I don’t know about you, but I just can’t get enough of the Custom Google Analytics Dashboard. Whilst the standard sets of reports in Google Analytics are great, if you aren’t using the Dashboards yet, you’re certainly missing a trick. There is so much more that you can do to understand the traffic that is hitting your site; this will help you get the most out of your marketing campaigns.
When you login to Google Analytics there are three tabs across the top of the interface: Home, Standard Reporting and Custom Reporting. Dashboards sit within the Home section of the interface.
You should now see three side navigation areas down the left hand side of your screen: Real-Time, Intelligence Events and Dashboards. If you haven’t set up a dashboard you will see ‘+ New Dashboard’ within this section. Any dashboards that you have already created will be shown here too.
To get started with Dashboards, Google Analytics give you the option to create a Starter Dashboard. When it comes to seeing basic metrics, to give you an idea of the types of reports that you can create, the Starter Dashboard is an excellent place to begin.
The Starter Dashboard includes:
Whilst Starter Dashboards are great for understanding fundamental analytics, there’s a great deal more you can do to take full advantage of this new feature. For example, monitoring your brand engagement is just one great way of using Dashboards to its fullest potential. The aim of this blog post is to provide you with a dashboard, allowing you to easily identify and understand how your brand traffic and direct traffic converts online. Unfortunately, Google haven’t yet allowed all reports (including those with advanced segments) to be pulled into a dashboard, but I am expecting (hoping) to see more being included over the coming months.
I have already created the dashboard for you. Click on this link which will open in your Google Analytics browser and add the dashboard to your account. You will need to edit each dashboard and change the keyword from ‘Koozai’ to your company name, otherwise no data will appear
The graphs below appear at the top of the dashboard. They allow you to see goals generated from organic and paid brand traffic as well as direct traffic. Changing the timeframe at the top of the dashboard allows you to see the differences over a longer/short period of time.
Seeing the total number of goals for each segment is good for a top level overview, but the core analysis should be performed by comparing traffic against your conversions.
As you can see below, I have broken the graphs into Paid/Brand, Organic/Brand and Direct. This tells us that the AdWords campaign is driving brand traffic through to the site. However, this also tells us that the AdWords campaign isn’t generating anywhere near as many conversions as direct and organic traffic.
If you have a blog on your website, this dashboard can be very useful to understand if certain posts convert better than others. At Koozai, we have been analysing conversions by post for a while now; and this dashboard gives us great insights into what our branded traffic does when it lands on our site and what a visitor does when they read a post.
If you don’t have a blog or would prefer to see which pages convert best for your branded traffic, this dashboard can be amended to reflect any key content on your site.
When it comes to looking at brand traffic conversions, another useful metric is to understand which brand keywords actually drive the sales. Obviously, the highest converting phrase will always be your main brand name, but there are a lot of other keywords which include your brand term that will drive conversions on the site as well.
My recommendation for using this report is to look at what keywords convert, and then perform a search in Google for that phrase. You need to ensure that you dominate page one of the search results for that phrase, which also means ensuring that any negative listings are removed from this page.
Should you wish to know a bit more about Page 1 Domination, I have written a post for State of Search on the subject before.
The next set of reports in the dashboard compares data between brand and non-brand traffic. To keep this simple, I like to see this data as a numerical value, rather than a graph over time. This allows me to see the difference between the two types of data.
In most instances non-branded traffic drives more conversions because there is a wider spread of keywords being targeted either via SEO or PPC. However, this report will highlight whether you need to focus more on brand building or organic optimisation.
Finally, it’s good to look at the spread of branded traffic when it comes to paid and organic search campaigns.. In the below graph you can see how much more SEO traffic this site receives in comparison with paid traffic.
Within this report it is possible to drill down and see exactly what branded keywords are reaching your site organically. This way, you can ensure that they are also included in your paid search campaigns.
As I mentioned earlier, not all of the reports can be copied across into a dashboard. All the other reports in Google Analytics are available for you to use, but in order to get the most out of them you will need to use an advanced segment, so you are only looking at brand and direct traffic.
Simply click on this link and add this Advanced Segment to your account, so that when you are analysing the data, you are only looking at brand keywords and direct traffic.
Once you have got the advanced segment in place, you should also include the All Visits segment to give you a comparison of the data.
I hope you found this post useful. If there is anything more that you would add to the dashboard or custom reporting to monitor brand engagement, I would love to hear from you. Over the next couple of months, I will be looking to do a follow up post to include more dashboards once Google allow more report inclusions.
Finally, if you missed the link to the brand engagement dashboard here it is again -