Google Analytics provides an excellent set of tools to monitor and support decision-making to help you improve the performance of your website and lead generation.
This article takes you through an example of a dashboard from one of my websites, to give you an outline of what you can gain from your Google Analytics Dashboard. What follows is an outline of the rationale behind the way it is set-up and a brief interpretation of the results.
Setting up your Google Analytics Dashboard to display key metrics will enable you to track performance, and monitor the effect of changes and additional content and promotional activities on traffic and conversions.
Google Analytics Dashboard Widgets
The dashboard allows up to 12 widgets to be included, in three columns. There are four types of widget; a Metric (number), a Pie chart, a Time Line or a Table. Each of these can then be configured, via the Cog in the top right corner.
My preference is to set the left column with widgets showing how visitors arrived at the website, the middle column for what they did when they were on the website and the right column for the results and completions, the Goals achieved.
Interpreting the Google Analytics Dashboard
The purpose of the dashboard is to provide insight into what is happening within the website, and to provide evidence to inform decision-making and to track the effects of changes.
Looking at the selected widgets column by column, in the first two columns are:
- Visits: reflects the typical higher level of activity of weekdays, with a rising trend through the month. It’s encouraging to see this increase.
- Visits by Traffic Source: Organic dominates, and needs to be increased, but an objective might be to increase the referrals, social media visits and email generated visits to reduce organic to say 50% of a greater number of visits.
- Page views by Traffic type: a means to compare visits against page views by traffic types. In this case ‘Other’ generates more page views relative to organic.
- Average Visit Duration: this is fairly spikey due to the relatively low volumes of visits, with Sunday traffic being particularly brief.
- Visits and Page views by Mobile: Interesting to see that already about 10% of visits and views are through mobile devices, and this is only going to increase.
- Visits and Duration by Country: Reassuring that the UK is the most visits and the longest average duration, indicating that people are reading the information.
- Visits and pages by Country: Again reassuring to see UK leading the table, and multiple pages per visit indicating good engagement.
Goal based monitoring and tracking
In the third column are Goals. These Goal based metrics are only possible once Goals have been defined within Google Analytics. Once they are then this level of tracking is available.
- Goal Conversion Rate: The level of the conversions will depend on what you define as your goals, however this is a good top-level indication to track and refine outcomes achieved by the website over time.
- Goal Conversion Rate: A good metric to track. However, if significant changes are made to goal definitions this will need to be re-leveled. For example, adding more goals will increase the achievements, removing some of the ‘softer’ goals such as pages per visit will reduce the goal achievements.
- Goal Completions: Another good tracking value, with the same caveat as above.
- Goal Value: On a lead generation website this number is calculated based on what is configured as the nominal value of certain goals. For example, gaining a registration and email might be set at a value of say £5. However, it does provide a headline figure to aim for, for example to get to £1000 by say the end of the month.
- Goal Completions and Conversions: This is a really useful metric as a top-level indicator of traffic quality, and the differences in goal completions between traffic sources. It also indicates the sources of traffic that contributed the most to the goal completions in point 10.
Different Dashboards can be created within a profile, so one might be focused on Blog posts, with another on Goals, especially sign-ups and registrations.
The time period in the top right can be changed, and the comparison period can be added, as an overlay. I suggest this overlay is only added occasionally once the dashboard is set up. It is useful for detailed analysis but too much information for regular use.
Schedule a Regular Review of your website statistics
It can be addictive to pop in frequently to see what’s happening on your website, and maybe to tweak and fiddle with the site.
However, it’s more effective, and better use of time, to do this on a scheduled basis, and to plan the activities for the subsequent period at the same time.
For smaller businesses this might be monthly, for other weekly or even daily for more active lead generation for larger sales teams.
Documenting the key metrics, the assessment and the actions taken/to be taken, will provide a very useful history to refer back to when reviewing the cause and effect nature of changes.
If you would like guidance or assistance to set up your Google Analytics Dashboard, or to interpret the results and develop an action plan to increase your lead generation, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org