Google Analytics is one of the most popular and powerful tools for analyzing your website traffic. But you need somewhere to analyze that data effectively. This is especially true when your business is growing and you’re experimenting with different online marketing strategies; you may need to analyze hundreds of different metrics at regular intervals.
When it comes to data analysis, visualization, manipulation and reporting, nothing beats a spreadsheet. And Google Sheets’ share function makes it ideal for collaboration. The easiest way to connect Google Analytics to Google Sheets spreadsheets (and transfer your data from one to the other) is by using the Google Analytics add-on.
This add-on is an extension that allows you to:
- Import data from the Google Analytics API into a spreadsheet
- Create custom reports
- Query and report data
- Filter the data you want to extract
- Schedule automated updates for your reports
Google Sheets add-ons allow you to turbocharge the way you use spreadsheets. This particular add-on is developed by Google, which means it runs seamlessly with Google products, is intuitive to use, and of course, free! Let’s get you started with a basic primer on how to use the Google Analytics add-on to improve the way you report and share your website data.
How to access the Google Analytics Add-on
It’s really simple to get add-ons for Sheets. The quickest way to get this add-on is to click this link that will take you directly to the G Suite marketplace. Simply click the Install button and the add-on will be added to your Google Sheets account.
Alternatively, you can get the add-on by following these steps:
- Open a spreadsheet
- Click the add-ons button in the navigation menu
- Click the Get add-ons button
- A window will pop up for you to browse
- Type “Google Analytics” in the search box. There are a lot of add-ons for Google Analytics, but the one you are looking for should be #1.
- Click the Free button to get the add-on
You are now ready to start using the add-on to connect Google Analytics to Google Sheets.
Options in the main toolbar
To begin using the Google Analytics add-on, Click Add-ons → Google Analytics. When you hover over the Google Analytics button, you will see three options:
- Create a new report: creating reports is not necessary, but it’s a good step for users who are new to the add-on. If you click this option, a sidebar will appear on the right side of the sheet to help you automatically create a new report. As you become a more advanced user, you might just create these reports yourself.
- Run reports: when you select this option, the add-on will run all of the reports you have created. You can choose to have the output data go into the current sheet you are on or a new sheet of your choice. If there are reports you don’t want to run, get around the add-on by simply deleting the name of the report. Because of the way the add-on is designed, it won’t be able to run reports without names.
- Schedule reports: ever a fan of automation, scheduling reports is one of my favorite ways to improve workflows. You can schedule your reports to run hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly from the sidebar that appears when you select this option.
Let’s create a report
For this tutorial, we will start by creating a new report. Select this option to make the sidebar for this feature appear. To run reports, you need to be the owner of the analytics account, and ideally, have some basic knowledge of Google Analytics terminology. Although this add-on is meant to make using Analytics easier, you will still need to have some basic knowledge. Fortunately, using this add-on will give you a greater understanding of your Analytics data, and you can use the Google Analytics Academy for free if you need to brush up on your skills.
- Name your report: Ours is Sample Report 1
- Select a view: Choose your Account name, Property name, and the View from the drop-down options. Most of you will probably just have one analytics account, but if you are managing multiple websites, you will need to be sure to choose the correct values.
- Choose configuration options: Here you will customize the reports. This tool is great because it can help novice users learn what sort of metrics will be most valuable for providing insights into their traffic.
- When you are finished choosing the conditions for your first report click Create Report and the add-on will create a report template for you. You can continue to create new reports, and they will be displayed sequentially on the same sheet.
Now that we have created some reports using the toolbar, let’s use the add-on to run some reports. Select the second options from the menu by clicking Add-ons → Google Analytics → Run Reports. That’s all you need to do! The add-on will begin to work automatically and will create a new sheet for each report. So, my sheets are titled Sample Report 1, Sample Report 2, and Sample Report 3. After you set up your report, you can choose the third option and schedule your reports to run automatically. Use your Google sharing settings to share the results with the whole team.
Looking to do more with Google Sheets? There are lots of other brilliant add-ons out there to improve and enhance the way you use spreadsheets for reporting. Check out our post on the top 10 Google Sheets add-ons for reporting.