Reports in Google Analytics convert raw data into presentable information. In addition, links and options within reports provide interactive segmentation which enables you to reorganize the data on the fly. There are two fundamental building blocks to any report in Google Analytics: metrics and dimensions.
Here is how the basic report structure works in Google Analytics:
A metric is defined as a numerical measure of the user interaction on your website. Metrics have the following characteristics:
Some of the common metrics you will find in Google Analytics are visits, pageviews, bounce rate, etc.
Dimensions, on the other hand, have the following characteristics:
The following example should help you understand the above concepts:
Google Analytics provides five main report categories. The following table provides an overview of the available reports along with their definitions and significance.
|Audience||This category provides information about your visitors such as location and language. Also allows you to drill down and view the characteristics of different visitor segments and examine the different factors that make up visit quality.|
|Advertising||If you are using Adwords reporting, the reports in this category help you analyze the effectiveness of your AdWords campaigns.|
|Traffic Sources||Reports in this category provide an overview of the different kinds of sources that send traffic to your site including natural (organic) and paid sources.|
|Content||These reports provide information about your content including an overview of pageview volume and lists the pages viewed.|
|Conversions||Reports in this category provide information about conversion rates and goal paths. (Important for non e-commerce sites). For e-commerce sites, this category also provides commerce tracking such as revenue generated and revenue sources (only available when enabled).|
The dashboard module, as seen in the screenshot below, allows users to create ways to look at their data in a quick, concise way. Please note that in the previous version of Google Analytics, the dashboard was the "homescreen" for your reports. Now, it's separate from the reporting tab, and is found under the Home tab.
The dashboard module has the following main elements:
The dashboard is where you get to review the most relevant summary information about your site that you want to see at a glance.
The dashboard is completely customizable. You get to choose your desired widgets to add to your dashboard.
You get to develop multiple dashboards, and then share with others, as needed.
You also have the ability to show any relevant widgets right within your custom dashboard. Again, this is a great opportunity to have the most relevant analytics information available at a quick glance.
To customize, you first need to choose + New Dashboard.
As seen in the screenshot below, you will the notice an option to start with a Blank Canvas, or a Starter Dashboard. With a Blank Canvas, the options are almost endless to do what you'd like. With a Starter Dashboard, Google automatically filles in some of the most poplar widgets:
With either option, you can add in your own widgets. When you choose to Add a Widget, you will choose your Metric, any desired Filters, and then whether you want this data displayed in a Pie, Timeline, or Table format. Look at the following widget settings based on the desire to quickly compare the bounce rate on all search terms that contained the word 'training.'
And to get rid of any of your widgets within a dashboard, simply click the gear button on the top right of the widget. You will then be brought to the settings screen and you can delete from there.