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Like the dashboard of your car, your Google Analytics Dashboard is going to give you a high level overview of what is going on with your site.  The check engine light on your car dashboard will alert you that something is up, but unless you’re in a car that self diagnoses and talks to  you, it probably won’t give you all the details you need.  It is necessary to dig a little deeper to get the specifics.

The GA dashboard has a similar intention; to give you a high level snapshot of what’s happening with your website.  But for all the particulars you will have to explore a little deeper.  We will get to those particulars in future posts.

Until then, here are a few of the things of note that you’ll see on your dashboard:

1) Date Ranges – Defaults to last 30 days; but you can change that and can set up comparison date ranges.
2) Main Menu – Quick links to your reports, expandable and present throughout Google Analytics
3) Help Resources – Common to all reports – if you forget what you’re looking at these offer some quick reminders as well as help point you in the right direction for how to use the data you’re looking at.
4) Overview Graph – Several metrics are offered to choose from and comparison options are available.
5) Site Usage Statistics – A high level view of the visitors that came to your site, how many pages they saw, how long they stayed, how many left from the same page they landed on (bounced), and how many had been there before.
6) Widgets – Select up to 12 graphical overviews of reports that you’d like to see at a glance.  Move them around, remove them from the dashboard, or add new ones as needed.

Up Next: Common Interface Features

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