Google Analytics Power Reporting for SEO & SEM – #SMX Liveblog

Andrew Garberson at SMX West
Andrew Garberson at SMX West

You’re using Google Analytics, but, as the SMX West audience just learned from speaker Andrew Garberson (@garberson), manager of search at LunaMetrics, you’re merely scratching the surface of the tool’s usefulness in your work life. This is a retelling of Garberson’s presentation that he writes about himself on the LunaMetrics blog here.

First, a story. Your 80-year-old neighbor gives you a call and says that he wants to buy an electric car. He mostly just drives to the grocery store and around town, and everyone agrees he should probably stop riding around town on his bike.

You think of a list of criteria for a good car for him: safe, efficient, a good warranty. He drives home in a Tesla. Yes, this meets all the criteria, but it’s a little more than that. It goes 0–60 in 2.8 seconds.

Basic electric car
Basic model you need for the criteria

Google Analytics is like the Tesla. It’s a sports car and we’re driving it like we’ve got the emergency brake on. Let’s drive it like the high performance machine it is.

Tesla car
What you got: a Tesla

Basic: Daily Reporting

Google Analytics is here for you 24/7. But we shouldn’t have to be monitoring analytics on a day-to-day basis. It’s not ideal to be worrying about analytics around the clock. Just because we have 24/7 access, it doesn’t mean we need to be there at all times.

Ideal: push notifications. “Hey, something is great/not so great.” Google Analytics Alerts is the answer!

You can tap just about every metric in GA and set an alert on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Here are 55 alerts you can set up:

Intermediate: Monthly Reporting

At this level, we’re spotting trends and reacting to trends to minimize negative and maximize the positive.

The Google Analytics optimization for this is Dashboards.

Take any standard or custom report and add it to a lightweight dashboard. Before doing this, look at what other people have done. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Go to the GA Gallery to see what others have built that you need. Avinash Kaushik is among the authors of these dashboards that you can import into your account.


You can see that there isn’t one dashboard for everything, but specialized ones. These are helpful weekly check-ins. Choose the option to “email” (from the drop-down, changing it from CSV) and you’ll get a PDF in your inbox.

Advanced: Monthly Reporting

The perfect tool for a monthly report is in between a generalist dashboard and a specialist tool — it lets you dig deep into SEO traffic by product category or SEM campaign. The middle ground tool he’s devised is using the API and Google Sheets.

You’re going to be able to make reports like budget tracking (current spend v. budget, and conversions from search v. other). For segmented reporting in Google Analytics, go to


A plugin called Supermetrics will let you pull data from everywhere (AdWords, Bing Ads, Search Console, Facebook Ads, Facebook Insights, MailChiimp, Moz, SEMrush) into Drive. The link you want to look at here is


GA can be your power reporting tool. You can do serious deep-dive reporting with Google Analytics. Or, it can be whatever you need. GA does the easy legwork reporting better than anyone else.

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Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (6)
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6 Replies to “Google Analytics Power Reporting for SEO & SEM – #SMX Liveblog”

Those are very informative, Actually 55+ Google Analytics Custom Alerts – The Check Engine Light For Your Data this sound very well. Can i get SEO report?

Yes obiously Google analytic is a power reporting tool.

Yes i agree with you on this “Google analytic is a power reporting tool”

I attended a Big Data and Marketing Conference at ESCP Europe and heard Judy Bayer from Teradata emphasise that analysts should be story tellers. This resonated with me as it is through stories that your data gains context and purpose, making it easier to understand and gain insights from.
That was a mega session by +Andrew Garberson on how to use analytics tools more effectively. Thanks for sharing the liveblog coverage by our.

first i want to thank you for sharing the Dashboard links , seriously its look very clean and neat sheet for report and analysis purpose

Marketing is more than advertising and selling your products. Marketing addresses all aspects of growing your customer base, and the more you know, the more successful your marketing and your business will be.


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