Want to save yourself a ton of time each day and get your basic reporting stats in one location? Try setting up a Google Analytics dashboard. You must be using the newest version of Google Analytics to do this; check by looking at the top right of your screen to see whether you’re on the old version or new version.
To begin, pick 3 metrics that you care most about. For the average site manager, chances are these are going to be:
- Where did people come from?
- What did they like?
- How many of them converted to help me achieve my goals?
Start on your home tab, choose Dashboards, and select New Dashboard. (GA comes with a default one that isn’t super-helpful)
You’ll be asked to start a blank canvas and name it. Next, your first widget will appear for configuration. Let’s follow the standard metrics above. Our first widget will be a metric. Choose metric from the top, then choose Unique Visitors.
Next, add another widget. This time, choose a pie chart, choose Unique Visitors by Source.
Add yet another widget. This time, choose a table, then set it to Page by Unique Visitors by Goal Conversion Rate.
Two final widgets. This time, choose Timeline by Unique Visitors and Goal Completions.
Then add the metric of Goal Completions.
Drag the boxes around to make them look nice and voila!
You’ve got yourself a nice dashboard that lets you quickly see how your site is doing on any given time period in a tight, compact fashion that doesn’t require you to jump around to all of the different reports in Google Analytics. It neatly answers “where did they come from, what did they like, what did they do” in one page. On top of that, this is a great summary report to give to executives and other folks who are busy and just want a general overview of what’s happening.
Obviously, you can add tons of additional widgets and data points to best suit your needs, but remember that the point of a dashboard is to give you a very fast look at things and focus only on the most important pieces of data. Avoid cluttering it up at all costs.
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