Setting up Reports to Check on Your Custom Dimensions and Metrics

- December 22, 2015

The Problem

When a content site begins to use custom dimensions to track its blog more efficiently, the solution to get the data on the site is a manual one. It is clear to anyone who has relied on mostly manual processes that the chances for problems to occur will increase as you add more and more tedious minutia on your content writers (or whoever is placing the content into your CMS).

If there is a custom dimension that is supplied by your blog writers, such as blog tags or whether the post is scheduled to be promoted, then you are reliant on the person that enters the content to make sure they don’t miss a post. This can be a very aggravating process if someone is left to look through content calendars and match the results up manually with analytics or the source code.

The Solution

Once your website has the framework to push in new custom dimensions in your CMS – then you can start tracking which blog posts are not being tagged completely on a monthly schedule. All you have to do is create a report that looks for the absence of your custom dimension rather than the presence of it. The segment will look something like the image below.

conditionsThe above example is ideal for matching a hit level custom dimension (one that occurs on every pageview) with the all pages report data. Your page lists will only be populated with URI’s that aren’t firing the designated code. When you get a result – like the “fluffy-bunnies” category below, then you just need to click the fly-out icon and check the source code on the page to confirm.

flyout icon

 

Once the report is pulling information to your satisfaction, simply click the email link on the menu below the report title in Google Analytics:

email select

 

After you click the email link – just fill out the details for the report.

email report

Then just click send and voila! You are now actively searching for problems on a weekly basis.

This shows the power of the scheduled email features and how it’s not just for client facing performance – but to help quality assurance as well.

Summary

The importance of creating a system that ensures the completeness of your data is just as critical as the strategic thinking that goes into deciding what to track. Without a thorough tagging process in place it is possible to create false insights that can lead to big problems down the road. So as a wrap up to implementing tracking – consider how you will audit the installation in an ongoing report to avoid embarrassing situations and ensure you have the best clarity of data available.

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