Google Analytics Dashboards allow you to see several different important metrics at once in a specific profile. Depending on which metrics you are concerned with based on your prerogative (copywriting, SEO, paid search, etc.), you’ll be able to see several in one page that gives you a snapshot of “the big picture.”
Here’s an example of one (Note: URLs blacked out to protect the innocent. Heh!):
Instead of having to click through to several different standard reports to get all of this information, everything is on one page.
You can compare all of these metrics to each other in any date range you specify, which can be useful for spotting patterns or identifying the effects of any changes that are made such as a new blog post, site re-design, SEO recommendation implementations, and just about anything else.
Each of the boxes you see in this example is called a widget. These are custom made to measure a certain dimension such as a source, medium, or campaign by up to two metrics. There are four types of widgets:
We can use the previous screenshot to identify each type of widget as an example:
Setting Up a Google Analytics Dashboard Widget
Setting up a widget is dead simple. Let’s say we want to add a widget that measures pages per visit and average time on site from users who enter this domain through organic search. Since we want to highlight a single dimension (organic) and two metrics (pages per visit and average time on site), this will require us to use a table widget.
To add a widget, click on the “+ Add Widget” button and you’ll see this pop-up:
Select the dimension you want to measure, which in this example is a medium (i.e. organic search, paid search, referral). But we also want to see the source of each organic search visitor (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). In order to see both, the dimension selected should not just be “Medium,” but “Source/Medium.”
Once your dimension is in place, select two metrics you’d like to measure. Like the last example, we want to measure pages per visit and average time on site.
Now, we know the only medium we want to see is organic search. In order to see this data separately from all other mediums, we have to add a filter. Click “Add a filter,” select the dimension you want to filter by (medium) and ensure that the drop down boxes match your desired parameters:
Type in the title you want to give this widget and hit “save.” You will see your new widget in the top left corner of the dashboard. You can drag and drop it anywhere you like:
Voila! You have yourself a new widget.
There are a few important things to remember about dashboards:
- You’re not limited to just one. If you have a specific prerogative and want to set up a dashboard just for select metrics, the sky’s the limit.
- Dashboards are unique to the profile you are creating them in – they do not roll over to other profiles in an account.
- And perhaps most important – dashboards are unique to your login. So, the dashboard you just created will not appear if another user views the same profile.
In our next post about Google Analytics Dashboards, we’ll talk about what dashboards to set up for various people in an internet marketing business – Executives, Marketing Managers, Search Specialists and Copywriters. Stay tuned!
About The Author
This is a guest post written by Ryan Moothart – SEM and Analytics specialist, and my colleague at Portent. Check him out on Twitter: