The fastest way to detect anomalous or interesting behaviour worth further investigation is to monitor ratios and percentages. Standard within Google Analytics are bounce rate, % new visits, % conversion, etc.
However, if you wanted to calculate other metrics like “Downloads per visit”, even if you had “Downloads” as a custom metric, you had to either (1) consume a Goal slot to get this ratio from the Goal Conversion rate, (2) write a small program to populate another Custom Metric, or (3) extract data into Excel to calculate your ratios and percentages. Groan!
No more groans!
Today, Calculated Metrics in Google Analytics has moved from Closed to Open Beta and is slowly rolling out through all accounts. Full instructions on how to set up & use Calculated Metrics are in this Google support article.
To see if this new feature is available in your Google Analytics account, click on Admin and look in the views area for this new addition:
How many Calculated Metrics are available?
- Google Analytics Standard:
- Google Analytics Premium:
UPDATE 27-Oct-2015: In the original blog post, we guessed that the 20 and 200 we were seeing might have been due Universal versus Classic GA code versions. The correct number are 5 and 50. Google confirmed to me that the 20 and 200 we were seeing was a UI glitch.
Calculated Metrics are set at the view level, and thank goodness there’s a copy feature.
Feature request to Google: Please add the ability to “Bulk Copy” between views. If you support this, comment below!
What new calculated metrics are you going to add?
- New / Returning Users?
- Revenue per User?
- Downloads, Registrations or Videos Viewed per User? Yes, you can use your Custom Metrics with Standard Metrics to create new Calculated Metrics.
- Pageviews / Unique Pageviews?
- To flag usability issues and detect “pogo-sticking behaviour”
- Currency conversion?
- Define a currency conversion variable and create a new metric with your desired currency.
Share with us how you’re benefiting from this new feature. And if you’d like to see any further improvements to how Calculated Metrics works.