Google’s New Analytics Dashboards: A Beginner’s Guide

Get the most out of your Analytics. Google’s new dashboards put real-time metrics at your fingertips.

Internet marketers know a thing or two about the endless data dig. Working with a platform as robust as Google Analytics, it’s sometimes hard to navigate through all that information. My advice? Break away from the daily Analytics scramble. Organize the data you need in one convenient place. Spend your time looking at the data, not looking for it.
With the release of its customizable dashboard platform last year, the experts at Google have made it easier than ever to track your way to success – one metric at a time. Simply select a small handful of goals, choose key performance indicators, track them in your dashboard, and gain the insights you need to bolster your digital objectives. Save your time and sanity. Custom dashboards can help you evaluate performance in the blink of an eye!

Here are a few tips to get you started on your quest for Dashboard bliss:

Know your goals. Insightful Data is in the eye of the beholder.
Know what’s important to your business. Are you looking to track ecommerce conversions, overall website traffic, blog and social media buzz, visitor behavior on your site, or traffic sources? Are you evaluating the performance of your paid search marketing campaign or trying to see if those SEO efforts are really paying off?

List your objectives. Knowing what you want out of your Dashboard is always the place to start.

Choose your data, and then choose a widget.
After you’ve decided what you want to track, it’s time to create widgets. Start by choosing key performance indicators based on your goals. Then, choose a way to display it. Google offers four different widget display types:

Google Display Widgets
Metric: Display the exact value of a given metric (total number of visits, bounce rate, time on site).

Pie Chart: Break down selected metric by another variable (visits by traffic source, revenue by country).

Timelines: Compare any metric over a period of time (ecommerce conversion rate over time, goal completions over time).

Tables: Display a maximum of 10 rows from two metrics for a specific dimension (clicks and impressions by paid search campaign).

The widget type you choose ultimately depends on the nature of data you want to display and how you want to display it. For example, say you want some stats on visitor traffic. Let’s take the metric “visits