Assuming you already use Google Analytics for web analytics data on your blog (can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be) I have a quick tip that I want to walk you through that will help you save time when pulling reports from Google Analytics. When you view your blog’s reports in Google Analytics, you are first taken to your Dashboard as it’s called. I am going to quickly walk you through how to customize your dashboard and 10 specific reports to add to it that every blogger should be looking at on a daily basis. First let me explain how you add a Report Widget to your dashboard.
Step 1 = Go to your preferred report
Step 2 = Click the “Add to Dashboard” button located in the upper left-hand corner of your report. This image screen-shot gives you an ideas of what I’m talking about.
Get it? You can actually add any report inside Google Analytics to your Dashboard by following these 2 simple steps. This will help you save a ton of time each day when you go to view the reports most necessary to you. This has literally saved me precious time each day. And we’re all strapped for time right?.
The 10 Reports for Bloggers
Okay now here are the reports I have saved to my dashboard that I look at on a daily basis. These reports help reveal information to me that is critical for the sustained growth in traffic, readership, and revenue of my blog(s).
1. Keyword Report
Located at Traffic Sources >> Keywords
What keywords are people searching for when finding your content? This report quickly gives you important information that could help give you more transparency in what you should write about next.
2. Campaigns Report
Located at Traffic Sources >> Campaigns
I use this to track specific marketing campaigns that I am running to help drive traffic to my blog. How are these campaigns doing? Are they worth my money?
3. Traffic Sources Overview
On Dashboard by default
A great report that helps you quickly understand where your visitors are coming from. Search engines? Direct traffic? Referring Sites? Understand what’s going on and understand it quickly.
4. Content Overview
On Dashboard by default
What sites specifically other than major search engines are giving you your traffic? Did you get “dugg” on Digg? Did you get “stumbled” in Stumbleupon? Is Twitter sending you a ton of traffic. These answers and more!
6. Top Landing Pages
Located at Content >> Top Landing Pages
What pages are visitors reading when first entering your blog/site? Often times referenced as “entry pages” these pages help give you an idea of where your biggest wins are. Want to decrease bounce rate for example? Start with these pages to make your biggest impact.
7. New vs. Returning
Located at Visitors >> New vs. Returning
What’s your blogs following like? What’s it’s stick ability? Understanding how many of your visitors are new and how many are returning is critical in answering these questions.
8. Direct Traffic Report
Located at Traffic Sources >> Direct Traffic
This is one of my favorites. How is your brand? How big is your true blog following and readership? People who type your domain in directly through their web browser help answer these questions for you in a powerful way.
Located at Content; Adsense
How much money did I make on my blog today? This week? This month? Most of us bloggers use Google Adsense as a major form of revenue. If this is the case then this report will be very important for you.
10. Top AdSense Content
Located at Content >> Adsense >> Top AdSense Content
What content has made me this most AdSense revenue? This report will efficiently tell you this on your Analytics Dashboard. Now you can accurately say “wait…writing about chicken fingers makes me the most money. I’m going to continue writing about chicken fingers!”
There you have it. Now you know how to add reports to your Google Analytics Dashboard so you can more quickly access the information you need. In Web Analytics we call it “Actionable Metrics.” You can look at data all day long, but looking at and analyzing data that can directly affect your goals is what’s important.