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How to create a dashboard on looker studio using Google Analytics 4 data source

15 Aug 2023
looker-studio-using-Google-Analytics-4

1. Introduction

Google Analytics is a tool which gives us a better understanding of our customers, the website traffic & much more. Google Analytics with Looker studio will visualise the data collected by GA in an immersive way and let non-technical people know everything at first glance. If both of these tools are used properly, it will help us gain meaningful insights into user activity on your website.

In this blog, we will try to walk you through all the steps to create a report on Looker studio in an efficient way.

2. Part 1 – Creating a report from Scratch on Looker Studio

Step 1 – In google Chrome Or any other browser, Navigate to https://lookerstudio.google.com/

Step – Now you will see a Looker Studio Interface. Select ‘Blank Report, OR you can also click on

Create -> Report.

 

Step 3 – Once you are able to see the blank dashboard interface, it is a good practice to name the report to help us in identifying the reports in the future.

Step 4 – Once you are able to see a blank report,

1. select ‘Add Data’ on the head bar.

2. Click on ‘Google Analytics’ to import the GA4 data source.

3. Select your Google Analytics account and property and select ‘Add’

4. Click on “Insert” to add elements to your report

Here, you’ll find all the elements that you can include in your report, such as tables, charts, scorecards, shapes, texts, images, and more.

5. Part 2 – Adding Scorecard to view key metric performances

Step 1: Insert a “Scorecard” element and duplicate it a few times.

Step 2: Select the metrics that you’d like to showcase

Click on each element and set the metrics that showcase your top-level website performance, including web traffic, qualitative metrics, and more.

To do that, click any scorecard -> Select the metric -> Search ‘Bounce Rate’

In this example, we are showcasing the Engaged sessions, Views, Engagement Rate & Bounce Rate.

Moreover, you can also compare the performance of two different periods by doing the following:

Go to Comparison Date Range

Select ‘Previous Period’ and hit apply as shown in the above image.

You will see some indicators that show the comparison of performance from the current date range to the previous period. For instance, if you’re looking at a weekly report, it will compare the results to the previous week; if you’re looking at a monthly report, it will compare the results to the previous month.

Step 3: Insert a ‘Date range control’

Once you have added the date range control to the report, Select the date range you would like to view on the report.

For instance, in the above image we have selected the date range as 14 days, this will refresh the report and visualise the data from 12th July 2023 to 25th July 2023.

Similarly, we have also added two drop down lists to visualise the report on the basis of Device Category & Marketing Channels (which is known as session default channel group in GA4 world).

9. Part 3: Inserting charts, graphs, tables and visualisations to observe customer journey trends

First, we will start with a geographical chart to understand how many visitors have opened your website based on countries and cities.
Step 1: Insert a Geo Chart
Step 2: Add continent, country and city in dimensions & add total users as a metric.

Similar to total users you can also add optional metrics to the chart you want, this will help you visualise different metrics in a geo chart. We will add sessions , bounce rate and engagement rate as optional metrics.

How to add Optional metrics?

  1. Select the chart you want to add optional metrics.
  2. Turn on Optional metrics slider.
  3. Add ‘Sessions’, ‘Bounce Rate’ and ‘Engagement Rate’
  4. Hit Enter.
  5. You can now change the metrics as shown in the gif below.

Now we will add a time series chart to visualise total users by date & bar chart to visualise city by total users.

Step 1: Insert a time series chart.

Step 2: In the properties section, add ‘Date’ as dimension & ‘Total Users’ as a metric.

Similarly, for a bar chart, we have added a bar chart to the report.

under the properties section, select ‘City’ as dimension and ‘Total Users’ as metric. Your visualisation will look something like the below image:

These charts are quite interactive, as we can hover on the charts to check the correct number of users on a specific date or in a specific city.

14. Part 4: Inserting a pie chart for browser level performance

Step 1: Add a pie chart.

Step 2: Add ‘Browsers’ as dimension & ‘engaged sessions’ as metrics.

The chart now shows user engagement on our website from different types of browsers. This will help to understand how many users are coming on our website/app from different browsers.

16. Part 5 – Adding a table to visualise cross channel performance

Step 1: Insert a Table with heatmaps from the charts.

Step 2: Select ‘Session default channel group ‘ as dimension & under metrics section, add Active users, sessions, Engagement Rate and Conversions.

Step 3: Select Comparison date range as “previous period”

The table will now have a Delta column that shows the performance of each channel by each metric in comparison to the previous period, i.e. whether the performance went up or down and by how many percent. It also has a Grand total on the bottom to summarize all the performance, as well as heatmaps to see the concentration of each metric across the channels.

20. Part 6 – Inserting a Fixed sized list control to view pageviews.

This control is a very unique type of visualisation which assists us in finding the pageviews for each of our pages & also helps us to search for a specific page on a website.

Step 1: Insert Fixed sized list from Add a control section.

Step 2: Under control field add “page title” & “event count” under metrics section.

Unfortunately, this won’t help us to know how many pageviews each page is getting because event count is a sum of all the events. Therefore, we need to add a filter to help the looker studio to count only the event which is known for pageview.

Step 3: Select drop-down filter under properties section

Step 4:Create a filter -> add filter.

Once you do that click ‘Save’. After that you’ll be able to see the exact count of pageviews.

22. Part 7 – Insert a pivot table to visualise channel performances based on events.

Step 1: Add a Pivot table with heatmaps

Step 2: Under Row Dimension, Add “Event Name”, Under column dimension, add “session default channel group” & metrics would be “Event Count”.

Step 3: Add grand totals for Rows & Columns.

This table will now visualise events for each of our channels.

26. Part 8 - Marketing Channel Reporting

A Marketing channel report is a display of heaps of information which is crucial to keep track of our KPIs, and also to make sure that we are positively progressing towards our marketing goals. It provides us an overview of the different channels used by a business, such as email marketing, social media, SEM, SEO, paid advertising or affiliate websites like Ozbargain, DesignRush etc.

In this report, we will prepare a report using Google Ads Data to visualise the key metrics.

Step 1: Before we import the data, please make sure that you have access to the Google Ads platform of your business/clients so that you can streamline the process of integrating the data with Looker.

Step 2: Add a new page and Repeat the process of extracting the data the same way as we did for GA4 data.

Step 3: Select the account you wish to create a report for. Then Click ‘Add’.

1. Adding Key Metrics such as Clicks, CTR and Impressions as scorecards on the new page.
Similarly also add cost related metrics on the report i.e cost, Avg CPC and Avg CPM.

2. Now we need to understand how impressions, clicks and cost correlate with the original data. For that, we will use line and bar charts to compare their performances.

The first chart will be a combination of bars and lines showcasing performances of Cost, Clicks & Campaigns.

The second chart will visualise performance of clicks and impressions over the period.Here, we have also added Avg. CPC & Cost as Optional Metrics.

3. Similarly, we also need to visualise how campaigns have performed. For that, we will add a table to the report.

–  Insert Table with heatmaps on the report.
–  Add ‘Campaign’ as dimension and ‘CTR’, ‘Avg. CPC’, ‘Cost’, ‘Clicks’, and ‘Conversions’ as metric.
–  Select ‘Show Summary Row’

This way you’ll be able to see a table which shows our top KPIs for the campaigns we have run during the selected period.
4. To prepare a report in an effective way, one must make sure that they are covering all the data points which are integral for a business and are visually appealing.

Therefore, we will also add a chart to see what are the search terms users have been searching for and its metrics performance.

Dimension and metrics we will use are as follows:

32. CONGRATULATIONS!!

You have created a report that shows the performance of your campaigns on Google Ads across various metrics and dimensions.

This is how you can create a report that visualises most of the key metrics and dimensions of your website on Looker Studio. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more into it for us to explore and provide meaningful insights for the betterment of your business/clients. Therefore, utilise this powerful analytics tool to understand its functionalities and complexities to provide better and better insights as we go.