Earlier this year the original version of Google Analytics was retired and the new version became standard. The latest version introduced several features to make it easier to interpret your data. One of our favorite additions is the custom dashboard.
A custom dashboard is a way to display summaries of different data sets as widgets on a single page in Google Analytics. You can save time and effort by quickly checking the health of your website by viewing many metrics at once.
You can view and customize your dashboards by going to the Home tab in the top navigation bar and then clicking on the Dashboards menu on the left. Dashboards are linked to profiles, and you have the flexibility to create up to 20 dashboards per profile with up to 12 widgets each.
Another benefit of these dashboards is that you can easily share them with others by exporting as a PDF or setting up recurring emails with a PDF attachment.
Here are 3 widgets we recommend for your dashboard:
What your visitors are looking for
Search terms are the words that visitors enter into the search box on your website. A widget that displays the top search terms provides a great opportunity to learn what your visitors are having trouble finding by navigating your site. This information is valuable to consider when making changes to your site navigation. Search terms can also reveal content your visitors really want, but you may not have thought to create.
Where your visitors are leaving
The top exit pages are the places in your site where visitors are most likely to leave. A widget of the top exit pages helps to identify where you may not be providing visitors with what they need. These are pages you want to take a closer look at and see how you can encourage visitors to stay on your website when appropriate. Consider excluding landing pages that contain external links from these results since they will always have a high exit rate.
What your visitors are sharing
If you have social media buttons for sharing on your webpages, you can use the Social Plug-ins metric to view which content receives the most shares and “likes.” This widget can help you determine the type of content that's most popular with your visitors and inform future content creation.
Keep in mind, all organizations are unique and have different data needs. Use these as a starting point and then adapt to support your business goals.
To learn more about creating custom dashboards and other ways to tailor your data in Google Analytics, sign up for our webinar - Google Analytics: Making Sense of Your Data Part 2, scheduled for December 18.