Over 500 unique data points can be accessed through Google Analytics. This data is presented through standard dashboards. However, these dashboards won’t necessarily show you the information you want in one place. Custom Google Analytics dashboards that you can either create or upload can help you get around this problem.
There are hundreds of custom Google Analytics dashboards online. There are dashboards to help you improve the SEO performance of eCommerce stores, for bloggers, SaaS businesses, and more. This means you can fine-tune your Google Analytics like a race car fanatic to the point where you have the perfect setup that fits your needs.
To help you customize your setup, we created a short list of the best Google Analytics dashboards. First, though, let’s briefly cover how to create a Google Analytics dashboard.
Google Analytics provides you with the ability to create dashboards from scratch and upload custom templates. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide that covers how to create your own custom dashboard. After that, I’ll share 10 Google Analytics dashboards recommended by experts.
Let’s start at the beginning. Follow these steps:
1. Log in to Google Analytics.
2. Expand "Customization" and then click on "Dashboards":
You will see something like this once you do that:
3. Click "Create"
4. Choose “Blank Canvas.” Give your new dashboard a name and click “Create Dashboard.”
5. At this stage, you can start adding widgets to your new dashboard. Give your widget a name, choose how you want to display the information - for instance in this case, as a table - and pick the metrics you want displayed in the widget. Don’t forget to click "Save" when you’re done.
You can add as many widgets as you like to your dashboard by clicking on "+ Add Widget":
If you’re creating a new dashboard from scratch, you should have a fairly advanced knowledge of Google Analytics. Beginners are likely to be overwhelmed by the number of filters available. This is why pre-built Google Analytics dashboards are so useful.
With that in mind, here’s a shortlist of ten of the best Google Analytics dashboards.
Recommended by: Matt Diggity, Diggity Marketing
I rely on data to make my marketing decisions. Through the Site Performance Dashboard, I can quickly identify issues with page load speed, which is of course an important SEO metric. The ability to review the load speed of individual pages, and by browser is handy. You can see a significant variance in load speed by page for example.
Page speed is a ranking and usability factor that many people fail to optimize, because it requires technical knowledge. Yet there are easy fixes. For example, image-defer can significantly speed up load times. This is why I find the Site Performance Dashboard so useful.
Recommended by: Nathan Wade - Founder of Disrupta
We use this dashboard for clients as it shows Conversions by Landing Page and Keyword. Having this info allows us to narrow down our rank tracking and keep the tracking costs for smaller clients to a minimum (i.e.: leaving more budget for important SEO or other marketing tasks). To get around the dreaded “Not Provided” that often shows in the Keywords column, we simply analyse top converting landing pages with an SEO tool to see what rankings provide the highest traffic percentage.
To utilise this dashboard to its full potential we look for the relationship between Keywords (considering where they rank on Google), the number of Goal Completion vs the number of Sessions. This comparison shows us how a Keyword is performing and (depending where it ranks on Google), whether we should put more SEO focus onto it.
Then we use a slight variation to one of the Top Widgets in this standard dashboard so that we can compare Avg Time On Page to Bounce Rate at a Landing Page level. This minor tweak allows us to compare the Bounce Rate, Avg Time On Page to the Conversions to make important decisions around how to improve the content and CTA.
As a final tip, there are some dashboard connectors that you can access for free that connect Analytics Data with Search Console and help you better navigate the “Not Provided” issue.
Recommended by: Nico Prins, Founder of Launch Space
As an SEO and SaaS consultant, a large part of my job involves quickly getting to grips with a site. In this context, the Site Diagnostics Dashboard is a firm favorite. It answers a lot of the basic questions I want to know about a website. From the dashboard, I can see things like:
The Site Diagnostic Dashboard provides all of this information at a glance. Moreover, I can also view other metrics. For example, you can switch from the "data" table view to the "comparison" table view, and then compare load time to bounce rate. This will, in turn, compare the bounce rate for each page against the site average.
Thanks to this dashboard, I can get a sense of the technical problems that need fixing. It also helps me to develop a content marketing and SEO plan focused around the easy wins.
Recommended by: Vincent Bucciachio, CEO & Founder at SociallyInfused Media
We use a variety of Google Analytics custom dashboards. Still, the Content Analysis Dashboard by Vagelis Varfis is the one in our blogger outreach toolbox that we use most for our client's campaigns.
In the increasingly competitive landscape of digital marketing, we know that the average cost of a backlink continues to increase each year―so, executing outreach tactics and the demand for quality content has never been more critical.
The Content Analysis Dashboard is super useful for exploring and identifying how your blog is performing; what types of content and which topics or themes are driving engagement, and readership. Basically, a deep-dive into the pieces of content that are underachieving or, conversely, excelling. Then, utilizing these findings to target relevant, niche influencers.
Recommended by: David Campbell, Marketing Strategist at Right Inbox
The Spam Traffic Detection Dashboard is ideal for me because it tells me how my site is really performing. The dashboard separates those sites that only send bot traffic and those that send legitimate traffic. You know, the websites that suddenly appear on your Analytics, but you're not sure why they sent you 30 visitors or more in 24-hours (and it turns out there is no way they could have).
Although spam traffic boosts visitor numbers, it only inflates your ego and makes you rest on your laurels. This is a problem. You need to know how your site is performing, and you don't want to waste time analyzing redundant information.
Recommended by: Jack Paxton, Founder of Top Growth Marketing
It's really important to understand your numbers and you can do this through custom Google Analytics dashboards. In my case, my favorite dashboards are the eCom and referral custom dashboards.
Alongside these custom dashboards, I also like to use:
Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium - This is one of my most used dashboards, it shows you where the traffic is coming to your website from and it allows you to filter the goals by traffic source. If you're an online store, make sure you have the eCommerce tracking set up.
Audience > Mobile > Overview - The world is moving to mobile and you need to catch up. This dashboard will give you an understanding of the value and opportunity that mobile holds for you. You will be able to see the split between mobile, desktop and tablet, then see the conversion rates. Not only that, but you will be able to see the % of your traffic that is viewing your website on mobile. I'm sure it's a lot of traffic and most clients we see the conversion rate is usually lower.
Conversion > Multi Channel Funnels > Model Comparison Tool - This is a more advanced dashboard but once you start generating sales or leads online you will find that not every traffic source is equal. You will come across an issue called "attribution". This essentially decides which traffic source is "responsible" for the conversion. This dashboard allows you to look at the different "attribution models". For example, a customer usually takes 3-6 visits to your website before they purchase. This tool lets you see where the first visit was from and where the last was from.
Recommended by: Sujan Patel, Growth Marketer at Sujan Patel
Bloggers will definitely find the Personal Blogger Dashboard from Dashboard Junkie useful. The dashboard has widgets that will enable bloggers to answer precise questions about their audience. You can find out how many people are visiting the site, where they live, and whether or not they’re on mobile.
The dashboard also provides added information about how the audience actually accesses your blog, what search terms they used, and referring domains. You can also see your most popular posts. With the Personal Blogger Dashboard, bloggers are in a better position to make informed content marketing decisions.
Recommended by: Aaron Agius, CEO of Louder Online
The Referral Traffic Dashboard is one of my favorite Google Analytics dashboards. It shows which domains and which pages in these domains are referring traffic to your site. The dashboard also reveals how much traffic these sites are sending and which landing pages are the most popular referral destinations.
Referral traffic is obviously valuable. Traffic sources can be a strong indicator of which sites can help you achieve your business goals, or where there is an opportunity for partnerships. Additionally, referral traffic can give you insights on valuable SEO keywords to target.
The Referral Traffic Dashboard also presents statistics such as the bounce rate, the average time spent by users from a given referral source, and the percentage of visitors that are new to your site. Again, valuable information.
Recommended by: Mehul Shah - Marketing Consultant at Salesmate CRM
At Salesmate, we use a Similar Custom Dashboard to get every crucial information in one place. I think this would be the perfect template for SaaS products.
You can find the most effective source and medium of your website traffic. One of the tables also gives information about signups from various sources. If you have two different methods of signups (e.g.: A typical form & Using Google), you can find which is the preferred way for the customers.
Other quick data you’ll get:
This dashboard covers every touchpoint of your SaaS product - traffic, page views, conversions, etc. Meanwhile, you will be able to clearly see the efforts of SEO and content marketing.
There are endless conclusions you can make from these datasets, and that’s the main use of this custom dashboard.
Recommended by: Sam Maloney, Marketing Strategist at Zoomshift
The Audience Overview Dashboard gives you precisely that: an overview of your audience. This includes the demographics, their geographical location, and even the devices and type of mobile they use to access your website. You also get the average visit duration and bounce rate, which are important metrics to know how your website is performing.
The Audience Overview Dashboard basically helps you get to know your audience. The better you understand your audience, the devices they are using, and the content they are most engaged with, the more of that engaging content you can produce.
Google Analytics offers a world of usable data and widgets that give you a glimpse into your website’s performance. It’s just a matter of knowing what your preferred metrics are and choosing a dashboard or several dashboards that fit your needs.
If you’re not satisfied with the default dashboards, you’ll find that there are hundreds of custom dashboards available online. These dashboards have been created to fit the needs of people running a website across almost any niche. With a basic knowledge of Google Analytics, you can install a new dashboard within a couple of minutes. Now you have the information, it’s over to you to act. Best of luck.
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Published on 05/08/2020 by Nico Prins.
Nico is a SaaS Consultant and the founder of Launch Space. He helps companies develop their digital marketing strategies. He’s worked with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to startups, helping them develop content marketing strategies that align with their business goals. Follow him on Twitter @nhdprins.
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