Basic reports in Google Analytics that you shouldn’t overlook

Google Analytics contains a lot of basic and advanced reports, which are divided into four bigger groups – Audience, Acquisition, Behavior and Conversions.

I chose four reports, one from each report, which you shouldn’t overlook.


This group contains reports about your audience – these reports provide answers to questions as: who are your visitors, where are they from, what devices are they using and so on.

So if you want to know more about your audience, definitely check the reports from this group.

From this category I chose Mobile Overview report (Audience – Mobile – Overview). In this report you can see which devices your users use – there are three different types of devices:

  • Desktop,
  • Tablets,
  • Mobile.

In this report you can see number of sessions, users, but also bounce rate, number of transactions and conversion rate separately for every type of device.

Is the bounce rate and conversion rate for mobile devices much lower than for desktop? That may imply that your website isn’t optimized too much for mobile devices.

In Devices report (Audience – Mobile – Devices) you can see pretty much the same metrics as for Mobile Overview report, but you can check those metrics for specific mobile device or specific brand.


Next group of reports is Acquisition. Reports from this group are showing what channels visitors use to visit your website.

Which channel did bring the most users to my website? Which channel does bring the most quality users – for example, users who are engaged with the content I provide, users who convert, user who come back and so on. Which channel does attract new visitors to my website and which is the best in bringing them back?

Most of the answers on these question can be found in Channels report (Acquisition – All Traffic – Channels). Channels report is one of the most basic reports (but one of the most valuable as well) and it’s my pick from Acquisition reports.  


Behavior category contains reports, which help us to better understand how users behave and interact with our website.

From Behavior reports I would pick Site Search report (Behavior – Site Search – Overview). These reports are not available by default in Google Analytics – you need to activate them.

How? In Admin section select View Settings for a view in which you want to activate Site Search reports. Then scroll down to Site Search Settings and turn Site Search Tracking on. The last thing you need to add is Query parameter. This is the URL parameter that contains user’s search query. Most of the time it’s ‘search’ or ‘q’, but this Search query parameter can differ from website to website, so you should check which parameter is used on your website. That’s it, now you successfully activated Site Search reports.

These reports will provide you valuable insights about what are the users looking for on your website. Let’s say we have eshop. In Search Terms report you can see the list of the most searched queries – this is really good indicator of what are your users looking for.

This list might help you to find a new products that you could add to your portfolio. You can also get number of session with or without site search – so you will get an idea, how much is search feature used on your website.


This category will help you answer if and how much users are completing the goals we defined. In ecommerce those goals are transactions, but goals can have different definition from website to website – it depends on the main objective of that website.

Do we want to sell something? Do we want to collect leads? Do we want users to interact and engage with our content?

From this category I chose Top Conversion Paths report (Conversions – Multi-Channel Funnels – Top conversion Paths). This report will show you the best channel combinations which led to conversions. This report will also help you to understand, which channels perform better in assisting and which in finalizing conversion.

Customer often interacts with website several times before he actually converts. It’s common, that these visits comes from different channels. This will help you with optimizing your marketing strategy, so you can map it to the real journey of your customers.