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Nitty Gritty: Google Analytics Day Five

by Megan

Previous posts:

Day One: Setting Up Google Analytics
Day Two: Visitors Overview
Day Three: Audience
Day Four: Traffic Sources/Content

Today is the last day of The Nitty Gritty of Blogging, Series 2: Google Analytics! I hope that you have found this series useful. I don’t claim to be an expert, so if you have any tips or thoughts of your own, please share! This has just been a basic overview of how you can utilize GA as a blogger, but the basic data can be very useful.

Today I will show you how to customize your home page, or dashboard, so that you can have all the data you want at your fingertips.

Once you are in Google Analytics, go to the Home tab, and you should see this “My Dashboard” screen (this is a sample inactive blog):

You probably have some widgets already on your dashboard, and it is my opinion that you should delete all of them, so that you can start with a clean slate. You don’t have to do this, but I think it helps to have it cleared before you add in the widgets you want.

To delete a widget, click on the little gear wheel at the top right of the box (see the screen shot above). This window will pop up (see screen shot below):

In the bottom right corner you can click to delete the widget. Repeat that process until your dashboard is clear:

Now you can go back to the Standard Reporting tab and select a screen from the left hand sidebar. When you are at a screen that has data you care about, click the “Add to Dashboard” link. See below for those three steps:

You will get a pop up box that shows you all the widgets from that screen that you can add to your dashboard:

In the example above, I’ve selected to add the timeline of visits, the visits metric (just shows the number), the pageviews metric, the pages per visit metric, the average visit duration metric, and the bounce rate metric.

Go to any other screens and add whatever widgets that you want to have on your dashboard. My dashboard includes pageviews (metric), pageviews (timeline), bounce rate, pageviews by page (popular pages), visits by source (where my readers are coming from/referrals), and a few others.

The last thing you want to do on your dashboard is to organize it how you want. You can click on the top of any widget and drag it to another spot on the screen. You have three columns, so you can put the data you want to see first at the top, and then go down from there. Some widgets are larger than others, so you might want to try organizing them so that they all fit on the page without needing to scroll down. That way you can see all your data at one glance. You can also click on “My Dashboard” and rename it if you want.

So hopefully now you have a dashboard with all the information you need, which eliminates the need to go clicking around the standard reporting pages, searching for data. You can also create more than one dashboard if you want.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this series and found it useful! I sure do appreciate all my readers, and I hope you’ll come back often!

Thanks for reading!

Shaping Up To Be A Mom


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ramsaygrace September 21, 2012 - 12:30pm

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this series! You’ve taught me so much..seriously…SO MUCH! Thanks for sharing~

Renee C. September 22, 2012 - 7:08am

That series! Thanks for sharing your knowledge of GA. Have a wonderful weekend! :)

Renee C. September 22, 2012 - 7:09am

Oh goodness…time for bed, I meant to say Great series – my brain is thinking one thing and my fingers are randomly typing other things! lol