In Avinash Kaushik’s presentation at MozCon, he showed a really cool heat map that showed number of goal completions (for the most part) segmented by source/medium. It was an impressive display of sexy data, which caught my attention, as you might imagine.
So I promised that I would write a follow-up post on how to create one of these works of art.
Download Excel File
If you want to peek under the hood and check out the heat map I created in the tutorial feel free to download the one I worked from.
Breakdown Of Avinash’s Heat Map
Although I’m not usually wild about mixing mediums and sources in one report as his did, I’ll demonstrate how to get what he got. From what I could make of the photos provided by the awesome Thomas Ballantyne (who also took amazing photos of me speaking at said conference!), he included a handful of categories:
- Email Marketing
- Display Ads
- Social Media
And also some goal metrics:
- Email Signups
- Join Site
- Affiliate Signups
There were a few other goal metrics I couldn’t make out (and one I redacted because it would be too confusing to explain and didn’t come from analytics). But this should get us started.
Getting The Data From Google Analytics
To pull this report you’ll need to use a custom report. If you don’t know how to create one, I did a quick video tutorial. They’re awesome, and I use them all the time. However, they are more prone to sampling, whereas the standard reports don’t get sampled at all. So if I can use a standard report with no advanced segments to avoid sampling I do. But in this case you can only get actual conversion numbers in a custom report. The standard reports only provide goal conversion rate numbers.
Here’s a link to a custom report with the first 10 goal slots filled out, and the medium is set to Source / Medium. If you want to report on more than 10 goals, click the Duplicate this tab link to the right and switch out the goals.
If you want the goal conversions for traffic from social media, as Avinash’s did, you’ll need to run a separate report. You can use this one I created, which looks like this:
The Yes just means yes, it came from a social source (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). I unearthed a total of 248 social networks. A Google Analytics engineer confirmed this list was very close to theirs, not that he shared theirs. Pfft.
I chose Social Source Referral as the dimension and created a filter to show only those visits where that was true (hence the yes) so that you would only have one dimension in the report. Otherwise, you’d have to add up the number of goal conversions for each goal item. For example, if I used source as the dimension, you’d have to add up all the Goal 1 completions for Twitter, Facebook,, YouTube, Reddit, etc. What a pain.
No need to thank me. Or send me shoes.
Pro Tip: You’ll need to open both of these custom report links in the browser you’re logged in to your Google Analytics account with — or at least logged in to that Google account somehow, whether it’s in Gmail, YouTube, AdWords, or whatever. Otherwise, you’ll get a 404 error and join the list of people who have told me on Twitter that my link is broken.
If you need to choose different goal completions, just click one of the blue metrics boxes and start typing “goal 11 completions” — or whatever number you need. Alternatively, if you know the name of the goal you could type that in too. Either will work. (I like options.)
Your exports will look like this for the Source / Medium report:
And this for the social report, with one line item:
So you would just want to change that “Yes” to Social Media and add it to your other report.
Now I’m going to replace those real reports with sources and mediums that mimic Avinash’s report, as well as the metrics he used. This is how analysts cook the books.
Heat Map Tutorial (Finally!)
Okay, so I took the data, fabricated all of it, and deleted the heading for our first column of data (for aesthetics). The video takes you the rest of the way. It’s really short — only four minutes.