Analytics
5.3K members online now
Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
 
Guide Me
star_border
Reply

How to make custom report of referrals from just a few sites?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I tried Googling for this first, and I got some results that looked like they had what I wanted, but they all forwarded from Google's product forum thread to the main page of this Google Analytics Community before I could read anything. Since the product forum is no longer usable, I guess I'll ask it here.

 

I'd like to make a custom report to view monthly referrals to my site from several domains. When I got to Customization and start making a new report, I see in Metrics there is only one thing under Acquisition - Organic Searches. When I check the Dimension Drilldowns, I see there is Default Channel Grouping (which matches up with what I see when I'm viewing the referral channel in regular Acquisition screen). However I didn't know what to do from there.

 

I just went on and put in a Filter for Include>Source>Regex> "*.domain1.com|*.domain2.com|*.domain3.com"

 

Then I tried to save but it requires at least one Metric. I have no idea what to put there.

 

Any help is appreciated. Also any idea how to view threads on the (deprecated?) Google product forums would be helpful.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: How to make custom report of referrals from just a few sites?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Every GA report requires at least one Metric -- a numeric value. The most typical choices are Sessions, Users or Pageviews. For your report, Is suspect Sessions is appropriate.

Note that Regex is not the same as wildcards in many other applications. The asterisk ( * ) means 1 or more of the preceding character. The period ( . ) means any character, and the combination ( .* ) means 1 or more of any character. If you want to actually match the period, you need to 'escape' it with a backslash character (\. ), so your Regex should probably be ".*\.domain1\.com|.*\.domain2\.com|.*\.domain3\.com".

Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Re: How to make custom report of referrals from just a few sites?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ah, thank you! That was confusing. You're right, Sessions is good. I chose the Sessions under the Users menu. Does that sound right?

Thanks for the advice on the regex. That appears to have worked. I was just sort of copying the syntax I had on a referral filter there. But now I realized I was ruling out sources with nothing before the domain like domain1.com because the numbers were off, so I adjusted it to remove the first literal dot, for - ".*domain1\.com|.*domain2\.com|.*domain3\.com".

That gives me the correct numbers. Fantastic. I check the boxes for each result, then hit Plot Rows, and I can see them individually on the graph.

Now, is there any way to combine the results like foo1.domain1.com and foo2.domain1.com and domain1.com into one number and line in the graph?

Thanks for all your help!

Re: How to make custom report of referrals from just a few sites?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Yes Sessions is good.

To combine all the sources, use a regex filter that includes the domains you want, then switch to the dimension Month (under Time) to get the monthly totals you are looking for.
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Re: How to make custom report of referrals from just a few sites?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I see what you mean but I still want the counts split out by the domain. Basically I have 3 main referral sites I want to see, and they each have several variations with subdomains that send referrals to my site. I want the variations counted together.

My desire is to have all session counts from:
foo1.domain1.com
foo2.domain1.com
domain1.com

under one entry/total... and then all session counts from:
blah.domain2.com
blahblah.domain2.com
domain2.com

under another entry, and have them graphed as 1 line for domain1.com and 1 line for domain2.com.

Any ideas? Thanks!
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Michael K
December 2015

Re: How to make custom report of referrals from just a few sites?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Frequently requested grouped aggregate....not available in the standard reports. You'll have to extract the data and do the aggregation yourself. Consider a tool that works from the API such as the Google Sheets addon or the free Excel addin from Analytics Edge [my baby].

One possible option is to use content grouping, but I don't think it will work with domains unless you also use a view filter to rewrite the pagepath to include the domain....both kind of advanced topics and require a setup before you can start collecting the numbers in the groups.
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Re: How to make custom report of referrals from just a few sites?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ah ok, understood. Thanks for your help! I can work with what I have. Thankfully there aren't too many subdomains. I do need to take out the numbers anyway to graph with data from another source in the same graph in Excel.

One last question, somewhat unrelated - this has come up a few times for me and I always wondered if there was a way to do it. When I choose to plot several of the sources in my graph, they show up, but there is also the original Sessions still there in blue (which is the total). Is there any way to remove that line from the graph? In some situations it dwarfs the other lines making the graph less useful for those other lines.

Re: How to make custom report of referrals from just a few sites?

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
Regarding Plot Rows, thee is no option I know of to remove the All traffic lines...many times I have wished for the same thing. Some people have suggested you can use the Motion Chart (upper right button looks like three circles), switch it to Line display and use the checkboxes -- I find that a lot of work and it only highlights the lines selected; there's still a lot of "noise" in the chart.
Mike Sullivan, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Re: How to make custom report of referrals from just a few sites?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Ok... many thanks for all your input, Mike!