Discover Your User Journey with Dynamic Dashboard Design

Julian Gottlieb / 27th November 2018 / Comment

Simplicity is Supreme

You build analytics dashboards because you want to measure what matters in the user journey and spark meaningful conversations that improve your digital strategy. The key to achieving these outcomes is to simplify your view of the data. The user journey boils down to a few key components:

  • Acquisition channels
  • Entry points (landing pages)
  • Conversion goals

This post will describe how you can incorporate these elements into a dynamic dashboard to improve your view of the conversion funnel and find more business value in your web analytics.

Charting Your Channel Mix

Add a chart to your analytics dashboard that measures site traffic by acquisition channel over time.

Illustrating the performance of channels like organic, paid search, social, etc. can help you assess whether the acquisition channels you optimize for are leading to performance gains.

Include views of channel performance that demonstrate recent performance and long-term trends.

Is your SEO strategy producing an immediate, temporary lift in organic traffic or a steady, gradual long-term boost in traffic? You can develop a more nuanced view of channel performance by building a rolling 6-8 week chart of traffic by channel and rolling up the data into a year-to-date view.

Analyzing your channel mix can also reveal deep insights about why visitors convert or don’t convert on your site. If your share of paid search traffic has increased sharply relative to organic traffic and your conversion rate is declining, it may indicate your paid search strategy is bringing too much unqualified traffic to the site. With a holistic view of channel performance, you can identify your top converting channels and prioritize your marketing spend accordingly.

Define Your Entry Points

Challenge yourself to think beyond the conversion rate for individual landing pages and instead, focus on the big picture: scalable, high-performing user experiences that enable visitors to find what is valuable on your site. You can simplify your view of the conversion funnel by identifying groups of landing pages that help visitors navigate the conversion funnel and fulfill their goals.

By comparing how visitors convert from different entry points with unique value propositions, you can identify which experiences provide visitors at the top of the funnel with the most valuable context and provide you with a clear path to the destination goal.

If aggregating landing pages and assessing your conversion funnel entry points proves difficult, our analytics team can help you fight data fragmentation by activating custom dimensions that make it easier to define and measure your entry points.

Tableau is also a powerful solution for segmenting your entry points—you can make use of calculated fields and/or custom SQL queries to define entrances and narrow your view to the most important entry points.

Measuring Success

Your dashboard’s value is proportionate to how closely your performance metrics measure what is important to your business. There are four ways to track goals in Google Analytics:

  1. Destination URLs
  2. Visit duration goals
  3. Page/Visit goals
  4. Event goals

Our point of view is that visit duration goals and # of pages per visit goals are vanity metrics—these metrics are easy to set up and they approximate user engagement on your site, but they often fall short of measuring important outcomes. For example, you may set a goal of 5 pages per visit on an Ecommerce site, but when a visitor triggers this goal, it may actually signify a confusing UX design: visitors cannot find the content or products they’re looking for so they navigate through several pages, get frustrated, and abandon the checkout funnel.

There are better ways to measure business goals and user behaviors than time on site and site navigation depth. We recommend focusing on destination URL goals and event goals to capture important user behaviors like lead form sign-ups, appointment scheduling, and cart checkout clicks. These goals are more likely to reflect desirable outcomes that are closely aligned with revenue growth.

When you have identified important user behaviors on your site and have tags in place to measure conversion goals, you can display your goal completion metric as a total count, convert it to revenue, or even display the conversion rate as a percentage of all visitors from a particular acquisition channel or entry point.

One View to Rule Them All

When you have settled on your dimensions, defined your entry points, and configured conversion goals, it’s time to put it all together in a dashboard view. Think about the design of the dashboard from the perspective of the end user. No one wants to comb through 50 different charts to find wisdom! Consolidate infinite configurations of a dashboard into one elegant view by applying filters and slicers.

Tableau makes it easy to transform your data into a multitude of views with dynamic filters that allow you to quickly find insights by slicing and dicing the data like a sushi chef! Excel also offers similar functionality with pivot charts and slicers you can use to transform your data skillfully.

Conclusion

Building a dynamic dashboard is a powerful way to make your analytics data more valuable and actionable. Dashboards can improve your ability to define critical user journeys, measure and scale valuable user experiences, and set performance goals for your digital strategy. With an effective tag management strategy, analytics measurement plan, and data visualization expertise, you can build dynamic dashboards that measure what matters: the success of your digital strategy!

By Julian Gottlieb