While making updates to your website is important, how do you know which pages to update? Do you base it off of the look, or how long it’s been since your last update? How do you know what SEO or SEM effects have been effective? If you’re not using analytics to decide how to make changes to your website, that you are committing a cardinal sin among websites.

The importance of web analytics cannot be understated. Analytics can tell you when to run campaigns, what pages people like and do not like, how people reached your site, and if your current marketing programs are working. Yet many people either do not have analytics setup on their site, or do not use it. Why? Probably because it can be overwhelming to see so much data and so many numbers and walk away with a solid understanding of how your website is performing.

The answer: Custom Reports. These allow you to setup and save reports in Google Analytics that will give you let you to review one aspect of your website at a time. Here’s a couple of suggestions on Custom Reports you should consider creating to get started:

Content Report.

A breakdown of the website’s pages to understand how people interact with your site. If you see a page with a high bounce rate, or little to no time spent on the page, it may be worth looking into updating that page.

PPC Report.

If you’re spending money on SEM, so it’s important to see how those visitors interact with the site. Many times people believe a PPC campaign is failing and blame the PPC company, the market, or say their industry is too difficult to advertise in. While those may be the case, it may also be your website. If you notice the keywords that are leading people to your site are in line with what you do, yet when visitors arrive they immediately bounce then it may be your site that is turning people away. Using a PPC report can help you determine which keywords are money makers, and which you should stay away from.

Link Analysis Report.

In your SEO strategies, are you using link building? Then you should also be using this report to determine which websites are worth building more links with, and which aren’t gaining you any quality traffic. While link building tactics are usually about increasing your ranking, these links can also help benefit traffic and conversions, so it’s important to review them.

Browser Report.

Many people don’t realize the importance of a browser report, while you may not need to look at it as often as a PPC report or Content report, it’s important to understand how visitors interact based on the browser. If you see that Firefox is doing well but Chrome has high bounce rates, this may help alert you that there are browser compatibility issues with Chrome and your website that you should be looking into!

So you now understand the importance of and value of custom reports, but how do you create them, especially if you’re not an Analytics Guru? If you like or want to add the reports I mentioned above, open your Google Analytics account and click the link below. They will automatically populate into the Google Analytics profile you select. Keep in mind, you may want to edit some filters or add additional columns to customize it to your needs:

There are also many great online resources that allow you to download custom reports and instantly apply them to your analytics profile too. Check out CustomReportSharing.com to see even more custom reports created by other Google Analytics users.