How to Streamline Marketing Reports with Google Data Studio (with Templates)

19 March 2019 by

Here at Leadfeeder, we’ve noticed something: a lot of marketers aren’t keeping track of core marketing metrics and conveying them to a wider team and management. We’ve found that many marketers don’t have real-time information around things like:

  • Traffic (by source, channel, landing page)
  • Organic traffic
  • Conversion rate (by acquisition source, landing page, and more)
  • Other metrics that measure the success of their marketing campaigns

With all the marketing and web analytics tools available, it should be easier—but three big things get in the way:

  • Plenty of marketers (much less executives) aren’t comfortable in Google Analytics (GA).
  • To get all the right data together, they have to dig way into GA. It’s a slow and fumbling process, and marketers have to do it all over again every time they want updated data.
  • The metrics that matter for all of your marketing campaigns, stakeholders, and clients are different. They’re different from each other and different from what other companies look at.

Google’s new Data Studio tool can make reporting a whole lot smoother, faster, and more customized—it’s a better version of a Google Analytics dashboard. But we’ve also noticed that many marketers aren’t familiar with Data Studio and what it can do for their reports.

In this article, we’ll discuss how Data Studio can save marketers time and hassle and how you can build Data Studio reports. We even share three ready-to-use templates for overall traffic, organic traffic, and PPC reports to get you started.

Later on, we’ll discuss how to use our Leadfeeder and Data Studio integration. It lets you go a step further than GA data by showing which companies visit your website—so B2B marketers, salespeople, and management teams can see every company that visits their website, in a real-time dashboard.

Google Analytics vs. Google Data Studio: How are They Different?

Before we get into how to get better data, more easily and in real-time, from Google Data Studio, it’s important to understand what Data Studio does and how it’s different from GA and Google Search Console—because those key differences are what allow Data Studio to solve for the complexity and slowness of GA.

The main distinction, is that Data Studio is designed to be a dashboard, not a database. One marketer can build a report, then they (and anyone else they share the link with) can pull up the results in real-time whenever they want to see them. Data Studio’s focus is on making it easy and quick to build custom, professional reports, saving marketers valuable time and hassle.

To really understand the difference, consider how reporting works in Google Analytics.

  • If you’re reporting on organic search traffic, you have to click through:

Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels > Organic search > Landing page

That will show you the basic data. To view organic traffic across a specific set of pages, you have to dig through and find each one individually. To see blog performance, you have to further filter by URLs that include /blog or build out a custom segment.

posts/leadfeeder-organic-traffic-ga-flow.gif

  • If you’re reporting on the performance of ad platforms, you have to click through:

Acquisition > Campaigns > Paid Keywords > Source or Campaign.

Once you get there, the data Google Analytics pulls isn’t exactly tailored to metrics that matter for paid ads.

posts/leadfeeder-paid-campaigns-ga-flow.gif

You have to do all of that every time you want to see that data, and saved reports aren’t much help—because stakeholders still have to find their way to and through them.

Google Data Studio presents a much more convenient solution: build a report once, grabbing whatever data you need right from GA (which Data Studio easily connects to). Then use a single link to present that data in a dashboard that continuously updates on its own.

With Data Studio, you can pick-and-choose the data, charts, and tables you need and display them all together—so there’s no clicking around to find what you’re looking for.

Google Data Studio: A real-time dashboard

For example, this sample report shows how you can pull in a variety of metrics in one, real-time dashboard.

You don’t need four saved reports for four different metrics (for example: ad performance, overall traffic, user demographics, conversion rates by landing page) hidden in some saved report page deep in the belly of GA.

You can put all the key graphs your team needs in a single report. Then anyone can access that report with a single link, and the graphs will be there, fully updated, in real-time.

Google Analytics Overview with Data Control

This sample GA report pulls all of the important behavioral data together.

Basically, it’s a giant, custom dashboard that’s powerful enough for you and simple and professional enough to share with clients and managers.

How to Build a Report in Google Data Studio

Getting started with Google Data Studio is a breeze, especially if you already have a Google account. Here’s a step-by-step guide for creating your first report or dashboard.

Step 1: Head on over to Google’s Data Studio page and click, “Use it for free” (that’s right—it’s free.)

Step 2: Sign in to your Google Account (the one attached to your Google Analytics or Adwords account).

Step 3: Once you sign in, you’ll be taken to your main Data Studio homepage. From there, you can choose one of the options at the top to create a blank report or choose from one of Google’s Data Studio templates. (Pro tip: You can find marketing-focused Data Studio templates here.)

Google Data Studio: Create a blank report or choose from a template.

Step 4: If you create a blank report template, choose your data source from the list on the right and click “Add to Report”. Give your new report a name in the top left.

Google Data Studio Template: Choose a data source.

4b. _ If you choose an existing template,_ you’ll be prompted to choose which data source you want to pull from. From there, your data will populate into the template’s fields, and you can edit any metrics, filters, titles, or design elements as needed.

Google Data Studio Template: Copy report.

Step 5: Add any elements you need by opening the “Add a chart” dropdown and selecting one. Use the toolbar on the right to set the dimensions, metrics, and other filters to be included in the chart or table.

Google Data Studio Template: Choose your dimensions.

Congrats—you’ve created your first Google Data Studio report.

Google Data Studio Templates

To make your life easier, we put together three Google Data Studio templates you can copy and start using right away (we’re not kidding—it takes five minutes to set up). All of which you can use as-is or edit and customize to suit your needs.

Playing with these templates and customizing charts and graphs for your own metrics is also the best way to learn Data Studio and get started with it—so we discuss below how to edit the different graphs in each template. We suggest you download one of them and follow along by customizing each report for yourself.

We have templates for:

  • Overall traffic from Google Analytics
  • Organic traffic from Google Analytics
  • Google Adwords and Google Ads overview report (PPC)

How to Use These Google Data Studio Templates

Open the template and click “Make a copy of the report”. Follow the prompts and give your new report a name.

Google Data Studio Template: Make a copy of the report.

Click on the chart to open the editing toolbar on the right. Find “Data Source” in the toolbar and select the data source you want to use. Confirm by clicking “Add to Report”.

Google Data Studio Template: Add data source to your report.

Your data will automatically load into the template and update regularly.

Google Data Studio for Overall Traffic

Google Data Studio Template: Pageviews to articles.

Our first template is a Google Data Studio dashboard that shows overall traffic numbers (by pageviews) across landing pages, blog posts, or websites. You can access the template here to make a copy and start using it for yourself, by editing the data source as we mentioned above.

Once you connect to your own data source, start playing with adding different metrics, changing filters, and changing the date range to see how that changes the graph.

Speaking of filters, our next template filters for just Organic Traffic, so you can see how that works.

Google Data Studio Organic Traffic Report

Google Data Studio Template: Organic traffic to articles.

This template is similar to the first one, but it has pre-set filters to show organic traffic exclusively. It shows you sessions from organic search across the landing pages, blog posts, or websites you choose.

Access the template here to make a copy and use it for yourself.

Google Data Studio for PPC

Google Data Studio Template: Impressions by Campaign.

Our Data Studio PPC template uses Adwords data, but you can set any paid ad account as your data source, including other paid search ads, social media (like Facebook ads), and display ads. It pulls in impressions by campaign and lays out clicks, average CPC, and conversions.

You can access the template here to make a copy and start using it for yourself.

How to Pull Leadfeeder Data Into Google Data Studio

When you pull Leadfeeder data into Google Data Studio, your reports get richer and more detailed because Leadfeeder shows you the companies that visit your website.

By connecting your Leadfeeder account to Data Studio, you can create clear, professional reports that add context to the numbers—the names of companies that are visiting your website, even if they never fill out a form. Because the reality for B2B marketers (and the stakeholders they report to) is that numbers only mean so much. Company visitor identification helps make sense of the data in your reports.

Google Data Studio Template: Sample report using Leadfeeder data.

Our sample Data Studio report pulls in your Leadfeeder data.

Pulling in Leadfeeder data means your reports can tell stakeholders more, including:

  • How many companies have visited your website
  • Company names and industries of your top leads, even if they never fill out anything on your site
  • Where those companies came from (Google, social media, etc.)

We’ve even made it easy with our Data Studio sample report. All you have to do is connect your Data Studio and Leadfeeder accounts and all of the data will be pulled into our polished template, ready for your boss.

Google Data Studio and Leadfeeder work hand-in-hand to show you real companies and real results of who is visiting your site.

Real companies and industries add context to the numbers.

Check out our Help article for step-by-step instructions to connect your accounts and use Google Data Studio and Leadfeeder together.

Spend Less Time Building Reports

From your boss and executives, to clients, there are a lot of stakeholders who need to understand the marketing campaigns you’re running and their performance. They want to know how your work contributes to broader business goals.

Just giving them access to Google Analytics data isn’t the answer—but that doesn’t mean reporting should eat up entire days out of your week.

Instead, let Google Data Studio and Leadfeeder do the heavy lifting, and spend more of your time actually driving those results.

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