As many of you may (or may not) know, Google Analytics is a wonderful source of website performance data, and it can be especially useful for ecommerce sites. However, Google Analytics can also be a time consuming, and sometimes scary, adventure sifting through deserts of irrelevant data trying to find that one oasis of actionable data. Luckily, Google Analytics has put that oasis right in front of your eyes with its customizable dashboard widgets, and they are no mirage.
Wait, you don’t know how to create a Google Analytics dashboard? Not problem – check out this great blog post on how to set up Google Analytics Dashboards by my colleague Amanda Sides.
Customizable dashboard widgets allow you to select specific metrics and combine them with various dimensions and filters to create snapshots of data that will help you understand the true performance of your account. Currently, there is a limit of 12 widgets per dashboard you create, so choosing and creating the correct widgets for your specific needs can be a challenge. Ultimately, the most important goals of your website and/or campaigns should help you determine what to measure in Google Analytics, and then creating widgets that show you what you want to know.
But not to worry, for I will share with you my top 10 dashboard widgets geared specifically for ecommerce websites.
1. Revenue Everyone wants to know how much money they are making! Simply choose revenue as your metric and begin to watch those dollars come in.
2. Cost You have to spend money to make money! By choosing cost as your metric, you can see how much you’re spending and filter your data according to your specific needs.
3. Return on Investment (ROI) Is your account profitable? ROI is a quick and easy way to find out!
4. Transactions How many products did you sell last week? This is a great metric to see trends in the volume of products sold over a specific time period.
5. Cost per Transaction On average how much did it cost to sell those products last week? Knowing this value helps you figure out if on average your products are profitable or not.
6. Average Order Value (AOV) How much money on average are you making on the products you sell? This allows you to see if you need to increase your product prices across the board.
7. Top Products Which products are your shining stars? To find out, first choose Product as your column and then select Quantity (sorting highest to lowest) and Product Revenue as your metrics, and then filter in or out data according to your specific needs.
8. Top Keywords – Cost vs. Revenue Which of your keywords are spending the most money and how much money are those keywords bringing in? By choosing Keyword as your column heading and then selecting Cost and Revenue as your metrics, you can find out!
9. Top Keywords – Product Page Visits What keywords are driving the most traffic to your website’s product pages? First, choose Keyword as your column and then select Visits (sorting highest to lowest) as your metric. Next, under “filter this data:” choose “only show”, pick Landing Page as the dimension, pick your matching option, and finally type in your /product page URL and you are good to go!
10. Top Performing Campaigns How are your Adwords campaigns performing? Knowing this will help you optimize you Adwords account, which in turn will help you increase your ecommerce sales!
When viewing these widgets in your dashboard, you can set them up to be displayed in various formats. Simply hover over the right corner of each widget box and click the pencil icon. Next, choose how you want your data displayed: metric, timeline, geomap, table, pie, bar, and coconut (just kidding, there is no coconut option).
Viewing your data in multiple visual formats is a great way to get a better understanding of the data and can help you see the bigger picture.
Lastly, Google has recently added a Real-time view to the widget options, so in addition to seeing historical performance you can now choose to see performance in real-time on your customized dashboard widgets!
Since I just showed you my favorite widgets, what are your favorite Google Analytics features? Comment below and if you like follow me on Twitter @ScottGarrett89