The Perfect Google Analytics Dashboard
Michael Wiegand Apr 5 2012
Building dashboards is a big to-do for any marketing professional. The temptation is to cram it full of juicy data and a novel worth of narrative explaining said data.
Well, you shouldn’t. Trust me. There is such a thing as the perfect dashboard. And I’ve already built it for you.
The Anatomy of the Perfect Dashboard
I get the skepticism, I really do. But hear me out.
A good dashboard should:
- Inform on business health quickly,
- Make time comparison easy,
- and Encourage deeper investigation.
To do this, you’ll need 5 key elements.
1. Bottom-Line First, Always
The amount of Revenue (or Leads) should be the first thing seen. Always.
All for-profit businesses are in this to make money.
2. Path to the Bottom-Line
Under your most important metric, show how you achieved that metric.
To do that, you’ll need to demonstrate:
- Customer Engagement
- Customer Acquisition & Retention
- Customer Volume
- Customer Conversion
The funnel above does exactly that. You know you made $394k in Revenue. But how did you get there? This funnel tells you how, precisely.
That Revenue was generated from:
- 411k Pageviews (Engagement)
- during 75k Visits (Acquisition & Retention)
- from 57k Visitors (Volume)
- leading to 2k Sales (Conversion)
3. Clearly Visualizing Growth
Beyond the key bottom-line metric, you also need a visual timeline to demonstrate growth (or lack thereof).
Aside from being the lone piece of eye-candy in the dashboard, it clearly helps you understand:
- How Days of the Week affect traffic and revenue
- How Weeks of the Month affect traffic and revenue,
- and how Months of the Year affect traffic and revenue.
Understand the timing and seasonality aspects of your business through this timeline.
You can also demonstrate growth in specific channels:
4. Show Detail Sparingly
This is where most people get in trouble with dashboards.
How much detail should I surface to the top?
Knowing which keywords and referrals are most vital to your site is nice, but this isn’t an FBI mission briefing, it’s a dashboard. Show just enough detail to encourage further investigation.
I’ve found 7 to be the magic number here.
A top 5 won’t change much from month-to-month. And a top 10 will lull you into thinking you have more of the big picture than you do.
7 splits the difference nicely: enough consistency to show important trends and enough variance to warrant deeper investigation.
5. A Brief Glimpse at Content
Discovering how good (or bad) your landing pages are can be very beneficial.
It’ll give you a better sense of how folks find you and how sticky the site’s core pages are once they arrive.
I like to exclude homepage here.
Download the Perfect Dashboard
Now that you know the rationale behind the dashboard, give it a shot!
Get the Perfect Dashboard Now:
Configuring the Perfect Dashboard
Despite the simplicity of design, there are a few housekeeping items to attend to when you first load these dashboards in your profile.
Here’s a short tutorial video on configuring the dashboard:
Senior Analytics Strategist
In 12 years as a marketer, Michael's experience has run the gamut from design, development, direct mail, multivariate testing, print and search. But his new flame is analytics. Outside of work, he enjoys the finer things: cooking, JRPGs, music and whiskey - in no particular order. Read More