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Get the Most out of Google Analytics – The Basics

Short Cuts & Dashboards & Segments, OH MY!

Every time I open up Google Analytics for one of my clients, there is a good chance I am going to fall into a data vortex, only to emerge disoriented hours later. It’s good fun.

Lesser know but far more adorable puppy vortex.

But if you don’t like to fly through time and space on an Analytics wave as much as I do, here are a couple quick tricks to save time.



For the sake of consistency, when reviewing Analytics you’re probably looking at the same reports over and over, or at least using the same reports as a starting place. If this is true for you, save all these views as shortcuts so you can quickly jump to these pages without wasting a minute. Some of my go-to shortcuts are:

  • Landing Pages filtered to Organic entrances
  • Landing Pages filtered to a specific content group (blog, services, etc.)
  • New User Acquisition filtered to the client’s service area (geo)



Like shortcuts, custom segments allow you to quickly drill into data specifics without wasting time. They also allow you to add a third filter (in addition to the primary and secondary dimensions). I like to make segments for data categories I want to look at often and that I want to apply to a variety of different views, AND/OR is a lil’ complex. For example, applying a segment like Mobile Traffic from a 30 minute driving radius around Edmonton to your new user acquisition by channel report will give you mad ~*~InSiGhTs~*~.

Killing it!



Dashboards are basically like pulling all of your segments and shortcuts into one easy to access screen. Using your preferred views, shortcuts, and segments you can create dashboards with up to 12 widgets that display your data in a variety of different ways. Pulling all these pieces into the same dashboard often leads to greater insights when you can see data side by side. Sound daunting? There are a BAZILLION different dashboard templates online ready for you to import into your Analytics profiles. Just make sure to edit the widgets so it pulls the correct data for your clients.


Do you have any HOT TIPS for getting the most out of Google Analytics?!?! Leave a comment so we can all win.