Quite often, Google Analytics can be minefield when it comes to extracting data which actually means something to the person looking at it (the marketer).
I’ve heard this phrase so many times “I just don’t know where to start or what to look it”.
Google Analytics dashboards present a very quick and easy way to view just the top level data you need to answer some very simple marketing related questions.
Remember, the purpose of dashboards is to get you, the marketer, to ask better questions. To then be curious and ask “why has this gone up or down?”. That’s where data mining then starts.
So here are my top widgets that every marketer in the construction industry should have on their Google Analytics dashboards:
Visitors and Conversions
Ok, first things first – always rename your widgets to the question it is answering. This will help you focus on just the things that matter. Like goals for example.
Below are 3 widgets which tell me “How many visits has my site got within the timeframe I’m looking at and how many of those visits end up performing a goal?”
The small graphs also then tell me if each metric is performing well or not so well.
For more info on setting goals read this.
Campaigns and Conversions
If you’re a busy marketing department with campaigns going out to multiple segments within your database then this widget may just be what you need to help you see the performance of your campaigns at a quick glance.
The below shows you how many visits were generated for each email campaign, print ad, PPC campaign etc.
The question you should be asking from the below is “Why are PPC conversions low?”. You could then test the landing page design, try focusing on less broad keywords and more specific long tail keywords or add in negative keywords to get rid of unwanted search terms.
But this is the purpose of the dashboard – it’s getting you to ask questions.
Conversions by Top Sources/Medium
Whilst the above focuses more on your individual campaigns, this widget focuses on the sources which drive the most goals. More importantly, referring sites.
You’ll quickly be able to see the sites which send you quality traffic, in other words, the visits which actually end up enquiring, downloading, registering or signing up.
Page Not Found Errors
Houston we have a problem. This widget is set up to monitor 404 errors or page not founds. Reviewing this widget on a daily basis will help you pick up on any errors which have gone unnoticed. Maybe it was a new blog post which contains a link which has been misspelt or a link in an email cmapaign which hasn’t been set up properly.
Question here is “What source or link is not working and can we fix it now?”
TIP: Use this widget alongside ‘Intelligence Alerts’. Find out more about intelligence alerts here.
Document Downloads and Key Brochures
Getting to download information in analytics can be quite daunting. Using widgets to show you downloads of all documents plus a couple of key documents should be enough to get you to ask more questions.
In the below example which looks at month on month comparison, you should be asking “Why have downloads decreased?” or “What can we do to improve downloads of Brochure X next month?”
So there you have it. Some nice widgets there to make data extraction a whole lot easier. What I like to do is set up multiple dashboards which focus on specific bit of information such as visitors, traffic sources, content performance, social media and conversions. Each dashboard then contains multiple widgets to help make analysing the data a little bit more easier.
Remember, dashboards do not give you all the answers but do help you understand the top level information and get you to ask better questions.
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