Are you looking for an easy way to get an overview of your accounts that requires an hour upfront to set up? If you’re like me, always looking for ways to streamline tedious processes, this is the perfect opportunity. What I am talking about is a custom Google Analytics dashboard. Like I mentioned , custom dashboards can take as little as an hour to set up and from there you are only a few clicks away from a quick, real time overview of the most important metrics associated with your account. You can create dashboards with different focuses such as “Social Media” or “Mobile vs. Desktop”, or you can create one main dashboard with the top overall metrics.
When you’re ready to create your first dashboard, log in to the Google Analytics account of your choice, and click on “Customization” in the top left hand corner.From there, click “Dashboards” and the find the red button that says “Create.” Once you click create, you will be taken to this screen:
From here, you can title your dashboard and choose from “Blank Canvas” or “Starter Dashboard”. I prefer the starter dashboard because it will automatically pull a few of the common metrics and from there you can chose to edit, delete and add widgets.
Once you have your dashboard open, there are two ways to add widgets depending on how customized you would like to be. I typically use a combination of each to get the desired result.
The first is create the widget from scratch. This can be done by clicking “Add Widget” in the upper left hand corner of the dashboard. From here, your opportunities are endless.
I created this particular widget to display the sessions and percentage of new sessions that were coming to the website from a particular city.
The second way to create a widget is to pull a chart or graph from the “Reports” section of Google Analytics (located in the left hand column.) This is best if you have certain charts you look at every month, but now you would like to be able to view them all in one place.
One example of a report that I am often looking at is the number of sessions per channel. If I wanted to add the sessions per channel chart to my custom dashboard, I would first go to
“Acquisition” in the reports section, then click “All Traffic” then click “Channels.” From here, I would see this chart:
To add this to your custom dashboard, find the “Add to Dashboard” button at the top of the page:
From there, you should select the dashboard you are working on (outlined in orange below) and then you can choose which tables and charts from the current page you would like to add. Since I am curious about sessions per channel, I would click the second box and add the table to my dashboard.
At this point, all you have to do is continue the steps above as many times as you want until you are happy with your new dashboard. The first one may take some time to think through, but once you get the hang of it, it will save you lots of time in the long run. Happy reporting! For more tips and tricks, subscribe to our blog here or the button below: