In this lesson, you will learn about:
- How to navigate your Google Analytics dashboard
- Understanding the Overview area
- Comparing metrics
- Creating metric widgets
- Adjusting time periods to view and track
Good job inserting your Google Analytics tracking code into your control panel. Now all your site’s traffic data is available for you to analyze, evaluate and lose countless hours of sleep over.
That was a joke. Sleep easy knowing you have this great power at your fingertips.
However, traffic won’t magically come to your site because you incorporate Google Analytics, you need to crunch the numbers and make some decisions. But setting up Google Analytics is a good start.
Let’s go to Google Analytics at google.com forward slash analytics.
Once there, click on “Access Analytics” in the upper right.
This brings you to your Analytics home page. You now see the first account you created in our previous lesson.
If you have multiple websites you can create multiple accounts for each website, giving you multiple folders.
Let’s click on “All Web Site Data” to see our site’s data. If you recently inserted your tracking code into your control panel, you may not have any data yet. Watch my dashboard to see what you can expect.
We first arrive at Audience > Overview.
The main metric here is this Overview graph, currently displaying all-time visitors to our site. Change this value by choosing an item from this drop-down menu, here.
We can also compare metrics by choosing an item from this second drop-down menu, here.
You can change the graph layout to hourly, weekly or monthly. Not that the current time-frame does not change.
To do that we have to adjust our date and time range in the upper right.
What’s great about analytics is we can set up several different dashboards based on parameters we’d like to track.
So, if we’d like to create a dashboard to see only today’s statistics, click “Dashboard” on the top left, and click “New Dashboard”. Let’s name this Dashboard to stay organized.
If I want to show today’s statistics I might name it: “Daily Report” and click “Create Dashboard”.
Now let’s “Add Widgets” so we have some data to look at. Just think of a widget as a statistic or value. Every time you add a widget, you record and view a different type of statistic for your website. Here we’ll choose what we want to display on our new Dashboard. The first display option is “Metrics”, which means this widget will show just a number count.
The widget choice is your preference, but some statistics display better in certain views. For example, I am going to build a “Unique Visitors” widget to record unique visitors to my site. I know that “unique visits” is very number based, so I just need my dashboard to show me a number of unique visits today. I do not need a graph to depict this.
However, if I wanted to chart my unique visitors over 2 weeks or a month, a graph might be an easy way to visualize this. This will definitely take some experimenting on your part, but no choice is wrong, it’s just a display option, and you can always adjust it later.
But...each different widget will give you different options below.
When I select Metric, I must then select what data I want to see in my Metric Widget. I want to track “Unique Visitors”, so I’ll scroll down and select it.
You can also view by category, just uncheck the check box on the bottom. If you need more info on what these items mean, you can hover the question marks to the right.
Click save and it adds this widget to your new dashboard!