There are bazillion websites out there covering every topic and across every industry and everything in between. Corporate sites, travel, news, banking, eCommerce, blogs but regardless of the industry, the one common denominator for site owners is that we are all obsessed with stats.
Stats are like the accountant’s balance sheet. They are the unemotional real view of how well (or not) the site is doing. Much like the Balance Sheet, if read correctly, specific action can be taken in order to fix any issues.
The “numbers” tells which articles are being read, what content the audience wants to see and where we should be investing more effort. Bloggers are particularly sensitive to their stats as this is how they are virtually “ranked” and this is the golden info that tells Brands and PR companies how well the site is doing.
Regardless of the website type, where it is hosted, who manages it, Google analytics has become the Industry Standard tat allows site owners to deep-dive into the site’s performance. However, with great power comes great confusion as Google Analytics can be very complex. There are so many reports, graphs, tables and information that it tends to be overwhelming – especially if you are new to the game.
So what should you focus on to get the best information out of Google Analytics AND not suffer from information overload?
Division of Information
When it comes to dealing with info overload, I divide Analytics into two types of information: Nice to know and Answer Providing.
Nice to know are reports that are still valuable but there is little I can do with that info. Site Speed, Type of Devices are some reports that are valuable but I can’t really act on that. I keep my eye on these to make sure there are no anomalies but I don’t “live” in these pages.
Answer Providing type of reports are those that answer a specific question for me: Where do people come from when they find my Blog? How long do they stay on my site? Which social media is referring more traffic? How many readers do I have? These type of questions are those that allow me to manage my Blog more effectively.
Now that I know what questions to ask, I have to drill down into multiple layers in Google Analytics to find the answers.
Luckily there is better way which is very under utilized – the Dashboard.
Dashboards are just like the dashboard in your car – they give you quick information without all the complicated detail. Google Analytics has Dashboard facility too which is customizable.
Therefore, I took all the questions that I needed answered with my Dashboard I now have an instant view as to what my blog is doing!
I can quickly see how my site is doing, which content is working, which social network is refereeing traffic, how much of my content is being read by South Africans versus content read by other countries etc.
Get the TheTechieGuy Tally Dashboard for FREE
Before you do install it, please note: I do NOT get access to your stats or any info. The Dashboard is just a template and your own Analytics populates it. Also, I take no responsibility/ liability for info presented.
click on this link and Google Analytics will add the Dashboard automatically.
Customize you Dashboard
You will find it in your Google Analytics account under Reporting and then head to the top where it says Dashboard. Click on that and it will show you Private. Click on that and there you will see TheTechieGuy Tally
Note: you can customise each segment of the Dashboard to suit you. Simply hover your mouse over the title of the segment and then click on the Pencil.
You can then change the title and any parameter to suite you. For example, if you want to change this report from traffic from South Africa only to show traffic from USA, you would simply change it here:
Click on Save and it is updated !
To Remove the Dashboard
To delete the Dashboard, simply click on it and on the top right click on the option to Delete Dashboard. Simple.
and thanks Mr Brett for being my test subject !
[tweetthis]Google Analytics is confusing so I made sense of it with this Dashboard (get it for free)[/tweetthis]
*headline image from shutterstock.com