Google Analytics brings a variety of useful reports to your fingertips, and one report you shouldn’t overlook is the Behavior Flow Report. Here’s how to use it to learn more about your website visitors.
Analytics | Feb 25
Maham S. Chappal on October 29, 2020 (last modified on February 19, 2021) • 12 minute read
Google Analytics is one of the most popular analytics services in the digital world.
Did you know that almost 55% of all websites use Google Analytics for tracking and analyzing their business and website data.
However, tracking and analyzing the sheer volume of available data by Google Analytics is no small feat. Especially considering a lot of that data is not even useful for your business goals. So, what do you do?
You make use of custom dashboards in Google Analytics, and choose the data you want to be shown.
As Sasha Matviienko of growth360 says, “In today’s marketing world it’s essential to enable clients and internal marketing teams to make decisions based on data, not the gut feeling. Having a clear, always up-to-date dashboard is perfect for the job.”
So, without further ado, let’s dive into some Google Analytics custom dashboard examples. In this guide, we’re going to cover:
According to Google, dashboards are a collection of widgets that give you an overview of the reports and metrics you care about most. Dashboards let you monitor many metrics at once, so you can quickly check the health of your accounts or see correlations between different reports.
Custom Google Analytics dashboards are personalized dashboards that allow you to quickly visualize data that’s important to your business goals. They can consist of up to 12 widgets (such as metric, timeline, geomap, table, etc.) to give you an easy-to-understand overview of this data.
If you have standard Google Analytics dashboards available, why go to the trouble of creating your very own custom dashboard?
“We tend to use Custom Dashboards for SEO insights. It is helpful because it gives us more direct insight into content (Landing pages), performance-based on which we can optimize and manage our content.” Explains Nedim Imamović of DESIGNRUSH.
Mike Yared of Broadview Digital Marketing also shares, “As a business, it is important to know more than just the amount of traffic that is visiting your site. By creating custom dashboards you can pull in information from various sources and combine them into a central spot. This will help ensure that you have visibility into your marketing efforts such as SEO, social media, eCommerce, and more.”
And if you have larger teams, “creating custom dashboards can help show different information to different people. For instance, your web development team may want to see information related to traffic, time spent on the site, and bounce rates while your marketing team will be more interested in lead generation and conversions.” Explains Yared.
We saw similar results in our recent survey.
When asked marketers which Google Analytics dashboards they use most frequently, 55% of respondents mentioned Google Analytics general dashboard along with SEO analytics and search analytics dashboards.
So if you’re just starting out, these 3 dashboards definitely need to be a part of your data tracking and analyzing process.
Editor’s Note: Learn which blog posts convert search traffic into users or customers with this Organic Blog Traffic Dashboard. Then decide how to modify your blogging strategy based on past success.
Creating your own custom Google Analytics dashboard is really easy.
Step 1 – Sign in to Google Analytics.
Step 2 – Go to Customisations and then Dashboards.
Step 3 – Click on Create.
Step 4 – Now you’ve got 2 options – Blank Canvas and Starter Dashboard.
Blank Canvas is a blank canvas as its name suggests. You can customise it completely according to the data you want displayed and how you want it displayed.
Starter Dashboard has a default set of widgets that you can personalize. This option’s great if you’re a complete newbie and not sure what data you’d like to track.
You can also import Dashboards from the Solutions Gallery.
Step 5 – Add widgets to your dashboard and customize it according to your needs.
There are 2 types of widgets you can add to your dashboard.
Standard widgets are widgets that update when you refresh the page. Real-time widgets, on the other hand, update automatically in real time.
Furthermore, you can also select ‘Add a Filter’ to limit the data displayed by a particular widget.
So play around with the options available and create a custom dashboard that’s perfect for your needs and displays data according to your business goals.
You can also keep customizing your dashboard as you use it according to your changing needs.
Now that you’ve decided you want to create dashboards in Google Analytics, which one’s should you go for and what metrics should you track?
There are a plethora of dashboards available to choose from and it can get a little confusing to choose the right Google Analytics custom dashboard to display your data.
So to make it easy for you, we asked 15 marketing professionals and business owners their favorite Google Analytics custom dashboards, and here’s what they said.
“Often, we don’t give social media analytics the importance that they deserve. However, it’s social media platforms that encourage conversations and allow for more candid exposure for a company’s products or services. Social media is also a wonderful way to showcase your brand’s goals and culture.” Says Andrea Loubier of Mailbird.
Hence, having a social media analytics dashboard is essential for online business.
As Carol Tompkins of AccountsPortal explains, “Social Media Analytics dashboard shows visits to the site from each major social network, where the visitors are located, and the content pieces with the highest engagement on social media.”
Editor’s Note: This Google Analytics Social Media dashboard looks at the actions that users take after learning about your brand on social media.
“One of the most helpful Google Analytics custom dashboards is the SEO analytics dashboard. It helps you see how well your SEO efforts are paying off.
For example, the ‘Organic Traffic’ metric shows you the number of visitors your site got from organic search results. You can compare this metric from week to week or month to month to analyze trends in your search traffic.
Another helpful metric is the ‘Organic Engagement’ metric, which details the average amount of time spent by users and the bounce rate of each of your webpages. This helps you gauge which pages are holding your audience’s attention, and which need some work.
Lastly, my favorite metric is the ‘Average Page Load’.This metric lets you see if any of your pages need adjustments, because not only will slow pages hurt SEO but they will annoy your customers and lead to higher bounce rates.” Explains Nina Jensen of 8×8.
Chuks Chukwuemeka of DepreneurDigest agrees and adds, “It will help you track some key metrics such as, top performing pages, number of new visitors vs returning visitors, bounce rate, page session, domains referring to your pages, etc. These key metrics will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.”
Tracking customer and audience data is imperative for SEO. As Beekeeper’s Alexandra Zamolo shares, “Understanding the visitors that our landing pages are attracting is one of the most vital aspects of SEO. Our landing pages must be filled with beneficial information, as well as links to some of our highest-ranking pages. By sharing this data with our marketing team, they can better develop strategies and set goals for link building and overall site traffic.”
Melanie Musson of TeenagerCarInsurance.com shares her experience of using an SEO analytics dashboard and says, “Our marketing team responds well to and makes effective changes based on the SEO Analytics Dashboard. It’s concrete and shows us exactly what SEO techniques we’re nailing and which ones we need to improve.”
Editor’s Note: This Google Analytics Landing Page SEO dashboard template allows you to track the strength of your on page SEO by showing you which pages on your website drive the most organic clicks, sessions, and more.
Most business owners and marketing professionals are avid users of the website overview dashboard.
As Sasha Matviienko of Growth360 explains, “with this report you can see where your traffic is coming from, what devices your clients use, regions and how many KPIs/revenue you get from these clients. This helps to make strategic decisions on where your strategy focus should be, where you need more support etc.”
Alejandro Rioja of So Influential is of the same mind and shares, “We always use the site performance dashboard to identify potential problems, monitor the site’s speed and other key areas like server response time, and visitor cashing. It’s important because it helps us ensure that the user experience on our websites is consistently great and also allows us to fix any identified problems promptly.”
Editor’s Note: Use this free Google Analytics website performance dashboard template to track traffic sources, monitor audience behavior, identify the most-viewed pages on your website, and more.
Sam Cohen of Goldtreeway consulting is of the opinion that goals and channels dashboard is a must-have for all business owners.
“We always use the Goals and channels dashboard. The goals and channels dashboard provide a comprehensive summary of the results of all our marketing strategies. It helps us identify whether our marketing efforts are yielding results. It also identifies which exact strategies we are executing right and the ones that need improvement.” Explains Cohen.
The audience overview dashboard is another favorite among marketing professionals.
Samiksha Rawooln of Yummy Tummy Recipes explains why. “I like it alot because it is easy to understand. I can track the characteristics of my audience very easily. Adding segments to slice the data is also very easy. One can slice the data by Country, Marketing Channel, Device etc.”
And if your target audience resides in different geographic areas, this dashboard is a must for you. As Carrie McKeegan of Greenback Expat Tax Services shares, “When we begin to set up our campaigns for the quarter, it’s important to understand where our site visitors are geographically located. Often, we create multiple strategies for different regions, so that all of our leads receive the information that is most relevant to them.”
Editor’s Note: This Google Analytics Audience Overview Dashboard gives you a top-level overview of your website users for insights on visitor location, engagement, and common devices.
“I like to use the custom dashboard showing ‘day of the week’ and ‘hourly’ traffic. This way we get insights into performance on different weekdays, making it easier for us to plan when to publish new content at our blog.
This year it has been shifting a lot, making it harder to just follow the routine of posting as normally. Now we have a more varied plan for publishing – through the week. Days and nights, and on weekends.” Shares Jonathan Delfs of Satair.
Sean Henri of Pepperland Marketing has been using a Google Analytics Website Engagement Dashboard for the many websites they manage and have found it to be the perfect way to stay on top of their acquisition, behavior, and conversion metrics.
“It helps us quickly spot if metrics like bounce rate or avg. session duration are off-track so that we can take corrective action if necessary. After reviewing and identifying areas of weakness, we’ll typically pick a ‘metric to move’ which becomes the focus of the goal tracker in the bottom-right of the dashboard. The team loves it.” Explains Henri.
Editor’s Note: To get started use this free Google Analytics Website Engagement Dashboard Template to track your most important website engagement metrics, including average time on page, bounce rate, average session duration, and more.
Nicolas Vargas of Marketing Concepts shares, “We have created a custom report that tracks Event Actions performed by New Users and their correlation with Transactions/Goals
Here’s an example:
This report allows us to understand common actions new users are performing on a particular site & identify events that lead to transactions/conversions
We then use all this information (event actions) to map out different user journeys to optimise pages or websites flow.”
“It helps us understand where our customers are coming from, which devices our customers are using to purchase from our site, and provides insights on how to improve customer experience on our site from different devices.” Explains Tompkins.
Editor’s Note: This free Google Analytics (Ecommerce overview) Dashboard Template gives you full insight into your ecommerce store’s performance. Get useful, actionable data on your store’s transactions, revenue, conversion rates, and more.
Catriona Jasica of Top Vouchers Code summarized our topic perfectly by aptly saying, “Digging into google analytics is definitely time-consuming, but with a customized GA, dashboards can create a view that shows you the exact metrics you’ve been looking for.
The most effective dashboard will drag information from multiple sources and combine into one that will give you insights into your entire marketing funnel, which takes in SEO, social media, and more.”
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