Google Analytics is an amazingly useful tool for website owners. The information and insight into your website that can be gleaned from the loads of data gathered is stunning. The problem can be how to get a quick snapshot of how a site is doing without clicking on the many sub pages. The dashboard is the ideal location for this but by default the dashboard is setup with to much repetitive information, that misses what you really are interested in. So here is my suggest list of dashboard items.
- Site Usage Overview (default dashboard item) – this gives a quick overview of the site
- New vs Returning – shows the number of new vs returning visitors to the site, good for quickly determining if you are developing a following
- Map Overlay – quick visual guide of where visitors are surfing from
- Content Overview (default dashboard item) – this shows you which pages by URL that are most popular
- Content by Title – this gives similar information to the one above but give you the page title
- Traffic Sources Overview (default dashboard item) – this shows you how people are getting to your site
- Referring Sites – gives a breakdown of visitors from top referring sites
- Keywords – list of top keywords visitors searched on to find your site
- AdSense Overview – only available if you have linked your adsense account, give total income per day
You can add them to your dashboard by going to each corresponding page and clicking on the Add to Dashboard button. Do this for each dashboard item I listed and you will now have a quick overview of your site.