Here at Q4Launch, we’re constantly checking Google Analytics and evaluating the data it presents to measure the success we drive for our customers, as well as keeping an eye on any areas that need some extra attention. One of the ways we streamline the analysis process is by creating custom Google Analytics Dashboards to keep the most important data at our fingertips. This way we spend more time analyzing data and coming up with new ideas and solutions than we do looking for the data. Then we can turn around and use that data and analysis in the reports we present to our customers. And, lucky you, we’re going to share some insight into Google Analytics Dashboards to make your process a bit more seamless.
What is a Google Analytics Dashboard?
If you’re new to Google Analytics or are just unfamiliar with the concept of the dashboard, you may be a bit confused. Let’s clear that up. A Google Analytics dashboard is a tool you can use in Google Analytics to bring all of the important metrics you use in your reporting and analysis processes onto one page view. You can customize this dashboard to include only the things that are important to you. This eliminates the process of searching through the different sections of Google Analytics to pinpoint the numbers you want.
Creating a Google Analytics Dashboard
To create a new Google Analytics dashboard, log into your account and access google analytics. If you have admin access to more than one site, choose the site you wish to make a dashboard for. At the top of the lefthand sidebar is an icon with the label “Dashboards.” Click on the icon and then select “+New Dashboard.” Then you will have the option to start from scratch or choose a Starter Dashboard. A Starter Dashboard has metrics like Users, New Users, and Bounce Rate included. Blank Canvas, as the name suggests, presents you with an empty page to fill as you choose. Or, you can import a dashboard from the Google Analytics Solution Gallery.
We’re going to start from scratch and create a new dashboard with a Blank Canvas. So choose Blank Canvas and name your new dashboard whatever you want. Upon selecting this option, you will be immediately asked to create your first widget. Name the widget and then work on the settings. All you have to do is choose if you want a metric, timeline, geomap, table, pie chart or bar chart. Let’s keep it simple and use a metric.
First, choose which metric you want to measure, like Pageviews. Then you can add a filter for the data. For example, you may be counting blog views, so you choose to measure Pageviews, and filter it with “only show” and “Destination Page” (because we want to know how many people navigated to a destination page with blog in its URL) and next choose “containing” and lastly type in “blog” into the blank space. Save the widget settings. Now you have a widget on your dashboard that shows how many blog visits you’ve had in a selected month. Lather, rinse and repeat until your customized dashboard is full of all the necessary metric for your needs.
Using Your New Google Analytics Dashboard
Now that you’ve put a little work in creating your customized Google Analytics dashboard, you can reap the rewards. In this case, the reward is that your reporting process will be less time consuming because you’ll spend less time digging through the different places in Analytics just to come up with your data. Instead, the needed numbers will be right at your fingertips. You’ll be able to spend more of your energy actually assessing and analyzing the data instead of searching for it. To create your report, you simply open up the dashboard view when you get into your Analytics account and use the data to fill in whatever categories are in your report, simple as that!