Quick Free Universal Analytics Backup

At the time of writing you’ve got this long left to back up your Universal Analytics (UA) data

If you’ve left it this late it probably isn’t a huge priority for you but what if I told you there is a free quick n dirty option that will only take you 5 minutes. Got to be worth saving all that historical data somewhere right?

This solution is designed to extract the most common dimensions and metrics ecommerce marketers ask for but with a bit of messing about I’m sure you’ll be able to adapt it to other types of site too.

So, how does it work? Here’s the tl;dr

  1. We add the Google Analytics extension to Google Sheets
  2. We make a copy of my UA Export template
  3. Update the view id to point it at our UA view
  4. Optionally tweak the config
  5. Run the report

And now a more detailed explanation:

First we need to install the Google Analytics add-on for Google Sheets. This can be installed from here. Once you’ve done that you are ready to go and make a copy of my Google Sheets template. Simply click File > Make a Copy

Now you need to point your new copy of the sheet at your GA (Universal Analytics) view. To do this first you need to find your view id. To do this:

  • Access your Universal Analytics property and select the view you are interested in backing up
  • Click Admin > View Settings
  • Check the View ID

Now you have your view id enter that into the first row of yellow boxes in the Report Config sheet. Make sure you’ve used the same Google ID to create the report and access Google Analytics or it won’t work.

You can also optionally change the start date depending on how much history you have in UA

Depending on how much traffic your site got you may need to increase the minimum pageview filters too. The above example was for a very small Shopify site but I’ve tested this with a very busy ecom brand with a large site and we needed to increase these considerably to around 250 page views and 100 landing page views to ensure that Google Sheets had enough rows available to cope. Test it and if it doesn’t work on these settings whack them up.

Once you’ve done that click Extensions > Google Analytics > Run Report

After a minute or so it will create tabs containing your acquisition (channel/source/medium) data, pageviews, landing page reports, and a rudimentary ecommerce report

Pageviews, Landing Pages, and Ecommerce Items reports are grouped by month to make the data manageable. Acquisition reports are by day. Before you ask I’ve split the date dimension into year, month, day columns to make it easier to select ranges.

Sorry this article is so hastily put together but with less than 2 weeks to go before if basically becomes obsolete I couldn’t be bothered to put any more effort in 😉

Hopefully someone finds it useful.

Coleman Marketing Services

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