How to Tailor Google Analytics Dashboards to Your Business Type
Creating dashboards in Google Analytics is a highly effective way to visualize and analyze your business’s performance online. Google Analytics dashboards give you a multi-dimensional view of your website’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can work on improving the areas that need it.
Dashboards are made up of up to twelve widgets that combine dimensions such as user demographic information, event actions, date, and location, with metrics that help you visualize trends and measure your website’s success in many different ways. While the Google team has made creating a dashboard a relatively simple and user-friendly experience, it takes some experience and skill to put together a dashboard that will truly help you improve business through your website.
I’m going to focus on three website types that are commonly used as revenue streams for big businesses and solo entrepreneurs alike. These website types are:
- Ecommerce websites
- Blog or affiliate websites
- B2B websites
Though all three are typically created with the end goal of making a profit, healthy analytics for each one is very different. Tracking the right data for your business will ultimately help you increase revenue. I’ll give you some suggestions on widgets you can add to your dashboard to that will provide pertinent information to help you ultimately increase revenue through your website.
What to Track in an eCommerce Analytics Dashboard
The goal of an ecommerce website is straightforward; to sell stuff, and lots of it! Unlike sites whose main focus is lead generation, ecommerce websites give website owners the benefit of having the ability to track their buyers’ behavior through the entire buying process.
Add these widgets to your Google Analytics dashboard to help you gain insight into your ecommerce site’s performance:
Transactions by Metro Area
Transactions are an extremely insightful metric that you can use to learn about the users who are making purchases on your website. Compare transactions to metro to see where your hot markets are, and then tailor your marketing plan to keep your buzz growing in those areas.
Average Order Value
Create an average order value to keep track of how much you’re bringing in on average when someone makes a purchase. This will help you project sales numbers in to the future, and also give you a figure that you can work to improve upon with better promotions and more enticing content.
Per Visit Value
Putting a dollar value on the average visitor to your website will help out immensely when you’re calculating your next paid advertising campaign. Add the “Medium” dimension to see where your most valuable traffic is coming from (social media, paid search, etc.), or include user data for insights about your buyer demographics.
Ecommerce Conversion Rate
Ecommerce conversion rate (the percentage of visitors to your website who make a purchase) is an important indicator of whether or not your site is successful at its primary goal: selling stuff. According to Larry Kim of Wordstream, the average conversion rate for ecommerce websites is 1.84%. A 3.71% conversion rate puts you in the top 25% of ecommerce websites, and 6.25% or higher is only achieved by the top 10%.
Product Revenue by Medium and Device Category
Create a widget using the Product Revenue metric overlaid with the Medium dimension to gauge the value of traffic from organic search, CPC campaigns, and referrals. You can also use the Device Category dimension to compare the revenue generated from desktop, mobile, and tablet users. Use this widget to identify areas that need improvement such as mobile UX, or CPC targeting settings.
What to Track in a Blog of Affiliate Website Analytics Dashboard
Creating a dashboard that provides actionable insights for your blog or affiliate website is a little trickier than for an ecommerce website. Since you’re usually not selling things directly from your site, it’s a bit more difficult to identify what’s working and what is not. Website owners in this category are mostly interested in earning lots of quality traffic and engaging users with their content.
Use these widgets in your Google Analytics dashboard to help you understand where your traffic is coming from and how engaged users are on your website:
Sessions by Source or Medium
A main goal of a blog or affiliate website is simply to bring viewers to your content. Therefore, a critical widget that you should have in your dashboard is Sessions by Source and by Medium. The Sessions metric shows a period time that a user is actively engaged with your website. The Source and Medium dimensions will show you which other websites are steering users to yours, as well as the number of users from organic search, email, social media, etc.
Social media is a great way to share your content and bring in new users to your website. Add a Social Referrals widget to your Google Analytics dashboard for a more granular breakdown of the effectiveness of your separate social media campaigns. To create this widget, pair the Social Network dimension with the Users metric.
Knowing your audience gives you a huge advantage. Set up a widget using dimensions like age, gender, location, and in-market segment. Use the data from these widgets to develop user personas and offer content that will compel your audience.
Link Clicks With Event Tracking
If you’re operating an affiliate website, an important step in your analytics process is setting up event tracking. Event tracking allows you to measure user actions on your website in more detail. Once you have event tracking set up properly, be sure to track link clicks to your affiliated products and services so you can work on optimizing your link placements and CTAs to maximize sales.
Average Time On Page and Bounce Rate
Average time on page and bounce rate will help to give you an idea of how engaged your users are with your content. It is beneficial to analyze these metrics over time to ensure that you continue to produce quality content that keeps your audience interested.
What to Track in a B2B Website Analytics Dashboard
B2B websites are some of the more difficult websites to analyze in Google Analytics. B2B websites typically serve as top funnel sales tools, raising brand awareness and providing new leads with instructions on how to move forward if they’re interesting in learning more about the product. Sales are most commonly closed later on in the buyer’s journey, which makes it difficult to track a buyer’s action all the way through the process.
Here are some widgets you can add to your dashboard to make sure you’re getting the most out of your B2B website:
Page Load Time
Page load time is an important SEO ranking factor, and really should be monitored for any website type. You can create a widget in your Google Analytics dashboard to compare page load times on your website and identify slow-loading pages. If you see that some pages are not loading quickly enough, this post by The Daily Egg lists several ways you can reduce your page load times.
New Users and Percentage of New Sessions
Keep track of the number of new eyes on your website by adding the new users metric to your dashboard. Since your B2B website is largely a tool to raise brand awareness, this metric will help you measure the effectiveness of your outreach strategy. This is not to say that returning visitors are not important too, but it’s the goal is to bring in a steady stream of both. Using the Percentage of New Sessions metric lets you ensure you’re keeping a consistent ratio of new vs returning users.
Sessions With Event
Create a widget with the Sessions With Event metric to help you measure the level of engagement that your users are exhibiting on your website. An event is an action taken on your website such as a link or button click. By adding this data to your dashboard, you can easily tell if your website is compelling users to take action, and which actions they’re taking.
Leads Generated and Other Goal Completions
You should have some objective goals on each page of your website that moves the users further along in the sales funnel. Some goals you should be tracking are contact form submissions from new leads, requests for additional information, newsletter and mailing list signups, CTA button or link clicks, and downloads. These micro-conversions should be used as part of your strategy to ultimately close the customer. This article by MonsterInsights gives you a solid overview and instruction on how to create goals in Google Analytics to track conversions. By setting these goals and adding them to your dashboard, you will have a tangible idea of how effective your content and marketing strategy are working to convert users.
Follow Up and Use the Data
The purpose of creating Google Analytics dashboards is to keep a running meter on the effectiveness of the strategy you’re using to scale your business. Simply creating a dashboard and not using the insights to continue developing your strategy and making necessary changes and updates will not get you very far. Dashboards will help you quickly identify where you need to allocate your resources to improve business. Check in on your analytics as often as you see fit, and with the intention of using the data to make improvements to your website and marketing strategy.