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How to Automate Google Analytics Reporting

In this post, I’m going to share another little-known feature of Google Analytics so that you don’t even have to remember to check how your website is performing.

Once this is setup, your analytics data will be delivered to your email inbox at an interval you specify.

This means you don’t even need to log in to a dashboard to see the data you need.

Even if you’re super disciplined, this still might be of interest if you’re a web designer, developer or marketer as you can use this feature to send automated reports to your clients.  It looks like you went to a lot of extra effort, but it only takes a few minutes to set up.

How to setup automated email reports from Google Analytics

Before we start, you’re going to need a report to send.

In my last post, we looked at how to setup a dashboard in Google Analytics to view all of your main metrics in one place.  If you haven’t read that, I recommend you check it out now.  There are a couple of links to dashboards that you can import directly into your Google Analytics account.  The first is a basic dashboard that covers all the main metrics.  The second is a conversions dashboard to track progress against goals.  If you don’t have goals set up then my first post explains everything you need to know.

Here are the steps you need to create automated email reports:

Setup automated email reports in Google Analytics

  1. Navigate to the dashboard you’re interested in.
  2. Select a date range using the calendar drop-down in the top right-hand corner.
    • I like to set date range to previous month, and compare to, to previous period.
    • Check the dashboard to make sure it looks how you desire.
  3. Click the Email button below the dashboard title.
  4. In the To field, enter the email address you want the dashboard sent to.
    • This might be yours, or it could be your clients.
  5. Enter a Subject line for the email.
  6. Select a Frequency for how often you want the dashboard to be sent.
    • Once
    • Daily
    • Weekly
    • Monthly
    • Quarterly
  7. Depending on the frequency you select, you can refine your choice by selecting day of the week, or day of the month etc.
  8. Under Advanced Options, you can select the duration you want the reports to be active for.
    • Maximum duration is 12 months, after which you can extend the schedule (see below).
  9. Enter the body of the email in the text box.
  10. Click the Send button.

That’s it.  You’re all set!  At the specified interval, Google Analytics will send an email with the settings you entered and the dashboard will be attached as a PDF report.  One thing to just be aware of is that these emails will be sent from the email address you used to login to Google Analytics.

Once the setup is complete, you can leave it to run its course without having to even think about it.

All you need to do now is get on with growing your freelance business and wait for the emails to roll in, hopefully showing how well you’ve done!

How to modify scheduled email reports in Google Analytics

In the interest of completeness, you’ll want to know how to modify, extend or delete these emails.  It’s really simple, you just need to know where to look.

How to modify scheduled email reports in Google Analytics

  1. Click the Admin link at the top of the Google Analytics page.
  2. Click the Scheduled Emails link.  It’s on the right-hand side, under the View column.
    • This lists all of your scheduled emails for that view.
    • It also shows the start and end dates for when emails will be sent.
  3. The Actions drop-down on the right allows you to extend or delete the scheduled emails.
  4. Clicking on the Subject line opens up a specific email so that you can edit details such as the frequency or body text.
    • Remember to click Save if you make changes!

Summary

The scheduled emails feature is a great way to get your Google Analytics data sent to your inbox on a regular basis.  It means that you can check your analytics without having to set yourself reminders or create to-do lists.  Reviewing these emails will ensure you know what is happening to your traffic, where it’s coming from and what pages visitors view on your site.  Even if you don’t delve deep into the numbers, having this awareness can help you subconsciously improve your site.

It’s also an inexpensive way for web designers to add an extra benefit for their clients.  Sending a client a monthly email with the important metrics for their site shows that you understand their business and are invested in adding value for them.  In my experience, they even think you actually login each month to do that for them too!

Moving forward with Google Analytics

So in my 3 featured posts here at the Freelance To Freedom Project, we’ve covered:

  1. How to set up goals to track your progress
  2. How to create a dashboard to view important metrics in one place
  3. How to automate email reports from Google Analytics

As you can see, each post builds on the last.  Hopefully, I’ve simplified the steps to allow you to start using Google Analytics on a regular basis.  Using the platform this way will help you do more than just look at vanity metrics like how many hits you got.  You’ll be able to look at the metrics that really matter, on a routine basis.  My hope is that this will empower you to understand your audience and your website better than before, and with that understanding, that you are able to grow your freelance business and meet your goals.

Alistair Gill Alistair is a freelance consultant who helps small business owners and entrepreneurs grow their traffic and increase their online presence. He specialises in Search Engine Optimisation to get clients in front of people who are actively looking for what they offer. He also uses thorough web analytics to measure what is working and optimises accordingly. After a successful Fortune 50 career in Engineering project management, Alistair is no stranger to using data and technology to help his clients improve their business. Find him on Twitter, and Facebook.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • This is SO useful Alastair – thank you. I’ve been using Google Analytics for years and had not idea you could do this! or create dashboards! And I found goals totally confusing. Now I’m all set up!

  • Kimberly

    This is great, Alistair! I never knew I could automate Google Analytics reporting. Such a time saver. Appreciate you sharing!

  • I agree with Kimberley – huge time saver that I didn’t know about! I will definitely be testing this out on my site. Thanks for the super clear step-by-step process!

    • Thanks, Ingrid. It’s not the most obvious feature in GA, but a great time saver. It’s flexible too. You can tweak the dashboard layout, and even add multiple dashboards to an email. Definitely worth spending some time playing with!

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