Follow these four steps to create a more personalised Google Analytics dashboard
01. Intelligence Events and custom alerts
GA generates automatic web alerts whenever there is a significant change in usage or traffic metrics. It can generate AdWords alerts in the GA interface if your accounts are linked.
You can also set up custom alerts to be generated when traffic reaches or decreases to a certain threshold. Google enables you to receive these alerts via email or text message so that you can stay in the know even though you are not checking your GA reports.
There are four reports Google has available in terms of Intelligence Events: Overview, Daily Events, Weekly Events and Monthly events.
There are also some useful alerts you can set up like, if revenue drops by 10 per cent, if a landing page’s bounce rate increases by 20 per cent, or if a PPC campaign performance increases revenue by 10 per cent, for example.
02. Custom dashboards
The usefulness of GA goes beyond the standard reports they provide – the interface is completely customisable and enables you to create bespoke dashboards and reports to match your needs.
While most of the default dashboard provided out of the box may suffice, there are countless widgets you can create to really enhance your data analysis. Along with this, Google provides a great dashboard, report and segment repository called the Solution Gallery – a crowdscourced area where Google Analytics users publish their own dashboards, reports, anything that they have found useful for the benefit of fellow GA fans.
This is a great shortcut and a brilliant resource too as the uploaded shortcuts are rated by stars by other users. You can download any of these premade dashboards to your own account and start using them straight away for your own site analysis.
03. Custom reports
Just like custom dashboards, GA enables you to create custom reports which are a very powerful tool in drilling down into your site data. Here you will get to choose and select only the dimensions and metrics that you want to display.
This is so that you can easily and quickly access the data relevant to you without spending ages clicking around in Google Analytics each and every time you want that kind of specific data.
Google’s help section is very useful here as it has a handy list of all the dimensions and metrics that GA uses, and also gives hints on the valid dimensions or metrics combinations as not all of them can be queried together.
As mentioned, the Solutions Gallery has a large repository of well-made, crowdsourced custom reports from other Google Analytics users that you can easily download, utilise and customise for your website’s needs.
04. Automated emails
It’s very easy to set up GA so that it can send you customised reports via email at a frequency that suits. This will then save you from having to go in and generate them each time and ensures that you are comparing like for like each week or month.
These emails also act as a handy prompt to go in and have a further dig around in your Google Analytics data so that you’re always on top of the latest trends on your website.
Intelligence Events reports can also be set up to alert you with an email when certain criteria are met. If set up correctly these can be utilised as an extremely useful warning system that will alert you to problems with your site or server that may need urgent attention, like if the bounce rate or page load time has increased significantly for example. Alternatively, the reports can be set up to make you aware of large traffic spikes that may warrant further investigation.