How to Set Up Automated Web Traffic Reports
Many businesses have taken an important step by installing Google Analytics or a similar tool for monitoring web traffic, website mentions and social media activity. Analytics and other similar systems collect huge, valuable volumes of information about who visits your website, how they got there, what they do when they’re on your site, and even where they leave. But once the service is installed, then what?
It’s easy to forget to check back and see how the website is performing. Especially if things seem to be going well -- you’ve got leads, you’ve got sales, it must be working! But it’s vitally important to keep an eye on your website regularly.
Imagine that an important page on your website stops working. Maybe you made a well-intentioned update that went wrong, and suddenly, no one can see your hours information or your email subscription box stops working. How will you know?
Or better yet, imagine your company gets a great review in the newspaper that you didn’t even know about and suddenly you have hundreds of new visitors to your site. Would you want to offer them a coupon? Would you want to post the review in your business?
One way to monitor all this is through your Google Analytics account. By watching your overall traffic, search engine traffic, referral traffic (from links from other websites) and more, you can identify big changes that indicate either good or bad news for your website.
Setting up a Google Analytics Dashboard
The easiest way to monitor the information that’s most important to you is through a Dashboard. Dashboards are Analytics’ way of collecting the information that you most want to see in one place, so you can quickly and easily monitor your web performance.
When you log in to Analytics, in the Home tab, you’ll see some options on the left side of the screen including “Dashboards.”
In the Dashboards section you can add Widgets, which are little snapshots of how your website is performing. You can drag and drop them around the screen, and select how you want them displayed, as numbers, as graphs, or as tables.
In this example, the Total Visits, Visits, Visits by Medium and Visits and Ecommerce Conversion Rate by Region are all widgets. You can change the settings of a widget by clicking the gear icon in the top right of the widget box.
Once you have a collection of widgets that make sense for your business, you’ll want to set up automatic reporting.
Getting Analytics Emailed to You Automatically
Once the Dashboard is set up, it’s actually very easy to get it emailed to you on a regular basis. Simply choose “Email” in the navigation at the top of the Dashboard.
In the dialog box that appears, you can set who the email goes to and how often it is sent, as well as for how long the report should recur.
You can even set up multiple dashboards with reporting for different purposes. For instance, you might want your marketing team to get a report of performance of your pay-per-click advertising, your web team to get a report on performance for visitors using mobile devices, and your management team to see how many sales are coming from the website.
What information about your website can help you make better marketing decisions? For help with making your website a bigger part of your marketing plan, contact us today.