How to Create a Custom Dashboard in Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the industry standard when it comes to measuring website traffic. And, it’s with good reason. Google is one of the most comprehensive website analytics tools on the market. Additionally, Google Analytics is important for every web marketer to use. Why? Because when you properly measure your website analytics, you significantly increase your chances of marketing success.

Don’t believe it? Check out the results of these case studies.

Google Analytics Case Studies

Google recently compiled a list of success stories from companies that use Google Analytics to raise their revenues. There are several examples in the reports, but some of the most impressive include:

  • AlfaStrakhovanie (Alpha Insurance) doubles transaction rates with Google Analytics.
  • Amari Hotels uses Google Analytics’ multi-channel funnels to drive a 44% increase in website sales.
  • Cancer.org donations increase 5.4% with help from Google Analytics.
  • BuildDirect get insights that lead to a 50% increase in sales.
  • La Tienda uses Google Analytics to increase e-commerce sales by 70% in certain key regions.

Each of these companies leverages the power of website analytics to improve their marketing strategies and increase sales. The good news is you can too.

It’s no secret, however, that Google Analytics is robust and complex. Setting it up to work in your favor is overwhelming at best. In fact, you can actually set up to 20 custom dashboards with 12 widgets in each view. This kind of high functionality of Google Analytics is impressive, but it also often translates into convolution.  Experiencing high levels of difficulty with setting up Google Analytics can often deter even the best of marketers from getting the most out of this popular web analytics tool.

This article will cover the basics of how to get started with setting up a custom analytics dashboard in Google Analytics. It will also simplify the equation by showing you how you can integrate Google Analytics into a less complex, yet equally insightful, marketing analytics dashboard, Tapclicks.

The Basics of Setting Up Google Analytics

In case you are completely new to Google Analytics, let’s start with a brief overview of the first steps you will need to take to get started. This section will also include links to more in-depth explanations for your reference as needed.

Step One: Sign up for Google Analytics

The first thing you want to do is sign up for and enable Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is free and set-up is easy. All you need to do is head over to Google Analytics, create a username and password, and follow the intuitive sign-up instructions. This only takes a few moments and you’ll be on your way to setting up your custom dashboards.

Step Two: Set up your Property

Once you have created your Google Analytics account, Google will direct you to set up your property (aka the website or app you wish to track).

You can do this by signing into your analytics account, selecting the “admin” tab, clicking on the “account” column, and selecting the account you want to add the property to.

If you are new to Google Analytics, you will likely only have one account. If not, you can use the search box to help you find the correct account among your different properties.

Next, turn your attention to the “property” column and select “create new property.” Here you can either select “website” or “mobile app” and enter the name of your website or your app name, along with the site URL.

From here, you can enter information about your website such as “industry category,” and “time zone.”

Once you submit this information, click “get tracking ID.” This ID is what you will put on your website, so Google knows what page to track. Where you place the tracking ID on your website depends on the platform you are using to build your website. It’s best to consult your web developer for this information or to give the tracking ID to your web developer.

Important: You must put your tracking ID on your page in order to get data from Google Analytics.

Step Three: Connect Your Google Services

Once you have your tracking ID in place on your website, it’s time to connect all your other relevant Google services and any other third-party services.

You can connect free Google services such as Google AdWords, Google Plus, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console, and Google AdSense. You should take the time to link your social accounts and alternate email addresses well.

Finally, it’s important to point out that Google also has many paid services such as Google Analytics Premium, Google Doubleclick for Publishers, Google Play Developer Console, and more. If you utilize these services, you can connect them to your Google Analytics account as well. If you don’t want to pay for these services, you can access many of the same features with other industry tools.

For in-depth information on how to link all of these accounts to your Google Analytics account, consult Google’s tutorial on the subject.

How To Build A Custom Google Analytics Dashboard

Now that all of your services are linked, it’s time to build your custom dashboard.

When you log in to Google Analytics, if you turn your attention to the left, you will see a sidebar menu with all the features of Google Analytics. One of the first on the list is “Dashboard.” This dashboard includes some of the most basic information that Google feels is beneficial to everyone.

Internet Dashboard in Google Analytics

However, you also have the option to add new, custom dashboards (up to 20) that feed you only the data that you have previously specified. To do this, you click on “+new dashboard.” Google will then give you the option to start from a “blank canvas” or to select a “starter dashboard.”

google analytics create dashboard

If you know what widgets you want to include, select “blank canvas.” If not, selecting “starter dashboard” is a great option.

Google helps you easily customize your dashboard by dividing your metrics into easy to understand widgets that display data visually.

Widgets for a custom google analytics dashboard

Here is where the customization finally comes into play. You can select any of these widgets (metric, timeline, geomap, table, pie, or bar) and display these data representations any way you want.

As you will notice, some of the widgets are standard and some are real-time. Standard widgets update when you load or refresh your dashboard. Real-time widgets update automatically and display data about active users.

To add a widget to your custom dashboard, you simply select “blank canvas” or click “+add widget” to any existing dashboard. Then, you choose the type of widget you want, configure it, add filters as necessary, name it, and save it.

You repeat this process until your dashboard is complete to your satisfaction.

Remember you can add up to 20 dashboards that show you information about different aspects of your website. For more in-depth insight on customizing your dashboard, consult Google’s tutorial.

Don’t Want to Spend The Time Creating Your Own Dashboard? Use Someone Else’s!

If you don’t want to customize your dashboard yourself, here’s a brilliant shortcut.

When you click on “+new dashboard,” to create a new dashboard, you will notice the option to click “import from Gallery.” Google collects dashboards that other successful web analytics geniuses already created and stores them in this gallery. Rather than taking all the time to create your own dashboard, you can simply import one that someone else has already created.

import custom internet dashboard from gallery to google analytics

When you click “import from gallery,” you will notice several sorting and filtering options. You can select the features you want your dashboard to have. Then, search through the options until you find the perfect match. Then, Google will import the settings into your dashboard, displaying your data instead.

Gallery of internet marketing dashboards for google analytics

You also have the option to “Go to Gallery” and search there as well.

If you are short on time, but want a custom dashboard, this is a great way to go.

Google Analytics Meets TapClicks

We have talked about how to set up a Google Analytics custom dashboard. But, it’s important to remember that Google Analytics is just one analytics tool out there. It is the industry standard for website analytics, but custom services (Google Analytics Premium and DoubleClick) are expensive. Not to mention Google Analytics doesn’t include all important aspects marketing analytics. For example, it doesn’t include analytics for social media, programmatic, email marketing, and more. That is why there are so many other top of the line analytics programs on the market.

This is not to say that Google Analytics isn’t one of the most useful website analytics tools on the market. It is. It’s simply to say that to get a comprehensive view of all internet marketing analytics, you need a internet marketing dashboard.

TapClicks gives you a 360-degree view of all of your marketing campaigns. It works by integrating all the top website analytics tools including Google Analytics. In fact, TapClicks currently has 150+ integrations. That way, rather than having to log in to Google Analytics, your social media marketing programs, your programmatic analytics programs, your email marketing analytics programs, and more, you can log in to one dashboard and see all relevant data.

TapClicks helps you pull your Google Analytics dashboards and all other digital marketing dashboards into one comprehensive view. It’s awesome, time-saving, and helpful.

To give you an idea of how it works, here is what a custom Google Analytics dashboard, along with other relevant paid search information, could look like in TapClicks.

google analytics internet marketing dashboard in tapclicks

You’ll notice this particular reporting dashboard is relevant to paid advertising. It is pulling relevant information from Google and other paid search data platforms.

If you turn your attention to the dashboards on the left, you’ll see custom dashboards. These dashboards include metrics for SEM, social media, email, website leads, and more.

While Google Analytics is a valuable industry tool, TapClicks works to integrate all your Google data with other important marketing tools and data to help you make better marketing decisions.

For more information about creating custom reports in Google Analytics and in TapClicks, contact us today.