Work Smart, Not Hard – An Introduction To Google Analytics Dashboards

I love my Google Analytics dashboard and I’m not ashamed to admit it. It saves me time, helps me look like I’m 100% on top of things when a client calls, and helps me add hours back into days that were previously spent hunting and pecking for information.

Right now, my client load consists of about 19 different domains that all have their own analytics installs. Each week that’s a lot of information to check, verify, monitor, and create an action plan from. Without my dashboards, and most importantly, my consistently formatted dashboards, I would spend hours finding information – now I have it all at the tip of my fingers.

Formatting dashboards across multiple installations used to be a pain. I’d have to open one client’s dashboard, then add widgets to another client’s dashboard one by one and arrange them in the order I prefer to see them. This was definitely a tedious and time consuming task.

Then I saw something magical in my dashboard one day – a simple little link. I knew I had just gained yet another chunk of time with which I can spend to make my clients’ money, as opposed to looking for data. I’m not sure how long this link has been there, so many changes have been happening in Google Analytics lately, who knows when it first appeared. Now that I see it, I just had to share, because it’s something that is going to make your life so much easier, I promise.

Before we talk about the magic, let’s talk about KPIs. What should you be looking at on a daily or weekly basis?

To be honest, that really depends on what is important to you. As I’ve shared before, all of my clients are in hospitality, and 99% of them are lodging hospitality of some sort, so the KPIs I monitor on a daily or weekly basis are similar for the most part.

Here is a list of the KPIs I look at and the order in which I have them set up in my analytics dashboard.

  • Revenue
  • Bounce Rate
  • Referrers
  • Transactions
  • Visits
  • Organic Visits
  • Paid Keywords
  • Landing Page
  • Unique Events (this is a click on a call to action – generally a “Book Now” type action)

Because I stay organized, and I keep every widget in the same spot, for every client’s dashboard, I can efficiently find information. An unexpected client call doesn’t leave me with uncomfortable silences while I log in and dig through links to find data; I have it all at the tip of my fingers.

I promised you magic, so here it is. Now within your Google Analytics dashboard, you can click “Share Dashboard” – and magically you’re provided with a link you can paste into a browser while logged into another account, and it will create your dashboard with the new client’s data pulled in.

Here’s How It Works

Have your dashboard set up the way you’d like it in one account. At the top of the “Home” page click on “Share Dashboard.”

You’ll be given a link – copy it somewhere safe for the next few minutes.

Now, login to your next client’s Google Analtyics account. (See the quick tip below for details on how to make this easier.)

Go to their profile and simply paste the URL into the browser. You’ll be asked which profile you want to add the dashboard to:


Once you choose your profile from the drop down menu, give you dashboard its name – you may want to set up a different dashboard for your client, they might like to see different data than you do. Click “Create Dashboard”.

Your dashboard will appear, in the order you want it, with the new profile’s data populated for your convenience.

Quick Tip for Beginners who review multiple accounts:

Set up a Google account and make it an administrator for all of your client’s analytics accounts. Do not create new profiles with your own Google account, you want the client to own their own data, so make sure you’re in their account when you set up new profiles and installations. By adding yourself to their account with administrative access, you can access every Google Analytics profile with one username and password.

If you and your client decide to go separate ways, they own their data, and can disable your access. If a new client comes on board, they can add you easily enough to their existing installation. Personally, I think it is 100% shady when an agency says they own your GA data because it’s in their dashboard and “can’t” give you the account. Yes, I’ve seen it happen more than once.

Helpful tips like those I’ve given you above are invaluable to making your work life more efficient and less tedious. If your day depends upon pockets of time, this technique will give you more of those pockets and less headaches.

As always, I’m very interested in any time-saving analytics tips you might have – please share them in the comments below – I know I’m not the only one looking for more time in my already hectic day!

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Beginner | Channel: Analytics | Google: Analytics | How To | How To: Analytics | Search & Analytics


About The Author: is the co-founder of Ignitor Digital, along with long-time colleague Mary Bowling. At Ignitor, Carrie tackles tough technical SEO roadblocks many small business owners don't even know they have. Her experience with analytics and troubleshooting helps her get to the root of issues. When not working, Carrie loves to cook for friends and family, hang out with her pretty awesome kids, and read books that have little-to-no educational value! You can also follow Carrie on twitter, @carriehill.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


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  • Shane Jennings

    The title may be misleading (at least it was for me). It seems less like an “Intro to Analytics Dashboards” and more like an “Intro to Managing Analytics Across Multiple Accounts”. Otherwise, the article seemed informative!

  • Carrie Hill

    Thanks for the comment, Shane – I am self-admittedly HORRIBLE at coming up with titles – but you’re probably right :)

  • Isabelle Eva

    Great insights.
    I also love the dashboard sharing option. What a time saving
    Google Analytics has gone a long way. The PDF export option is even available now!

  • Michael Bennett …

    Great write up, very simple, yet very helpful. I enjoy your posts and can’t agree with you more on “Personally, I think it is 100% shady when an agency says they own your GA data because it’s in their dashboard and “can’t” give you the account. ”

    For all my clients, I’ll teach them how to setup and maintain control while giving me access to their GA. I never “own” theirs, I agree it’s a “shady” practice.

    Keep up the great writing.


  • Barb

    So happy to find another “dashboard junkie” like myself! The more custom dashboards I create for clients, the more they want. In addition to the usual PPC metrics, we’ve isolated just comparison shopping engine traffic in custom dashboards that detail ROI of Google Shopping, vs. Nextag, vs. Shopzilla that can be updated in a flash and provide incredible insights into the relative value of each CSE.

    Just yesterday we created a custom dashboard to replace a daily report from a 3rd party tool for which the client was paying $500/month.

    One of my favorite custom dashboards compares non-brand keyword traffic for PPC vs. Organic sources. It quickly illustrates the value that PPC brings in terms of exposure for important queries where organic visibility is lacking.

    The new sharing feature is a godsend to ensure that remotely located employees can quickly see the same data from their GA login without having to painstakingly recreate every widget from scratch.

    There have been many “ah-hah” moments thanks to dashboards, and clients love them. As you say, they make scaling a business so much easier. With 20+ clients, monthly reporting used to be drudgery, now it’s a snap.

    Thanks for a great post.

  • Toni Atkinson

    …and I love your post. I have to admit that I was afraid to admit that I love Google analytics but now I can come out with it:) Even with this enthusiasm I am still confounded by all the choices and things to do with it. I am going to head back now with your post in “hand” and see if I can really have fun with it! Thanks!!

  • Görkem

    Great post, I just love how simple but “smart” text. Sharing Dashboard is really good idea and didn’t noticed before. Thanks Carrie


  • Ummed KHAN

    any one who is interested to know about ORM can get very much information about orm. i m interested in orm and digital marketing for more information  of introduction to digital marketing is the new concept of marketing in the era of increasing  popularity of internet  marketing.

  • Commodity

    first time i see this. I will do in my account.

  • Pieter Moons

    great post, thanks a lot!


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