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A new timesaver for Google Analytics users

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 05 Sep, 2012
Essential Essential topic

Shortcuts give you quick access to your favourite reports and customisations

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Recommended link: Google Analytics Support Page

I’ve just been taking a look at this new Google feature. Although it doesn't involve a new report or big change to the interface, I think it’s worth sharing as a mini-tutorial since it could save you hours of time across the year if you know about it. I’ll certainly be flagging it up prominently on training courses.

What are Shortcuts?

Shortcuts simply remember your settings for an individual report. They’re like Favourites or Bookmarks for reports. Any Standard or Custom report can be added to your shortcuts but Goal reports, Real-time and Intelligence reports are excluded.

How do you set them up?

This is easy, for the report your currently viewing, just select the “Shortcut (Beta)” option from the options at the top of the report you want saving.

Here I've set one up for non-brand organic search traffic Advanced Segment - a report that every business should use.

You can see more examples in this post from GA evangelist Justin Cutroni.

How do you access them?

This is easy also, they’re available from the Home Tab in the top navigation and you’ll then see them in the left.

They can also be shared within a team like other features such as Advanced Segments through the Admin section, so if you have several people working on a site it’s well worth setting them up.


It’s weird they’re available for Ecommerce reports, but not goals - goals are a common use-case for web managers! It would also be good if they were for a defined time period like this week, this week compared to last week. Selecting time has always been a weakness for business reporting in Google Analytics. The only other improvement I can think of is a need to group them - I think there are going to be some long lists of shortcuts. But at least they’re not mixed with browser shortcuts which previous utilities did.

By coincidence we’re also about to set these up for Smart Insights members in response to requests for easy access to reports and blog posts. Ours will give grouping and will be called favourites.


Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. 'Dr Dave' is known for his strategic, but practical, data-driven advice. He has trained and consulted with many business of all sizes in most sectors. These include large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell, Confused.com, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses. Dave is editor of the templates, guides and courses in our digital marketing resource library used by our Business members to plan, manage and optimize their marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is also keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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