By Ann Mills
Have you ever wondered what percentage of your website visitors are returning, how long they stay on your website or what pages they look at while they are there? Google Analytics (GA) tracks a multitude of statistics like these, yet according to BuiltWith, only 7.8 percent of the 370 million websites on the Internet use Google Analytics. Given what Google Analytics can do, the percentage is shockingly low, but understandable too. Although GA has long provided a treasure trove of information about a website and its traffic, for business owners, it’s not been an intuitive interface to tackle. Now, there’s the incredibly user-friendly Google Data Studio.
Google Data Studio, still in beta, is a new tool that pulls data from your Google ecosystem, Google Analytics or AdWords as examples, into visual dashboards. We took a spin with Google Data Studio to see if we could put together a quick, informative, visual report pulling key information from website data in GA. It was a breeze.
Now you can create a remarkable, easy to understand snapshot of your website traffic using Google Data Studio. You’ll quickly see the value of the data as you grow your business and marketing efforts. You’ll need to connect Google Analytics to your website first, and then you’re ready to begin.
Step 1: Sign up for Google Data Studio
Go to Google Data Studio and signup for free using your Google account. Use the same Google account linked to your website Google Analytics because Google Data Studio does not replace GA, but rather provides more user-friendly dashboards for viewing the data. Once you login to Data Studio, you will see a dashboard, and there are several pre-built templates which are set up to help you visualize data from many different sources including Google Analytics. You can completely customize and create your own report, but we grabbed the Google Analytics template for Acme Marketing – [Sample] Acme Marketing Website – as a starting point.
Step 2. Select your data source for the Google Data Studio report
When you click on the Acme Marketing Google Analytics template, a turquoise and gray sample report pops up. In the top right of the screen, there is an icon which gives you the option to “Make a copy of this report.” Copy it and you will see a pop-up screen “Create new report.”
The Acme Marketing report uses sample data. To populate your report with your own website data, you will need to connect the Google Analytics data for your website.
In the pop-up window, look to the right where it says New Data Source, then:
- Click on [Sample] Google Analytics Data
- Click the blue CREATE NEW DATA SOURCE
- In the left sidebar menu entitled Connectors, choose Google Analytics
- Pick the relevant Account, (website) Property and View
- Click the CONNECT button in the top right-hand corner
- Click the ADD TO REPORT Go to the full article.