Best Google Analytics Shortcuts: Tricks, Tools & APIs to save Time

I am going to give you some quick tips and shortcuts to use Google Analytics more efficiently.

Built-in Keyboard Shortcuts in Google Analytics

Do you know, Google Analytics provide a handy list of shortcuts which you can use to perform variety of tasks like: quickly change data range, date comparison mode or toggle the navigation menu?

To see the list of all available keyboard shortcuts in GA, follow the steps below:

Step-1: Login to Google Analytics and then open your main view.

Step-2: Press SHIFT + ‘?’ key on your keyboard. You will then see a screen similar to the one below:

google analytics keyboard shortcuts

Select the task you want to perform from the shortcuts list and then press the appropriate keys on your keyboard.

For example if you want to set the date range of your analytics report to today then press ‘d’ followed by ‘t’. The keyboard shortcuts are pretty easy to use. Press the ESCAPE key if you want to cancel the current operation or close the ‘keyboard shortcuts’ dialog box.

Open several Google Analytics Reports at once

I have access to dozens of user accounts and some 50+ website profiles/views in my GA account and accessing them every day, used to be quite frustrating.

Follow the steps below in order to open several GA reports at once.

Step-1: open chrome browser and then right click on the bookmark toolbar.

Step-2: Click on ‘Add Folder’:

add folder

Step-3: Name your new folder and then click on the ‘save’ button.

Step-4: Login to Google Analytics and go to your main view.

Step-5: open the report you want to bookmark.

Step-6: Press CTRL + D on your keyboard to bookmark the report:

bookmark report

Step-7: repeat step 5 and 6 for each new report you want to add to your new folder.

Step-8: Once you have added all the GA reports which you frequently access every day, right click on the bookmark folder and click on ‘Open all bookmarks in new window’:

open all in new window

In this way you can access all the required GA reports withjust one click (provided you are already logged into GA).  You can directly access any report, whether standard or custom report and even access the dashboards with just one click.

Use keyboard shortcuts to open your favorite GA report

If you use Firefox browser, you can use keyboard shortcuts to open a particular Google analytics report. Here is how:

Step-1: open Firefox browser and install the firefox add-on SiteLauncher. This add-on let you access your bookmarks through keyboard shortcuts.

Step-2:  Once you have installed this add-on, access the GA analytics report you want to open through a keyboard shortcut.

Step-3: Press CTRL + SHIFT + S in your keyboard. This will open the ‘site launcher Management’ dialog box:

site launcher management

Step-4: Enter the name of your report in the ‘Title’ field and the one letter shortcut key in the ‘key field.

Step-5: Click on the ‘Update’ button and then the ‘ok’ button. You have now created your first keyboard shortcut for an analytics report. Create similar shortcuts for other analytics reports.

Step-6: use ALT+SHIFT+{ your shortcut-key}. For example press ALT+SHIFT+o to quickly launch the report we shortcut above.

Step-7: If you don’t wish to remember shortcut key for each GA report then open the launcher by pressing  CTRL+Space buttons on your keyboard. The launcher window will look like the one below:


You can now see all your reports at one place along with the shortcut keys.

Now all you have to do is type your one letter shortcut key to open the desired report. For example press ‘o’ to quickly launch the report we shortcut above. Every time you want to access a report, just open this launcher by pressing CTRL+SPACE,  see the singe letter shortcut key next to the report and then type it to open the report. In this way you don’t even need to remember even the shortcut key for each report.

Note: To avoid lot of cluttering on the launcher panel, add only those shortcuts which you frequently use.

Use account panel to quickly jump to any GA property

If you have got access to several Google Analytics account and you want to quickly jump to another account, then follow the steps below:

Step-1: From within any GA report, press ‘a’ on your keyboard. This will open up the ‘account panel’:

account panel

Step-2: Use the search box in the account panel to quickly access your desired account, property or view:

account panel search box

Use keyboard shortcut ‘s’ to quickly access any GA report

From within any GA report, press ‘s’ on your keyboard. You can now quickly access any recently viewed report:

find reports and more

or if you remember the name of the report you want to access, type it into the search box to quickly access the desired report:

find reports and more 2

Use Shortcuts reports to save customization applied to a report

If you see yourself applying a particular reporting filter, advanced segment, secondary dimension or any other customization to a report over and over again then create shortcuts reports. Through Google Analytics Shortcut reports you can prermanently save any customization to almost any analytics report. You can save a report as a ‘shortcut’ along with filters, advanced segments, dimensions and other customization you have applied to it. So next time when you access the report via ‘shortcuts’ menu you can view the report along with your customization.

To create a shortcuts report, follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to the report whose shortcut you want to create and apply the filters, advanced segments or secondary dimensions you often apply to your report.

Step-2: Now in order to save your customization, click on the shortcut button at the top navigation bar and then enter the name of the new shortcut:

shortcut report

 Step-3: You can now access your shortcut report under the ‘shortcuts’ menu:

google analytics shortcuts 3

Note: You can’t add every report to the Shortcuts menu. For example you can’t add the dashboards or ‘User Flow’ reports to the Shortcuts menu.

Quickly get help in Google Analytics

There are situations in which you want to understand a particular GA report for better data interpretation. Now instead of searching on Google or checking out the Google Analytics help center, you can get all the details about a report from within the reporting interface.

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to the report which you want to know more about.

Step-2: Look for the following icon at the top right hand side and then click on it:

quick ga help

You will now see a section where you can get details about this report: what this report is about, how to interpret it. You may also see a short video tutorial:

quick ga help2

Step-3: In order to understand various metrics used in a report, just hover your mouse cursor over a metric and you will see a small description of the metric:

metric description

Step-4: Repeat step 1 to 3 for each report you want to interpret/understand in Google Analytics.

Use REGEX to quickly filter data within reporting interface

Let us suppose you want to filter out all those referrals which are in the form of IP address.  Now how you will do that?  You need to use Regular expressions within the reporting interface like the one below:


traffic from ips

Love it or hate it, REGEX (or regular expressions) is the way to quickly filter out any data in Ga reports. You can filter the data without REGEX too but it is going to be very time consuming (and sometime impractical) and analytics ninjas are not slow people. I find REGEX so useful that I had to write Regular Expressions Guide for SEO, Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager . Check out this article to know all about REGEX.

Following are some REGEX you will find useful and handy while filtering data within reporting interface:

SNO. Action Solution
1 Filter 1 word keyword phrase ^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){0}$
2 Filter 2 words keyword phrase ^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){1}$
3 Filter 3 words keyword phrase ^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){2}$
4 Filter 4 words keyword phrase ^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){3}$
5 Filter 5 words keyword phrase ^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){4}$
6 Filter 6 words keyword phrase ^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){5}$
7 Filter 7 words keyword phrase ^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){6}$
8 Filter 8 words keyword phrase ^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){7}$
9 Filter 9 words keyword phrase ^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){8}$
10 Filter 10 words keyword phrase ^[^\.\s\-]+([\.\s\-]+[^\.\s\-]+){9}$
11 Include/exclude branded keywords (v?irgin ?atlantic)|virgin|atlantic

Replace ‘virgin atlantic’ by your domain name in the format as specified above.

12 Include/exclude Social Media Traffic (facebook|twitter|stumbleupon|linkedin|t\.co|goo\.gl|plus\.google)\.com

Use Custom Reports to quickly access the desired data

Google Analytics custom report is a quick way to get the desired data. The Standard Reports provided by GA will not always show you what you want to see in your reports straightaway. You may have to do lot of tweaking/customization within the reporting interface to get the data in the desired format. So it is imperative that you use custom reports. The biggest advantage of using custom reports is that they let you tie conversions/revenue with your desired metric and dimension.

For example through custom reports you can easily determine the traffic source which have highest goal conversion rate/volume or which are assisting in user engagement. Check the Google Analytics custom report help guide for more details.

Note: You can also convert custom reports into shortcut reports by clicking on the ‘Shortcut’ button.

Google Analytics Tools to boost your productivity

#1 Analytics Canvas – paid tool for GA report automation.
#2 GA Checker – tool to crawl a website to find missing Google Analytics tracking code, GTM code etc.
#3  GAConfig – tool to quickly generate event tracking code.

#4 Google Analytics Account Setup Checklist – interactive tool for configuring your Google Analytics account.
#5 Google Analytics Solutions Gallery – tool to import ready made dashboards, custom reports and advanced segments into Google Analytics.
#6 Google Analytics Training Resources Tutorials – quickly access various resources and tutorials on GA.

Note: To get the complete list of web analytics tools, check out the Optimize Smart Web Analytics Tool Box

Use Google Analytics APIs for fastest Information Retrieval

If you are an analyst of a big organization and/or you have to manage hundreds of analytics accounts/profiles then you have no choice but to use the APIs provided by Google Analytics to quickly retrieve the information you want. Otherwise you  may find yourself spending majority of your time creating and downloading reports through Google Analytics Interface instead of carrying out a meaningful analysis.

Other advantage of using Universal Analytics APIs is the flexibility it provides in terms of information retrieval. You can access the information in any format you want. You can easily integrate GA data with your business data and automate complex tasks. Google Custom reports have got limitations when it comes to information retrieval but Analytics APIs have none.

Google Analytics provide two types of APIs:

  1. Management API
  2. Core Reporting API

The management API provides read only access to the Universal Analytics configuration data like information related to analytics account and views. It does not provide access to the actual report data (data collected by Google Analytics via the tracking code). So you need to use the Core Reporting API to access report data.

Related Article: How to use Google Analytics API without any coding

Announcement about my new books

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Himanshu Sharma

Certified web analyst and founder of

My name is Himanshu Sharma and I help businesses find and fix their Google Analytics and conversion issues. If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

  • Over eleven years' experience in SEO, PPC and web analytics
  • Google Analytics certified
  • Google AdWords certified
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Award for Excellence
  • Bachelors degree in Internet Science
  • Founder of and

I am also the author of three books:

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