Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you’ve probably seen that Google Analytics (GA) announced a new beta called Shortcuts:
The idea is you can save new report views you’ve just discovered or old report views that you revisit often.
How Do I Make a Shortcut?
Couldn’t be simpler, really. In the toolbar above every report, where you normally select things like Advanced Segments and Exports, you’ll see Shortcut Beta on the end:
Click that when you’re at a view you like and it’ll ask you to name your Shortcut:
What Types of Shortcuts Should I Save?
This new beta has the potential to make an analyst’s life a whole lot easier. So far, I’ve saved a lot of time adding my go-to reports as Shortcuts. Here are two of the most useful reports I’ve saved.
Advertising > Matched Search Queries with Keyword
If you run a lot of AdWords campaigns with broad, modified broad or phrase match keywords, getting site performance data on the each of the search queries those keywords have triggered ads on is important.
Getting to that data takes a couple clicks in GA though. Setting the Secondary Dimension to Keyword, filtering out content network and (not set) traffic adds time to my workflow. So it’s nice to have that view saved:
Traffic Sources > Organic with Landing Page
If you’re running an SEO campaign, it’s vital to know which keywords are driving traffic to specific pages on your site.
But again, just like the paid search example, getting to this view every time I need it is a bit of a bugger. I like to filter out (not provided) traffic and home page hits that cloud the report from other potential named keywords and hub pages – and that takes extra time. Not anymore!
Use the Shortcuts Beta, Share Your Thoughts
What views are you itching to save? Start using the Beta and let us know in the comments. Analyze away, folks!
Thanks Michael. Great short post. I’ve now set up a whole bunch of short cuts and will save myself loads of time.
I must have been living under a rock to have missed this announcement! Great suggestions for the type of shortcuts a person can make.
My particular favorite segment that I’ll be creating a shortcut for is a “Non Brand” view. Remove all traces of brand related traffic via keyword match.
Your thing about the number of clicks it takes to an existing report points to a usability problem. I find it outrageous that it takes SOOO many clicks to drill down some times. I don’t think shortcuts are the answer. It’s a cop out.
Definitely with you on a non-brand view. The search intent is so drastically different between people looking for your brand and people that find you in any other way – I’d be lying to myself if I tried to mush those stats together and call it good.
I agree with you, to an extent.
The amount of clicks it takes to filter certain reports is maddening. Even just making the Enter button trigger the “Apply” on in-line filters would save me some time.
But in Google’s defense:
A) There’s no way they could possibly design the product around power-users. I don’t think the lowest common denominator GA user is doing as much filtering as we are.
B) While Shortcuts might be a cop-out, it’s a solid workaround. And frankly, which other Analytics platform provider do you know that iterates as quickly and listens to their users as much as Google?
Anyhow, thanks for taking the time to read and share!
Just FYI – there is a way to pass certain keywords to be identified as brand traffic within the Google Analytics docs. May be a quicker solution for you in the long run.
_gaq.push([‘_addIgnoredOrganic’, ‘Brand Name’]);
is the method.
This is a good shout, Paul.
But bear in mind that while your keyword reports are cleaner having used that method, it treats any/all branded keywords you specify as (direct / none) traffic.
Plus, there’s something to be gleaned from how people use your brand in long tail searches, so cutting it out of the reports all the time is a bad move, I feel.
Thanks for stopping by, sir!
Nice post Michael. I like your two example reports and agree that shortcut in Google Analytics greatly streamlines analytics workflows for commonly run, high value reports. Google analytics provides a wealth of data and the key is to unlock the value in that data. Efficiency is the icing on the cake. Thanks for sharing.
Cheers, and thanks for the comments, everybody!