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In Google Analytics Essential Training, Corey Koberg shows how to use the Google web analytics platform to generate and evaluate information about the visitors to a web site, including data on site traffic, user behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This course covers the out-of-the-box functionality, from account creation to reporting fundamentals, and explains how to glean insights from the vast array of data available.
The latest version of Google Analytics offers a much-improved dashboard tool that gives us quick access to some of the key performance indicators for a given profile. The new dashboard is widget based and designed to be interactive and customizable. We go to the Home tab and use a left-hand navigation to begin assembling our dashboard. In this case we will start with a blank canvas. We put our title down here and begin selecting our widgets. There are four different types of widgets available to us: a basic metric display, a pie chart, a timeline chart, and a table.
Let's start with the METRIC widget. In this example let's take a look at bounce rate for CPC traffic. Bounce rate is an important metric for CPC because that's just past the point where you pay for traffic. In other words if someone clicks on your ad and then leaves immediately thereafter, then they went just far enough to hit you with the bill for a click, which is a bad thing. So first I pick my metric. I can look through this long list here, but it's easier just to type in "bounce," and we can see all the metrics that show with the word Bounce showing up here. In this case there is two. I am going to select the one I want, which is Bounce Rate.
The next step we can do is to apply a filter. I don't want to see the bounce rate for all the traffic, just CPC, so I need to filter out the rest. First I open this dropdown to select Only show, and then I add the dimension mention I want. Just like with the metrics, just typing in what I want and our medium is easier than going through the list. Next I will select my operator. Here we have several options for how we can identify the mediums we want to see. We can type in the exact dimension. We can use Regular Expressions, Begins With, Ends With, Containing, Less than, Greater than. In this example we will choose contains and then just type in the medium, which is CPC.
We give our widget a name. In this case I am going to call it CPC Bounce Rate. And if we'd like, we can even select a report down here I want link to to provide further information about this metric. As you start to type in this field, you will see the various reports that are available included in the words we're typing. So in this case if I start to type advertising, I can see the Advertising / AdWords forms. In our case I want to look at AdWords / Campaigns or AdWords / Keywords since this is related to the thing that I'm looking at. In our case I will choose keywords and click Save to save it. Okay, we can see our widget in the bounce rate right now, and we can see that our bounce rate in this case is 55% and that it's 11% below the site average.
And this little sparkline on the right doesn't necessary show me everything I need. So I can click up here on the link, which is going to take me directly into the Keyword report which we linked in the widget. Let's go back to the dashboard so we can continue adding more widgets. On this particular widget we also have the option of clicking this gear, which will allow us to edit each of these. We can change the options that we selected. We can change the different types of widgets. In this case instead of changing it, we are just going to add some more widgets. I do that by clicking the ADD WIDGET button on the top. For this example, I want to see which mediums are making up the largest portion of my traffic.
So I am going to select PIE chart, and then I am going to select my metric, which is visits. I am going to group these by the dimension of Medium. I can choose to show 3 to 6 slices. I know I have more than 6 million mediums and I want to see as many as possible, so by selecting 6 slices, my widget will show the top five medium by the number of visits and then group all the other mediums into one slice. I could add a filter here if I wanted to, but in this case I want to see all the traffic, so for now I'll just name my report Visits by Medium. I am going to link to the Traffic Sources / All Traffic report.
One thing to note is you can also just put in a direct hyperlink here. If I wanted to, I could simply type a URL in here and link directly to that as well. We click Save and now we can see our new widget show up on our dashboard next to the widget we previously created. If we look through other options here, we also have the ability to create a timeline where we can choose one to two metrics to display in this Data Over Time chart, add a filter length to report just like we see in the previous two visits. For the table widget, we pick a dimension of one to two metrics and when you're picking your metrics, try to pick one quantitative metric, like visits, to show how much of your traffic you are looking at and then try to pick a performance metric, like goal conversion rate or revenue, to tell you how that portion is performing.
And here we have the option to apply a filter, name our widget, pick a report to link to, and save. You can also add widgets to the dashboard directly from reports. For example, if we wanted to keep an eye on which times of the day were converting the highest for our paid traffic we can navigate to the Day Parting report and configure it as we'd like and then click the ADD TO DASHBOARD button. Let me show you how. Here we are in the Advertising section. Under AdWords we see the Day Parting report and it's going to show us the different hours of the day that resulted in different visits and all the metrics associated with those.
In this case I am interested in Ecommerce to understand how those particular hours of the day are resulting in money. I can go up here to the top, click on ADD TO DASHBOARD, and we will see this report can be added to any of the dashboards I have created. We can add a timeline or table. Click ADD TO DASHBOARD and we'll see those reflected in our new dashboard. Now keep in mind not all of the widgets have the ability to keep all the customizations and filters that you can apply inside of reports, so make sure you double-check what you see here in the dashboard with what your report looked like when you added it to the dashboard. If you need more than one dashboard you can click the + New Dashboard button here in the left-hand navigation and either build one from scratch in a blank canvas or you can use a starter dashboard and customize it from there, building as many dashboards as you need.
The dashboard is a great tool to give us a bird's-eye view of the key performance indicators that matter to you and your organization.
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