week, month)
  • The active tab in the report
  • The Date of the report including any date comparison

There’s a lot in that list. Did you notice you can save the date setting as well?

Not every report can be added to the Shortcuts menu. You can’t add the Flow Visualization reports, Dashboards, Intelligence reports, Funnel Visualization report or Multi-channel Funnel reports to the Shortcuts section.

How to Create a Report Shortcut

Creating a shortcut is pretty easy. Just navigate to the report you want, customize any of the features listed in the list above, and click the Shortcut button.

Add a Google Analytics Shortcut

Remember, you can save a lot of customizations. Here’s a referral report, with a date comparison, multiple metrics trended and the comparison to site average visualization. All saved using a Shortcut.

Customized Google Analytics Report saved as a Shortcut

If you make a change to the report just click the Save button in the menu bar. Your shortcut will be updated with the new change.

You can manage all of your shortcuts using the Shortcuts > Overview section. Basically this is a place where you can delete a shortcut.

Google Analytics Shortcut Administration

Finding your Shortcuts

All of your shortcuts will be listed in the Home section of Google Analytics. Look for the Shortcuts menu in the left-navigation.

Google Analytics Shortcuts Menu

How to Use Shortcuts

My suggestion is that you find the reports that are absolutely critical for you. Stuff that you use on a daily basis. This may be the standard Google Analytics reports or custom reports. Create shortcuts for these reports and customize them based on your use. Save them as Shortcut and spend your time in the Home > Shortcuts section. No more wandering around Google Analytics looking for reports.

While this may seem like a minor change it’s one step closer to creating an individual analytics experience for every user.

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    1. Keith says

      Great new feature.

      Unfortunately, not all of the standard reports can be added to shortcuts. For example, Top Conversion Paths doesn’t have the nifty new shortcut button. This isn’t a huge deal as it only means a couple of more clicks to get to the report, but as one of my favorite standard report I wouldn’t mind having it in the shortcut menu either. Especially with some filters applied….

      • says

        @Keith: Yes, none of the MCF reports can be added as Shortcuts. MCF data and reports are slightly different than the standard reports. They have different processing. Hence the need for conversion segments and other customizations that are specific to MCF. Hopefully these can be added soon.

    2. says

      I inserted Google Analytics. Did not see any results for over a month. Then they say there were only 6 visitors to the site, which is totally ridiculous. AWStats and Webalizer have posted hundreds a week or over a thousand a month in same period. What is going on?

    3. says

      Admit it… now that you’re on the inside this was all a ploy to get people to inadvertently Google your GA Shortcuts ebook! (At least, that is how I stumbled across it…)

      But seriously, very nice write-up of a great new feature that will be used by many. GA is constantly pumping out new features for analysis, but sometimes it’s user interface changes like this that can be the most helpful. And I’m already looking forward to the day when we can share these others — seems to me like the natural next step.

    4. Pavlicko says

      This is exactly what I was hoping for with the GA dashboards. The ability to save secondary dimension, on-page filters and advanced segments (along with memory of number of results shown) is extremely powerful and a HUGE timesaver. AND you can set them to email automatically as a csv – this is an awesome feature that everyone should use!!

    5. says

      Excellent. Speeding up my process is always welcome ;)

      To those who says speed doesn’t matter, try playing Starcraft 2 online without any keyboard shortcuts.. you’ll get destroyed.

      This isn’t keyboard shortcuts, but hey, they are shortcuts anyways.


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