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Web analytics dashboards
There are many different web analytics programs that help website owners see what is happening on their sites, enabling them to take steps to improve the experience of their users or make decisions that will impact sales or conversions. Google Analytics, Adobe Insight, Statcounter, Mixpanel and Kissmetrics are some of the better known packages.
However, finding the information that’s useful and actionable can be tricky, time consuming and lead you down a rabbit hole that creates more questions than it answers. Web analytics is one area where using a dashboard can have a huge impact on simplifying your reporting.
A web analytics dashboard that measures time spent on site, unique visitors, bounce rates, top traffic providers and new versus old visitors is but one way of displaying important actionable metrics.
The example that follows shows what you could build using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics Dashboard Example
Google Analytics is one of the most popular and useful analytics packages available today.
For the purposes of illustrating how you can use your data, we’ve created a clickable demo (see snapshot graphic above) of a Google Analytics dashboard.
Let’s take a closer look at this dashboard…
Monitoring website KPIs
An imaginary marketing team has created the dashboard above to monitor the performance of their website, using only data from Google Analytics.
Starting in the top left, a line chart showing unique visitors to their website over the past thirty days takes up a large percentage of their dashboard. For this marketing team, improving raw visits to their website is clearly the most important thing right now.
This is backed up by the fact that they have a comparison line (the faded grey line) behind their data, showing their performance last month vs. this month.
This data is summarised in two widgets to the right of this, showing total figures for unique visitors both today and over the last 30 days along with indicators to highlight the change in these numbers since the last period.
Whilst seeing overall change is useful, the team have chosen to add slightly more detail to the right of these widgets, breaking out their 30 day traffic by referrer.
Given the focus within the team on increasing visits to the website, this is a smart move that enables them to see which traffic sources are working (and which are not), so resources can be better invested going forward.
Traffic quality metrics
Although the team is focused on delivering more visits to the site, they want to make sure these visits are of a high standard.
Below the main Unique Visitors line chart, the final row of widgets includes a New Visitor widget, indicating clearly what percentage of visitors are completely new, as opposed to visitors who may have browsed the site in the past.
In addition, Average Time on Site widgets for today and the last 30 days give some indication of how long today’s visitors are sticking around for.
Similarly, Bounce Rate is closely monitored to make sure newly acquired visitors are engaging with the website and aren’t a mis-match for the audience it was designed for.
Overall, this is a solid overview of the website’s Google Analytics data and by displaying this on screens on the walls of the office, employees no longer need to log in to Google Analytics and struggle to find the number they need. A simple glance at their dashboard is all that’s needed.
Social Web Analytics
There are also many social platforms with their API’s and small army of users that provide their own set of numbers, offering additional insights. Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are three of the better known providers.
These can be used in isolation or combined with your more general web analytics data to create a more defined perspective.
Here are some ideas:
Facebook Analytics Dashboard - Pull in metrics of a particular focus such as specific demographics relative to age and location, engagements they performed whilst on site and if they share or like what you do.
Twitter Analytics Dashboard - Show the most shared pages on a domain from Twitter, the locations of these users and the number of times a particular resource was shared or liked.
Pinterest Analytics Dashboard - Give you great insights into the popularity of your site’s imagery. The who, where and when metrics might well inform subsequent campaigns or content marketing activities you’re thinking of undertaking.
The great thing about a dashboard is that you can pull in data from multiple sources to create a view that is specific to what you believe is important to you right now.