Google Analytics 4 Reports: How to Create Custom Reports

 Sooner or later you are going to switch to Google Analytics 4, as Google will not support the old one for too long. So you need to learn how to “read” or create reports in the new GA4.

Its interface may seem frightening at the first glass with all the data and different options presented. You may even get tangled at first, not knowing how to analyze the data and understand reports. But with the right step-by-step guide, you will get a grasp of it in no time. Read further to learn everything about this amazing future of GA4.

What is Google Analytics 4 Reports Snapshot?

Google Analytics 4 Reports Snapshot is an overview of key data and metrics in the dashboard’s navigation that can be customized and will display the report you set.  It shows the breakdown of a website or an app performance.

What are Google Analytics 4 Report Types?

There are more than a dozen report templates that you can choose in the Library section of your GA4. 

Google Analytics 4 Report Types

You will see overview reports and more detailed reports under each overview:

  • Acquisition overview
  1. User acquisition
  2. Traffic acquisition: Session default channel grouping


  • Engagement overview
  1. Events
  2. Conversions
  3. Pages and screens: Page title and screen class


  • Monetization overview 
  1. Ecommerce purchases: Item name
  2. In-app purchases: Product ID
  3. Publisher ads: Ad unit


  • Retention overview
  • Reports snapshot (by default)   


  • Demographics overview
  1. Demographic details: Country


  • Tech overview  
  1. Tech details


You can customize all the above-mentioned reports by choosing cards  from the right menu bar:

customize ga4 reports

You can select up to 16 cards:

select up to 16 cards GA4

If you are new to GA4 or need more information, check our Google Analytics Complete Guide.

Google Analytics 4 Custom Reports

Although GA4 provides you with the ready reports (grouped and categorized) you may want to create custom reports. To create a GA4 report you should click on the “Create new report” and choose “Create overview report”.

You will see an empty report where you can add up to 16 cards based on your goals. You can create up to 200 custom reports for each property. Now you need to choose a name for your report and start adding cards.

You can choose cards from two columns:

  • Summary cards
  • Other cards
add new cards google analytics 4

As with the ready reports, the cards are grouped or can be grouped.

Users Acquisition Cards

User acquisition cards are:

  • New users by First user default channel grouping
  • Lifetime value
  • User retention
  • Lifetime value

This report allows you to collect and analyze data about your users, where are they coming from, do they convert to returning users or not, and so on. So what can you do after you have the data collected and sorted out?

  • understand which marketing campaigns are paying off and driving the most traffic
  • if you need to make changes in your overall digital marketing strategy
  • where are you strong, what user acquisition sources you should focus on most
  • it calculates the user’s lifetime value based on the first 120 day purchases
  • and so on

Session Cards

Google Analytics 4 sessions are single actions that a user performs within a predefined timeframe. If a visitor performs different actions on your website for more than 30 minutes, GA4 considers it as one session. It includes:

  • Session default channel grouping is a rule-based definition of your website’s/app’s traffic sources. 
  • Session source shows the websites that triggered the users’ session.
  • Session medium shows the channels that triggered the users’ session.
  • Session source platform shows the marketing activity or campaign based on which users started the session.
  • Session campaign shows the campaign based on which users started the session.


And the below-mentioned fields show Google Ads campaigns that trigger sessions:

  • Session Google Ads campaign
  • Session Google Ads ad group name
  • Session Google Ads keyword text
  • Session Google Ads query
  • Session Google Ads ad network type
  • Session Google Ads account name


It’s important to monitor the sessions to understand:

  • which pages users land first arrive on
  • follow their journey to understand where they go on your website and where their session ends
  • why your visitors don’t convert into buyers

Event Cards

Event cards include two cards:

  • Event count by Event name shows the name of the action that triggered the event. 
  • Conversions by Event name shows the events that you marked as conversion.


Other Event Cards are:

  • Event count by Content type
  • Event count by Level
  • Event count by 
  • Message name
  • Event count by Topic
  • Event count by Country
  • Event count by Platform
  • Event Count + 3


Events are a vital part of analyzing your website and users. It allows:

  • To understand how users interact with the elements of your page
  • Track your marketing goals
  • Understand how you should optimize your website for better conversion
  • Set marketing goals
  • Track the bounce rate
  • etc

Users Demographic Cards

Demographics and interests cards allow creating a report to analyze and better understand your audience’s needs based on their demographics and interests. The main cards you can add to the report are:

  • Users/New Users/Returning Users by Age
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users by Gender
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users by Language
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users by Age
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users by City
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users by Country
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users by Interests

This report helps you understand your users better, make shifts to your website and make it more appealing for the type of audience your target:

  • understand if you need more male or female, older or younger audience based on your website’s intent
  • adjust or change your whole marketing strategy and marketing campaigns
  • understanding the failed conversions and bounce rate
  • creating buyer personas
  • adding new categories/services/products
  • etc

Tech Cards

The cards that are included in the Tech report show your website/app traffic based on your audience’s operating system, browser, screen resolution, app version, etc. The cards are:

  • Users/New Users/Returning Users/ Total revenue by Device Model/Device Category where Device Model shows the device models that the visitor used to access your website/app (iPhone, Samsung, etc) and Device Category shows what type of device was used (phone, desktop, tablet. etc)
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users by Browser
  • Users by Platform
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users/ Total revenue by Operating system like Windows, Macintosh, iOS, etc
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users/ Total revenue by Platform / Device Category
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users/ Total revenue by Screen Resolution
  • Conversions/Event Count/ Total Revenue by Platform that what actions, were performed, based on the platform type
  • Users/New Users/Returning Users/ Total revenue by App Version
  • Views by Page Title and Screen Class
  • This metric shows what pages drive the most views by screen class. The number of views shows the repeated shows of a single page and is triggered by screen_view and page_view events. 
  • Latest app release overview
  • App stability overview
  • Users by App version


Based on the Tech report you will be able to understand:

  • what are the top browsers that your audience uses to access your website 
  • if you are optimizing the website for the right browsers
  • is your desktop traffic higher than the mobile traffic which will show if your users access your website/app from home or work?
  • etc 


As you can see, there is a lot of data that you can gather and analyze, which will help you to understand your users better and improve your website/app.  

User Retention

The Retention cards show how often and for how long the visitors engage or stay on your website/app after the first visit. It includes the following cards:

  • User retention by cohort – shows the percentage of the new-users cohort who return every day. 
  • User engagement by cohort – displays average engagement time of the new users who return every day. 
  • User retention–  measures the percentage of new users returning each day.


 Please note you will need to add other cards as well to get the full picture like Lifetime value, User engagement, etc.

This report shows your website’s visitors’ behavior, calculates the rate of the returning users, the value of the returning users, etc.

User Engagement

The cards in this group show a detailed report on your visitors’ engagement time when different events are triggered. The report groups the following cards:

  • User stickiness – compares active users’ engagement within a narrow time frame with engagement during a broader time frame. The values showing the ratio are – DAU/MAU, DAU/WAU, WAU/MAU. To learn more you can check our Google Analytics 4 complete guide.
  • Average engagement time – calculates and shows the average time of user engagement.
  • Engagement session per user – shows average session number for each active user.
  • Engagement rate – is calculated by dividing engaged sessions by the number of overall sessions.
  • User engagement – shows average engagement time of retained users when the first_open event is triggered.

The Engagement report is a vital part of understanding

  • how your website performs
  •  if the users engage with it enough to meet your marketing goals
  • what events trigger engagement
  • what are the pages that have the most engagement 
  • etc  

Monetization and Ecommerce Cards

It’s one of the important featuresof GA4 that. The main cards are:

  • Product revenue by Category 
  • Buyer composition by last purchase date
  • ARPU, +2
  • Total revenue, +2
  • Total purchasers, +1
  • Average purchase revenue per user
  • Purchaser conversion, +1
  • FTPs per new user
  • ARPPU, +2
  • Ecommerce revenue, +2
  • Quantity
  • Ecommerce Purchases by Item Name
  • Revenue Per AD Unit

The report stores and shows huge data that you need to understand and make changes based on it. It will help you to scale your revenue and sales, understand your Ecommerce performance and profitability. 

  • shows your revenue is coming from
  • what is your ads’ ROI 
  • shows the number of items sold
  • shows the  number of products added to the cart
  • monitor in-site purchases

To Sum Up

As you can see, GA4 reports show amazing insights and allow you to create custom reports based on your marketing goals, provide the information and data you need to analyze.

At first glance, the reports are quite messy, and there are a lot of terms to understand but once you get used to the cards, graphs, charts and tables, you will be amazed how much information you can get and what important decisions you can make based on it. 

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Narine Nazaryan is a digital marketing specialist with more than 5 years experience in the field and more than 10 years experience in the banking and finances spheres. She is an obsessed reader and content writer. Her hobbies include coding, astronomy, physics and following the latest scientific discoveries. As it is obvious from this short bio, she doesn’t like bragging at all and is a very modest and pleasant person.

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