The ability to report on your website performance isn’t just a “nice to have” for today’s marketers. It’s a “need to have.” This makes building a web analytics dashboard that connects marketing activities to on-site actions a big time-saver, and even a job-saver.
According to a report by Econsultancy and Lynchpin, 97 percent of companies have a web analytics tool to gather data on their website’s performance. But there is a skill gap when it comes to understanding this valuable data and translating it into strategy.
In fact, in the same report, 77 percent of marketing executives said producing reports was a high-demand skill for their organization, making reporting the top in-demand analytics skill for marketers.
This means knowing how to report on your website analytics is crucial for today’s marketers.
Here, I’ll show you how the right web analytics dashboard can help you:
- Evaluate website performance;
- Find the best channels to invest in; and
- Track metrics in order to improve conversion rates and drive ROI.
What your dashboard should do for you
First, let’s make sure we’re clear on exactly what you should be getting from your web analytics dashboard.
Marketing dashboards have many benefits you can take advantage of to increase impact, reduce wasted spend, and free up time so you can concentrate on fostering a creative marketing strategy.
Your web analytics dashboard should:
- Centralize reporting and minimize switching costs. Jumping around between many different tools and data sources dramatically increases switching costs. Your dashboard should connect all of your website insights and performance data in one place.
- Compare data across channels. Your dashboard should also be housed on a platform that integrates with your other marketing channels so you can track campaigns and connect your activities to traffic, conversions, and more.
- Customize reports. Your dashboard should be customizable so you can easily find the website metrics you care about and track your marketing KPIs.
- Visualize your data. Your dashboard tool should allow you to consume and present analytics in easy-to-understand data visualizations. Good visuals make it easier to see patterns and trends in your marketing results.
- Provide real-time updates. Things move fast in the business world. To stay ahead of competitors, marketers need to move even faster. Your web analytics dashboard should have real-time data updates to help you report on website performance and improve results.
- Support collaboration and sharing. Your team needs to be able to access and interact with your web analytics dashboard so they know which tactics and campaigns are working for your business. Being able to share and export dashboards in multiple formats — not just with your team but with anyone who requires that information — makes your reporting more efficient.
Measuring metrics and website KPIs
When it comes to building your web analytics dashboard, there are many different metrics you can use depending on your marketing goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Here are some examples from TrackMaven:
Incorporating these into your dashboard means evaluating your website goals and outlining leading and lagging metrics that will help you both prove and improve your website marketing strategy.
Here are the essential metrics to track on your dashboard:
Overall website traffic
Monitoring overall website traffic trends, including number of new users, total users, page views, and sessions, lets you keep an eye out for unexpected changes so you can track down the cause.
Although increases in traffic do not necessarily lead to increased conversions and sales, staying on top of traffic trends will alert you to website health issues. It will also help you answer questions from stakeholders who may not understand that website traffic best serves as a leading indicator, rather than as proof of your revenue-driven marketing strategy.
To get more granular, break down your traffic sources by channel, such as in this graph of referral traffic from different social media networks.
Learn about building a social media analytics dashboard here.
Keeping track of conversion rates and their leading indicators, such as bounce rate and average session duration, is a key part of monitoring progress through the buyer’s journey.
In fact, 66 percent of marketing executives say that conversion rate optimization is a high-demand analytics skill.
Keep track of conversions rates for ecommerce transactions, form fills, and other actions taken by visitors to your website. Using Google Analytics goals allows you to customize what you track for your company’s unique needs.
In addition to tracking conversion rates, it’s essential to find out how many conversions, or goal completions, your marketing channels are contributing to your website.
Break down this data by referral medium, as well as by specific channels, such as social media networks, to make more informed decisions about where to spend your resources.
Compare the volume of website conversions against total goal revenue to find out how efficient your ROI is from your website. Segment the data to see which channels drive the most revenue.
To make smarter decisions about which channels to spend more time on, which need to be optimized, and which can be cut based on ROI, drill down into specific sources, such as social media networks, or the source and medium from your UTM parameters.
Dashboard reporting tools
We know that 97 percent of companies have a web analytics tool to gather data on their website’s performance. But is your web analytics tool integrated with other marketing tools and channels to provide a complete picture of your marketing performance?
Given that creating an effective marketing mix is the top challenge for marketers today, according to Marketing Charts and a DataXu report, the answer is most likely a resounding “no.”
Digital marketers are struggling to figure out how to align their goals with the business objectives that their companies care about.
Adding your Google Analytics data to a central analytics hub can help you connect the dots and prove ROI. Make sure your marketing analytics tool allows you to integrate website data into your dashboard to get a holistic picture of your marketing performance.
Web analytics dashboard example
When the factors I’ve gone over are pulled together into your dashboard, the result should be a seamless display of all the key website metrics you need to track.
Here is an example from the TrackMaven marketing analytics platform:
Want to learn how TrackMaven can help you build an integrated web analytics dashboard? Request a custom demo now to find out what channels work best in your company’s marketing mix!