In today’s post we’ll cover Google Analytics dashboards and why you should be using them, then offer links to five great dashboards you can install right now.
If you’ve never heard of them, a Google Analytics dashboard is a feature in your (free) Analytics account. They are small collections of widgets that organizes your Analytics data and provide a “quick glance” dashboard of information that’s important to you. They are fully customizable and there’s a seemingly endless number of configurations you can create. The options really are dizzying…the first time I tried to create a dashboard from scratch, I was overwhelmed and pretty much shelved it.
Generally speaking, dashboards are appropriate for webmasters, SEO folks, and anyone who tracks analytics on a website. Dashboards are great for summarizing and distilling data, and can cut out a lot of time wading through Analytics pages. I find them incredible timesavers around the end of the month when I have to deliver performance reports to my clients.
The best way to start using dashboards is to load a couple of pre-made ones into your Analytics account and tweak the widgets as needed. Dashboards are shareable and you can find tons of articles with links to good dashboards online. See the reference list at the bottom of this post if you want to explore further.
Important Note: if you share a dashboard, you are NOT sharing your data nor will you have access to someone else’s data. You are simply sharing the dashboard template. You can have up to 20 dashboards per site in your Analytics account.
Where are Dashboards located?
In your Analytics account, under My Stuff on the left, click on Dashboards. You’ll see two options: Private and +New Dashboard. Click on +New Dashboard to create one. You’ll have the option to make one from scratch, use a basic template, or import from a gallery.
How Can I Share My Dashboard?
If you’ve created a dashboard, click on the Share button and select Share template link. Copy the link and add it to your blog posts send via email.
Okay, without further ado, here are five helpful dashboards you can download right now. I have all five of these loaded into several of my client Analytics accounts and I find them to be very helpful.
5 Helpful Google Analytics Dashboards (and one BONUS!)
All webmasters should be able to quickly access stats about how a site is viewed and with what technologies. With Koozai’s Tech Dashboard, you can see what browsers, operating systems, mobile devices, and screen resolutions are accessing a site. It even has widgets that group goal conversations by technology, but does require you to set up the goal conversions in Analytics.
2. SEO dashboard
Also from Koozai, I like this SEO specific dashboard and it’s the one I look at the most when reviewing my sites. This shows site visitors, keyword performance by brand name and non-branded, top landing pages, and several other stats.
If you’re into SEO, you should load this dashboard as a starter and add or subtract to suit your needs.
3. Social media
I love this dashboard and it’s a must for any small business that counts social media as a major part of their online marketing. This dashboard tracks visits by all the major social networks, your most recent socially shared content, and top socially referred pages. It even has a widget to show social media visitors by US location. This one comes from Tom Dupuis at Online Media Masters.
4. Site Performance
Site speed is an SEO factor and should be monitored, and this dashboard does the trick. After loading this dashboard on client sites I often find problem pages and can recommend immediate fixes. Track your average page load time, mobile page load time, page loads by browser, domain lookups by country, and the incredibly useful page load time by popular page. This one comes courtesy of Graham Charlton at econsultancy.com.
5. The Perfect Dashboard
I really like Michael Weingand’s “Perfect” dashboard because of it’s simplicity and focus on the bottom line, which is either lead generation or revenue generation. You can download either version. Widgets include pageviews, visits, visitors, top landing pages, top referrers, and others. He even has a helpful video to walk you through configuring the goal completions.
BONUS: My Monthly Summary Dashboard
If you’re an SEO specialist you’ve probably been tasked with delivering a monthly summary to your clients. I have a dashboard I use that has the basics and is handy for exporting as a PDF and attaching to an email or pulling stats to create a monthly report. This is data I’ve found stakeholders generally ask about, such as visits, visits by landing page, top 10 keywords, visits by traffic type, mobile use, etc.
I typically put in a date range in the dashboard (e.g. Oct 1 – Oct 31) and summarize notable differences from the previous month in my reports, but you can certainly but any date range or even a year range to see different views. Use this as a starter and add widgets from any of the other dashboards to create your own custom summary dashboard.
Other Dashboard Resources and Links
The above dashboards are my favorites and the ones I load most regularly, but there are plenty of excellent dashboards out there you can try. Check out the resources below for further reading.
- Dashboards galore at Custom Report Sharing
- How Google Analytics Dashboards Can Make Your Life Easier
- 7 Google Analytics Dashboards Examples
- 5 Custom Google Analytics Dashboards And How To Use Them
- The Perfect Google Analytics Dashboard
- Quickfire Analytics – 7 Freebies in 7 Minutes
- 10 useful Google Analytics custom dashboards