Want to learn how to create a custom Google Analytics dashboard the easy way? Being able to see the data that means the most to you once you log into your Google Analytics account is the best way to see how successful your website is at any time.
In this article, we’ll show you how to create a custom analytics dashboard so you can make data-driven decisions, grow your business, and boost conversions.
What is a Google Analytics Dashboard?
According to Google, dashboards are “a collection of widgets that give you an overview of reports and metrics you care about most.”
In other words, an analytics dashboard is a visual view of the most important information you need to achieve your goals and make better decisions.
This information appears on one screen so you can see all the data at once and know right away how your website is doing.
To find your existing Google Analytics dashboards, first log into your Google Analytics account.
Then, click on Customization » Dashboards.
Here you’ll see every dashboard you have and their creation dates.
When you click on one, you’ll see all the widgets you’ve added and the updated data in Google Analytics. For example, check out this custom dashboard designed to show device data:
If you don’t have any dashboards, this section will be empty.
So, let’s find out how to create your own custom Google Analytics dashboard, complete with the data you want to focus on.
Create a Google Analytics Dashboard
Start by logging into your Google Analytics account.
Next, go to Customization » Dashboards and click on the red Create button.
A popup will appear giving you two choices:
- Blank Canvas. This template will have no widgets in it. You’re free to add whatever widgets you want to it.
- Starter Dashboard. This template comes with a default set of starter widgets. This is helpful if this is your first custom Google Analytics dashboard.
You’ll also have the chance to name your dashboard, which is good if you plan on having more than 1 for different types of data.
In this example, we’ll use the Starter Dashboard and name ours “My Custom Dashboard.”
After you pick a template and name your dashboard, click Create Dashboard.
Your new custom dashboard will automatically appear for you to see.
The Starter Dashboard comes with the following widgets:
- New Users
- Sessions by Browser
- Average Sessions Duration and Pages/Session
- Bounce Rate
- Goal Completions
In fact, your Overview Report shows data like sessions, pageviews, average session duration, and bounce rate, which is the same data seen in the Starter Dashboard.
You can also see additional information, like new and returning visitors, device breakdown, top countries, posts and pages, and referral sources.
Now we’ll take a look at how to create a truly customized Google Analytics dashboard using the Blank Canvas template.
Create a Custom Google Analytics Dashboard
Following the same steps as above, log into your Google Analytics account, go to your dashboards, and click on the red Create button.
Choose Blank Canvas, name your dashboard, and click Create Dashboard.
You’ll now see a popup for adding widgets to your dashboard.
Your dashboard can have one or more of the following types of widgets:
- Metric. Data shown as numbers.
- Timeline. Data shown over a period of time.
- Geomap. Map of a selected region, with data plotted on the map.
- Table. 2 metrics shown in tables.
- Pie. Pie chart of data.
- Bar. Bar chart of data.
It’s also good to know that some of the widgets you add to your custom dashboard can show real time data. These include the counter, timeline, geomap, and table widgets.
So, now that you know about the kind of widgets you can add, let’s see how to add one to your custom dashboard.
To start, we’ll choose the Metric widget and name it Users.
You’ll also want to add a metric so Google Analytics knows exactly what kind of data to collect.
For instance, in our example of Users, we’ll want Google Analytics to track New Sessions only.
You can also filter this data using the Filter feature, though for this example we left this part empty.
When you have customized your widget, click Save. Once you do this, you’ll see your widget added to your custom analytics dashboard.
And there you have it! Now you know how to create a default starter dashboard in Google Analytics, and a custom Google Analytics dashboard, complete with all the data that you need to make your business better.
If you’re interested in finding a way to better target your ideal audience, check out our helpful guide on how to collect WordPress visitor demographics with Google Analytics.
Better yet, if you’re looking for a way to drive more new traffic to your website, look to this helpful roundup of blog ideas you can write about today.