25 Calculated Metrics for Google Analytics

Calculated Metrics have been a long requested feature for Google Analytics. In this post, I will provide 25 use cases for calculated metrics, in addition to showing you how to use them.

What Are Calculated Metrics?

How Many Calculated Metrics Can I Make?Calculated metrics in Google Analytics are derived metrics from standard and/or custom metrics. Standard metrics are metrics that Google provides for you like Users, Sessions, and Pageviews. Custom Metrics are any other non-standard metric you create like Logins, Signups, or Video PlayTime. You can make any combination of standard metrics with or without custom metrics using standard arithmetic operators like multiplication, division, addition and subtraction to build calculated metrics.

The standard (free) version of Google Analytics allows for the creation of 5 calculated metrics per view. The Premium version comes with 50 calculated metrics per view. Calculated metrics limits do not take away from your quota of custom dimensions and metrics. You could have 5 custom metrics, 20 custom dimensions and 5 calculated metrics per view for standard Google Analytics or 200 Custom Metrics and 50 calculated metrics for Premium. Learn about properties, views (profiles) and accounts from Google.

Where Can I Use Calculated Metrics in Google Analytics?

Calculated metrics are available in custom reports, dashboard widgets, and through the API. At this time you will be unable to use any of your calculated metrics in any of the standard reports. Being able to use them in dashboards, with the ability to link the dashboard widgets to custom reports where they are used, should meet the majority of use cases you would need a calculated metric for.

How Can I Make A Calculated Metric?

Making a calculated metrics is one of the easiest processes in Google Analytics. The hardest part will be finding them in the Admin section. After that it’s super easy, especially if you are familiar with Google Tag Manager! It will feel very similar to selecting variables (macros).

Step 1: Open Calculated Metrics

Assuming you have ‘Edit’ permissions to your Google Analytics account, find your way by clicking Admin -> Views -> Calculated Metrics -> Click ‘New Calculated Metric’.

Calculated Metrics in Google Analytics

Step 2: Create a Calculated Metric

To create a calculated metric you will need to provide a name, generate an external name, select a formatting type and enter the formula for the calculation of your metric. The name, integer and formulas can be changed at any time and will work retroactively. If you make a mistake or need to rename it there are no negatives to doing so! This is such an important feature, as accidental user errors in either the calculation or the selection of formatting type can happen to the best of us Google has made it user friendly in that we can make mistakes and make as many updates as we need to correct them. The end result will have the metric calculated historically to whatever the current conditions are. Would it not be awesome if goals and goal funnels always worked like this! (Feature Request to Google) To create your metric populate these fields as follows:

  1. Name – This should be descriptive and make sense to all users who have access to your data. Names that work usually contain the metrics that are being used or a description of what the average is. Examples: Pages / User, Downloads / Users, Blog Views per User or Avg. User Duration.
  2. External Name – This field will be populated when you enter a Name for your metric. You will not be able to modify this after metric creation. This is how you will query the metric through the Google Analytics API. As long as your original entry of the name of the metric is applicable, you should never have a need to change this.
  3. Formatting Type – You have a variety of formats to select from. Here are examples of how each will appear in Google Analytics. You can change these after creation. Integer – 4 Currency – $5.23 Time – 00:04:13 Float – 3.63 Percent – 72.34%
  4. Formula – Type a metric and you will be able to select it automatically in a dropdown if its available. You can use the following operators: +, -, /, *, () and any number including decimals. This will allow you to do all basic arithmetic calculations in addition to using parenthesis to group conditions and entering numbers for calculations. Minus operators are currently unsupported. An example of a formula could be: ( {{Users}} / {{Sessions}}) * 2.1 //Note the {{ and }} are added to your metric names automatically calculated-metric-settings.

calculated-metric-settings

25 Calculated Metrics for Google Analytics

With the customization and and flexibility that Google Analytics provides there are infinite possibilities for calculated metrics. The vast majority of calculated metrics that will be created will be for ratios, which simply divide two given metrics. This will especially be applicable for ratios using custom metrics. Using both custom metrics that you should be utilizing as well as predefined standard metrics I have come up with examples of calculated metrics you can create. Below are some of the most relevant examples:

Engagement Metrics:

  • Pages / User – Average number of pages viewed per user
    • Calculation = {{Pageviews}} / {{Users}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
  • Avg. User Duration – Average time spend on site per user
    • Calculation = {{Session Duration}} / {{Users}}
    • Formatting Type = Time
  • Signup Success Rate
    • Calculation = {{Signup Success}} / {{Signup Submits}}
    • Formatting Type = Percent
    • Note: Signup and Success and Signup Submits are Custom Metrics you would need to implement. See this post for how to setup up custom metrics
  • Login Success Rate
    • Calculation = {{Login Success}} / {{Login Submits}}
    • Formatting Type = Percent
    • Note: Login and Success and Login Submits are Custom Metrics you would need to implement. See this post for how to setup up custom metrics
  • Blog Views / User
    • Calculation = {{Blog Views}} / {{Users}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
    • Note: Blog Views is a Custom Metric you would need to implement
  • Downloads / User
    • Calculation = {{Downloads}} / {{Users}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
    • Note: Downloads is a Custom Metric you would need to implement
  • Lead Form Submission Rates (Contact Us or Lead Forms)
    • Calculation = {{Form Submissions}} / {{Form Views}}
    • Formatting Type = Percentage
    • Note: Form Submissions and Form Views are Custom Metrics you would need to implement

AdWords Metrics

  • Avg. Cost per Session – Average cost per session
    • Calculation = {{Cost}} / {{Sessions}}
    • Formatting Type = Currency
  • Sessions / Clicks – Average sessions per clicks. Useful for monitoring tagging quality
    • Calculation = {{Sessions}} / {{Clicks}}
    • Formatting Type = Float

Ecommerce Metrics

  • Revenue (No Shipping / Tax) – Revenue without shipping or tax
    • Calculation = {{Revenue}} – {{Shipping}} – {{Tax}}
    • Formatting Type = Currency
  • Avg. Order Value (No Shipping /Tax) – Average order value with shipping and tax removed
    • Calculation = ({{Revenue}} – {{Shipping}} – {{Tax}}) / {{Transactions}}
    • Formatting Type = Currency
  • Revenue per User – Average revenue per user
    • Calculation = {{Revenue}} / {{Users}}
    • Formatting Type = Currency
  • Revenue per Session – Average revenue per session
    • Calculation = {{Revenue}} / {{Sessions}}
    • Formatting Type = Currency
  • Custom Revenue – Used to perform currency conversion for custom currencies
    • Calculation = {{Revenue}} * 1.33
    • Formatting Type = Currency

Event Metrics

  • Avg. Events Per Session – Average number of events per session
    • Calculation = {{Total Events}} / {{Sessions}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
  • Avg. Events Per User – Average number of events per user
    • Calculation = {{Total Events}} / {{Users}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
  • Total Events / Unique Events – Number of times events are repeated in a session
    • Calculation = {{Total Events}} / {{Unique Events}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
  • Avg. Event Value Per Session – Average event value per session
    • Calculation = {{Event Value}} / {{Sessions}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
  • Avg. Event Value per User – Average event value per user
    • Calculation = {{Event Value}} / {{Users}}
    • Formatting Type = Float

Video Metrics

  • Avg. User PlayTime – Average amount of video consumed per user
    • Calculation = {{Video PlayTime}} / {{Users}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
    • Note: Video PlayTime is a Custom Metric you would need to implement
  • Avg. Session PlayTime – Average amount of video consumed per session
    • Calculation = {{Video PlayTime}} / {{Sessions}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
    • Note: Video PlayTime is a Custom Metric you would need to implement
  • Video Completion Rate – Percentage of video completions per video start
    • Calculation = {{Video Completes}} / {{Video Starts}}
    • Formatting Type = Percentage
    • Note: Video Starts and Completes are Custom Metrics you would need to implement
  • Video Views / User – Average number of pages viewed per user
    • Calculation = {{Video Starts}} / {{Users}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
    • Note: Video Starts is a Custom Metric you would need to implement
  • Video Views / Session – Average number of pages viewed per user
    • Calculation = {{Video Starts}} / {{Sessions}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
    • Note: Video Starts is a Custom Metric you would need to implement
  • Cost per Play – Average cost per video play
    • Calculation = {{Cost}} / {{Video Starts}}
    • Formatting Type = Float
    • Note: Video Starts is a Custom Metric you would need to implement

Learn More
Some of the metrics above rely on Custom Metrics. If you have never created a Custom Metrics before, Google Analytics also has detailed documentation. The Google Analytics user base is just getting started with Calculated Metrics. I would love to hear some of your best metrics that you have created in the comments below. If you have any questions or need any help reach out in the comments or you can connect with me on Twitter.

6 Comments

  1. I’m not seeing that option in my Google Analytics admin section. I have full rights, but the next thing under “Ecommerce Settings” is the “Personal Tools & Assets” section…no “Calculated Metrics”. How/when should I be able to see that?

    Reply
    1. The option “Calculated Metric Beta” is available only with premium account. It would not appear for default GA account.

      Reply
      1. Are you saying that it is not available for a default GA account until it’s out of beta?

        From the article:
        “The standard (free) version of Google Analytics allows for the creation of 20 calculated metrics per view.”

        Reply
  2. Great stuff ! Thanks!
    Just a quick fix
    Shoukd be divided by sessions

    Avg. Event Value Per Session – Average event value per session
    Calculation = {{Event Value}} / {{Users}}
    Formatting Type = Float

    Reply
  3. Another useful metric can be Percent of sessions that didn’t complete a goal:
    ( {{sessions}} – {{goalX completion}} ) / {{sessions}}

    Reply

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