Why and How to Create Custom Google Analytics Dashboards

Google Analytics dashboards are an essential tool for every marketer

They help you understand your website visitors, which content they respond well to, where they’re from, how long they spend on your site, and so much more. With all this information, you can move forward with solid marketing plans.

👉 In this post, we’ll discuss why custom Google Analytics dashboards are a powerful tool for helping you focus on the data that matters most to you.

Then, you’ll learn step-by-step 🚶 how to start setting up your own custom Google Analytics dashboards.

So, if you want to know how to track and measure the most critical data and metrics for your marketing campaigns, keep reading.

What is a Google Analytics dashboard?

In a nutshell, Google Analytics Dashboards let you access different parts of your website’s data.

Marketers use dashboards to track key metrics, such as website traffic, conversion rates, and bounce rates.

By understanding your website data, you can identify improvement areas and make changes to help you achieve your marketing goals.

There are currently over 200 dimensions and metrics of Google Analytics [1]. While Google Analytics is a powerful tool ⚙️ for tracking website traffic, making sense of all the data can be overwhelming.

That’s where custom dashboards come in.

These can help you focus on the most relevant information to your business goals.

For example, you can create a dashboard that tracks conversion rates by the source of traffic so that you can see which channels are most effective at generating sales.

By creating custom Google Analytics dashboards, you can make sure that you are viewing your data in a meaningful way to use it to its full potential.

How to create your first custom Google Analytics dashboard

Now that you have some background, let’s get into how to create a custom Google Analytics dashboard step-by-step…

Before you begin, make sure you’ve set up Google Analytics on your site

In order to create a custom Google Analytics dashboard, you’ll need to have some data to start with.

If you haven’t done so already, that means adding Google Analytics to your site. If you’re using WordPress, you can follow our guide on how to add Google Analytics to WordPress.

Once you’ve added Google Analytics to your website, here’s how to set up your first custom dashboard…

Step 1: Create a new dashboard

Setting up a new Google Analytics dashboard can seem daunting, but it’s actually pretty straightforward.

The first step is to log into your Google Analytics account. After logging in, navigate to CustomizationDashboards.

Google Analytics dashboard - customization

The next step is to click on the red “Create” button.

Google Analytics Dashboard, create a dashboard

This will reveal a pop-up where you will have two options — Blank Canvas and Starter Dashboard.

create a dashboard

Black Canvas allows you to add whatever metrics and widgets you want. In comparison, Starter Dashboard comes with pre-installed widgets like page sessions and bounce rates.

Since we’re focusing on creating custom dashboards today, you can go ahead and click on the “Blank Canvas” option.

After doing so, you can create a unique name for your dashboard and select “Create Dashboard.”

This will give you a pop-up that prompts you to create widgets. We’ll talk about widgets in a second, so for now, close it.

Step 2: Add your segments

Segments in Google Analytics allow you to isolate and analyze data for a specific subset of your audience. For example, you might create a segment for visitors from a particular country or city, or for people who clicked on a specific ad campaign.

Segments can be created for different criteria, including location, behavior, and technology.

To add a segment to a dashboard, click the “Add Segment” button.

Google Analytics dashboard - add segment

Then, select the segment you want to add from the drop-down menu and hit “Apply.” You can also add multiple segments to a dashboard by clicking on the “Add Multiple Segments” button.

applying segments

To remove a segment from a dashboard, simply click on the “x” next to the segment name.

Step 3: Choose some widgets

If you’ve ever used Google Analytics, you may have noticed the little widgets that appear on some of the dashboards.

These widgets are essentially mini charts that provide quick visual data about different aspects of your website traffic. For example, you might see a widget that shows the number of unique visitors to your site or the average time spent on each page.

Widgets can be customized to show the data that is most important to you, and they can be added or removed from dashboards as needed. While they may not provide as much detail as other data sources in Google Analytics, widgets can be a helpful way to get a quick overview of your website’s performance.

To get started, simply click on “Add widget.”

add a widget

There are six different widget format options to choose from, and four of them allow you to view real-time website data.

Google analytics dashboard, choosing widgets

The widgets you choose will depend on how you want to view the data you’ll be tracking. To help you decide, here’s what each widget means:

  • Metric – This will show your data as numbers
  • Timeline – This widget allows your data to be shown over a period of time
  • Geomap – This will show your data according to specific regions
  • Table – As the name suggests, this widget shows your data in a table format
  • Pie – This widget gathers your data and display it to you in a pie chart
  • Bar – This one collects your data and display it in a bar chart

For this example, we went ahead and chose “Geomap.” Then, under “plot selected metric,” we went with City. And next to it, you’ll be able to add a specific metric.

choosing metrics

If you need help determining which specific metric you want, you can hover your mouse over the question mark, and as indicated in the image above, this will give you an explanation of what that metric is. So you’ll be able to tell if it’s relevant for you and your needs.

Step 4: Filter your data

You’ll get the option to filter after selecting the metric you wish to track.

For example, you could only include visitors who performed a certain event or goal, which lets you dig into user behavior in more detail.

Google analytics dashboard, add a filter

As soon as you select “Add a filter,” you’ll get three different options.

Only show/Don’t show: This will only display specific data. It can also filter some of it.

Add a dimension: This option allows you to select which parts of a specific metric you’re interested in tracking and which you aren’t.

Lastly, the Containing/Exactly matching/etc.: This allows you to be more specific with the selection you want.

After selecting what you want, you can go ahead and click on “Save.”

Step 5: Customize your dashboard layout

If you want to change the widget arrangement, you can click on “Customize Dashboard” in the upper right corner.

customize dashboard layout

This will reveal the different layout options available for you to choose from. Select the layout you prefer and click “Save.”

Google analytics dashboard, layout options

In addition, in the upper right corner, you can set a date range. This enables you to view data for a specific time period.

specify date

Step 6: Share (or export) your dashboards

When you’re happy with your dashboard, you can move forward and share it with your team or export it for yourself to keep on a different device or program.

Google analytics dashboard, share data

There are different ways to share or export your dashboards. Some of the most common methods are:

  • If you want to share a copy of the data with a team member, you’ll have to navigate to Share → Share Object
  • You can also use the ShareShare Template link option. This will only show people how you configured your dashboard, not your data.
  • Alternatively, you can click on the “Email” button and send your dashboards to any email address.
  • Or, you can click ExportPDF. This will allow you to download the data before sharing it with whomever you wish.

👉 If you want to share your dashboard with another user, you might also be interested in our guide on how to add a user to Google Analytics.

Start creating custom Google Analytics dashboards today

Use the above guide to create Custom Google Analytics Dashboards. We hope that you can see that the process is quick and easy, so there’s no excuse not to give it a try!

By creating custom dashboards, you can tailor the information that you see to match your own unique business needs.

Do you still have any questions about how to create custom Google Analytics dashboards? Let us know in the comments!

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