We’ve written before about how you can take your Google Analytics reports to the next level by using Google Data Studio dashboards. Finding a great dashboard template for Data Studio can be difficult for online publishers, however, as most templates are geared towards eCommerce shops.
For online publishers, it’s all about understanding your audience - so a great Google Data Studio report template should put demographics and audience behavior front and center. We’ve pulled together the top Data Studio dashboard templates that do just that.
They are all available as free report templates in Google Data Studio, so you just need to make your own copy of the template, link your own data sources and you’re ready to go.
The Publisher’s Dashboard
First on the list is our own Publisher’s Dashboard Data Studio template. We custom-built our own Google Data Studio Dashboard since we couldn’t find another Data Studio template that gave us everything we wanted. It has traffic trends and demographics info on the first tab, acquisition channel performance on the second tab, and audience behavior on the third tab.
It packs a lot of information into these three tabs and we feel like it gives you everything you need to know about your website in five minutes.
Additionally, if you purchase our Mailchimp connector for Google Data Studio, you can better understand the performance of your email campaigns with the report on the fourth tab.
Google Analytics Traffic Report
We like the Google Analytics Traffic Report by Jonathan Jones for getting a lot of key Google Analytics metrics onto a one page report. It gives you traffic trends, demographics data like where your users are coming from and what devices they are using, as well as what pages they are landing on.
It’s a great option as a minimalist Data Studio dashboard template, with a lot of key data points that will be interesting to publishers.
The Most Minimalist Dashboard
Speaking of minimalist dashboard templates, you can’t get any more minimal than the Most Minimal Dashboard by Lous Dubruel. Clearly it won’t give you all of the data you need in one go, but we really like how it cuts through all the noise and gives you a few important insights from your data in a crystal-clear and easy-to-understand way.
Blue World Report
Another simple dashboard template that gives you a lot of important data in one look is the Blue World Report. It gives you traffic trends over time with a big focus on where people are coming from, both geographically and by acquisition channel.
We also really like that it breaks down sessions per page, which is very useful for publishers to understand how their content is resonating with their audience. We do something similar on the third report tab of our Publisher’s Dashboard, but we take it a step further and show the amount of time spent on each page as well.
Google Analytics Audience Overview
Google has also created some sample Data Studio dashboards for Google Analytics and we really like their Audience Overview template. As we keep saying, for publishers it’s all about understanding your audience and this dashboard pulls out most of the key data that you would like to know about your audience: traffic trends, demographics, where they’re coming from and return visits.
What it’s missing from this template in our opinion, is how your audience behaves on your site and responds to your content, but still it gives you a lot of useful data as a starting point.
Google Analytics Acquisition Overview
Next on our list is the Google Analytics Acquisition Overview template. This report is all about the channels that your audience is coming from, so it is a bit more specialized than the other dashboards. But what we really like about it is the way it shows behavior and conversions for each of the different channels. This is great information for understanding your audience as well as the performance of your acquisition channels.
You could also adapt this table to split it by different pages of your site to understand your best performing content for engaging and converting your readers.
Whole Whale Google Data Studio Template for Nonprofits
We really like the Google Data Studio Template for Nonprofits by the digital agency Whole Whale, and you can definitely use it even if you’re not a nonprofit. Their report gives you a very easy to understand sequence of audience data, with very attractive charts. It also gives some additional metrics on SEO and social referrals which are useful.
Our one addition we would make to this template for publishers would be more information on how your readers are behaving on your site and how they are engaging with your content.
Finally, we have a free Data Studio dashboard template from Aro Digital that packs a lot of insights into 4 report tabs. The middle two tabs won’t be as relevant for publishers, as they are more focused on sales and ad performance, but the first report tab gives you a lot of great data in one glance.
It shows user trends over time and gives a particular emphasis to how users are engaging on different devices - something that’s important to keep an eye on, especially if you are making changes to your website. It also has SEO metrics on the last tab, which can be very useful for publishers who count on organic search as a large driver of traffic.
This Data Studio dashboard template is a bit more focused on eCommerce than the others, but it has some nice views that publishers can work with.
And one last thing to mention, although not free, we are big fans of the dashboards created by Data Bloo. Data Bloo is another, small, sustainably run business like us and they create really impressive dashboards that offer good value for money. So if you can’t find something free that gets the job done, they are a good next place to look.
A good example is their Keyword Research template that makes it easy to monitor organic search performance and identify content opportunities.
Thanks for reading
We hope that you enjoyed this round-up of the best Google Data Studio templates for online publishers. One of the great things about Google Data Studio is that it is very intuitive to edit templates, so you can mix and match features that you like from all of the dashboard templates we’ve seen.
Don’t forget to check out our Publisher’s Dashboard and please do let us know what you think of it!
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