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Automating Google Analytics Reports for Small Businesses: A Step-by-Step Guide

Automating Google Analytics Reports for Small Businesses A Step-by-Step Guide

Master Your Metrics: A Step-by-Step Guide to Automating Google Analytics Reports with Looker Studio for Small Businesses

Automating Google Analytics reports is a way to help you make more informed decisions to grow your business. By automating your reports, you save time in the compiling of data. You can then spend the time interpreting and actioning the insights you gain.

 

In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of automating your reports using Looker Studio, a free tool from Google, how to use your reporting dashboard, and how to customise and automate report delivery. With Looker Studio, you can unlock the power of data-driven decision-making and fuel the growth of your small business. Let's get started!

Why Automate Google Analytics Reports?

As a small business owner, you constantly seek ways to improve and grow your business. You can either grow by gut feel or use the data you have to inform you on what's working and what's not regarding your digital marketing and what's happening on your website.

 

Better yet, using Looker Studio, you can have automated Google Analytics reports and include other data such as search data from the Google Search Console, your Google Ads, Facebook Ads and email program.

 

Automating Google Analytics reports frees you from compiling data, redirecting energy directly to analysing and optimising.

 

It also prompts you to regularly review your marketing efforts and make decisions to optimise your activities.

 

How to automate Google Analytics reports.

It is currently not possible to automate the delivery of Google Analytics reports directly from within GA4. 

 

You must use a tool such as Looker Studio. This is actually a far better outcome. 

 

This is because you can design the report you want specifically to be the data you want to see, with the comparisons and time period automatically set without having to rerun each time you go into GA4.

 

You can also supplement, as noted above, with other important data on your marketing activities.

Getting Started with Looker Studio

Looker Studio, a free tool from Google, makes it easy to create reporting dashboards by connecting multiple data sources. It is suitable for both small and medium sized businesses, and doesn't require any special coding skills to set it up!

 

To sign up for Looker Studio, simply visit lookerstudio.google.com and select the "Use it for free" button. If you've previously accessed Looker Studio, you'll be automatically logged in using the Gmail account associated with your dashboard.

Creating Your First Reporting Dashboard

To create your first report (and to start automating google analytics reports) start by defining the key metrics that are most important to your business.

 

It's essential to avoid creating a bloated report that includes unnecessary information. You'll gain valuable insights by focusing on the key pieces of information that provide an overview of your performance compared to previous periods.

If you need a little help to work this out, using our Digital Marketing & Action Plan Templates, which will help you work out the customer journey - and hence the key points to measure. 

 

Additionally, differentiate between metrics that indicate overall performance and those that help troubleshoot specific issues. 

 

Understanding this distinction will help you prioritise the data that needs closer examination. Once you've defined your key metrics, you can attach the appropriate data sources and design your report accordingly. We also have a handy article on creating a measurement plan

 

Creating your first dashboard in Looker Studio is a simple process that can be done in just a few steps. Here's a step-by-step guide:

 

Step 1: Create a data source

The first step is to connect Looker Studio to your data source. 

 

You can connect to a variety of data sources, including Google Sheets and Google Analytics with just a few clicks. 

 

To connect to a data source, click on the + Data source button in the top left corner of the Looker Studio window. Then, select the type of data source you want to connect to and follow the on-screen instructions.

Automating Google Analytics - datasources in looker

Step 2: Create a report

Select Blank Report to start creating your new dashboard. You will need to select the datasource you want to create charts or data displays from.

Automating Google Analytics - datasources in looker2

Step 3: Create a chart

Once you have connected to your data source, and opened a blank report you can start creating charts. To create a chart, click on the + Chart button in the top left corner of the Looker Studio window. Then, select the type of chart you want to create and drag and drop the fields you want to use onto the chart.

Automating Google Analytics - adding a chart

Step 4: Adjust your chart or data display 

Customise the data display as you need using the dimensions, metrics and filters.

Also adjust the look of the data display using the style tab.

Step 5: Add text elements

You can also add text elements to your dashboard, such as titles, labels, and descriptions. To add a text element, click on the + Text element button in the top left corner of the Looker Studio window. Then, type in the text you want to add and drag and drop it onto the dashboard.

Automating Google Analytics - tailoring

Step 6: Save your dashboard

Once you are happy with your dashboard, you can save it. To save your dashboard, click on the Save button in the top left corner of the Looker Studio window. Then, enter a name for your dashboard and click on the Save button.

 

Step 7 Share your dashboard

You can also share your dashboard with others. To share your dashboard, click on the Share button in the top left corner of the Looker Studio window. Then, enter the email addresses of the people you want to share your dashboard with and click on the Share button. You are now start automating google analytics reports!

Scheduling the delivery of your dashboard, ie. automating Google Analytics reports!

Scheduling a dashboard to be sent each week or month in Looker Studio is a straightforward process that can be accomplished in a few simple steps. Here's a step-by-step guide:

 

Access the Dashboard: Open Looker Studio and navigate to the dashboard you want to schedule for recurring delivery.

 

Initiate Schedule Delivery: Click on the "Share" icon in the dashboard's upper right corner. Select "Schedule delivery" from the dropdown menu.

 

Specify Recipients (Optional): Enter the email addresses of the individuals who should receive the scheduled dashboard deliveries.

 

Customise Subject and Message (Optional): Compose a custom subject line and message accompanying the scheduled dashboard delivery. This provides context and additional information to the recipients.

 

Select Report Pages: Determine which dashboard pages should be included in the scheduled delivery. You can select all pages or choose specific ones.

 

Set Schedule Frequency: Choose the desired frequency for the scheduled delivery. Options include:

 

Monthly: Specify the day of the month for the delivery.

Weekly: Select the day of the week for the delivery.

Daily: Choose the time of day for the delivery.

Hourly: Set the specific hour for the delivery.

 

Review and Confirm: Review the recipients, subject, message, report pages, and schedule frequency to ensure accuracy. Once satisfied, click the "Schedule" button to activate the recurring delivery.

 

Looker Studio will handle the rest, automatically delivering the dashboard according to the specified schedule. Recipients will receive an email with a link to the dashboard, allowing them to view the latest data and insights. You are now automating Google Analytics reports!

 

 

Automating Google Analytics - schedule
Automating Google Analytics - schedule2

Looker Studio is a free and user-friendly tool allowing you to easily create reports and dashboards. It makes automating google analytics reports quick and brings additional capability through additional possible data sources to report on. By organising your data and customising your report, you can effectively analyse and visualise your business's performance. With the option to automate report delivery, you can ensure that the right people receive up-to-date insights regularly. Start using Looker Studio today and unleash the power of data-driven decision-making for your business.

 

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