Common metrics with the GA API

While creating a client for Google Analytics recently I have been creating quite a collection of functions that pull metrics. So I wanted to spread the joy and add a few examples of how to pull these common metrics from the API.

The Google Analytics API allows you to pull all the information and use it in some way for your app. Including sorting, selecting fields and filtering according to certain criteria.

What follows are a few samples of combinations to use to achieve common metrics.

Bounce rate

To return the bounce rate for the first week of 2015

metrics ga:bounceRate
start_date 2015-01-01
start_date 2015-01-07

Average time on site

To return the time that users spent on the site for the first week of 2015

metrics ga:avgTimeOnPage
start_date 2015-01-01
start_date 2015-01-07

Page views

This will the total pages view for the first week of 2015

metrics ga:pageviews
start_date 2015-01-01
start_date 2015-01-07

But we can go a bit further. Let's say you need the total page views for a certain device category. Device categories represent which type of device the session was on. Namely desktop, tablet and mobile

For a quick example. Let's say we want the total pageviews from tablets in the first week of 2015

metrics ga:pageviews
filters ga:deviceCategorytablet
start_date 2015-01-01
start_date 2015-01-07

ga:deviceCategory can be replaced by any of those categories and the results will be filtered for only those devices. Quite cool !

Total unique sessions

This will the total unique sessions for the first week of 2015

metrics ga:users
start_date 2015-01-01
start_date 2015-01-07

Which is awesome, we now have that number. ga:users is a metric from Google after they have identified a unique session. To see the unique session per device simply add the ga:deviceCategory filter again.

Top Referrals

Let's say we want to have the top sites that sent traffic our way for the first week of 2015, and we want them sorted !

metrics ga:pageviews
dimensions ga:source
sort -ga:pageviews
filters ga:mediumreferral
start_date 2015-01-01
start_date 2015-01-07

Remember we can also limit this to say return only the top 15 which will require that we add max_results=15

Top search keywords

Now let's return the top search keywords that brought traffic to our site 2015, and we want them sorted !

metrics ga:sessions
dimensions ga:keyword
sort -ga:sessions
filters ga:sourceMedium==google / organic
start_date 2015-01-01
start_date 2015-01-07

And wala. A list of top keywords for that time period. We are only interested in organic / google as our filter shows.

Remember we can also limit this to say return only the top 15 which will require that we add max_results=15

Most popular pages

We're looking at our traffic and let's say we want to see what the most popular pages were the first week of 2015, and we want them sorted !

metrics ga:pageviews
dimensions ga:pageTitle ga:pagePath
sort -ga:pageviews
start_date 2015-01-01
start_date 2015-01-07

And that's it. This query will return the most popular pages for the time range.

That's all folks

Those are all the metrics I needed. Feel free to share in the comments so we can add more if you have some specific use cases.

Hope this helps to accelerate your Google Analytics API calls !


Posted on 2014/12/31 by Johann du Toit

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