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Learn Google Analytics

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Google Analytics

Google Analytics is part of the Google Marketing Platform. GA collects and tracks user data, compiles it into useful reports, and provides valuable insights to improve your website or app’s performance. The program works by installing a tracking code onto each page of your website, allowing Google to collect information about how visitors interact with it. Integrating Google Analytics into your website or app can help you understand what’s working and what isn’t regarding your digital marketing strategy, and the best part is it’s free!

Google Analytics (GA) is part of the Google Marketing Platform. GA collects and tracks user data, compiles it into useful reports, and provides valuable insights to improve your website or app’s performance. If you’ve always wanted to learn Google Analytics but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn this tool, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use Google Analytics.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics (or GA) is a tool within the Google Marketing Platform that collects and tracks user data, compiles it into reports, and helps you develop strategies to improve your website or app’s performance. To use GA, you will install a tracking code onto each page of your website. Google collects information about the visitors to your website and what they do there. Google Analytics can help you understand what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to digital marketing strategy, and the best part is that it is free to use.

Google Analytics can be useful simply for yourself if you’re a business owner, or you can use it as part of a marketing team within a larger company. Google Analytics allows you to tailor the data you choose to track depending on your goals. Because digital marketing depends upon identifying a highly targeted audience, GA is the foundation of a successful digital marketing campaign.

Read more about what Google Analytics is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a highly customizable, in-depth tool that offers insights to help your business thrive, and you can use it for free. Although it can initially feel overwhelming and complicated, the information GA provides is worth the effort.

The data that GA collects, stores, and reports on can help marketers learn what strategies are working and what aren’t. It can measure marketing efforts, both on and offline. It can help you make better, more savvy business decisions. The information Google Analytics provides can also identify specific problems or shortcomings on your website. The data you’ll get is specific, targeted information.

You can use Google Analytics to measure the customer experience from when they enter your website or app to when they leave. You can track valuable information such as how they found your site, who purchased something, what pages your visitors looked at, how they moved through the site, and so much more. And while it’s important to know where your website and business are thriving, it’s also critical to understand where you’re falling short and losing customers. Using Google Analytics can help with that, too.

Careers that Use Google Analytics

Once you have mastered Google Analytics, you can move in several different directions. You can start a website of your own and use GA to meet your personal goals, or you can apply for jobs that require knowledge of GA. Some common job titles in this area might be Data Analyst, Digital Marketing Analyst, or Customer Engineer.

Data Analyst

Data Analysts use tools like Google Analytics to ​​assist companies with their marketing initiatives by providing analytical support, developing strategies, working on finding the right audiences, performing competitive analyses, and optimizing channels. The primary responsibilities of Data Analysts are researching trends, collecting data, analyzing statistics, developing marketing strategies based on the data collected, and presenting the results to clients and co-workers.

Data Analysts work in many fields, from healthcare and education to finance and entertainment. Data Analysts tend to be detail-oriented and good with numbers. They are typically well-organized multi-taskers with solid presentation skills, which allows them to regularly share their findings in a visually engaging manner.

Digital Marketing Analyst

A Digital Marketing Analyst is a Data Analyst who specializes in digital marketing. This usually involves working with companies using Ecommerce to promote products or ideas. Digital Marketing Analysts work as part of a team, and it is their job to set up Google Analytics, collect and analyze data, and report their findings to the rest of the team.

Data Scientist

Data Scientists analyze extensive collections of data or content, making them understandable and useful. They need to know the difference between public and private data to keep the company they work for from breaking the law. Data science is a combination of statistics and mathematics and relies on many coding languages and analytics tools to transform raw data into a form people can use.

Customer Engineer

This is a job title that is gaining traction. It started with IBM and has spread to other companies and industries. A Customer Engineer works with agencies that contract with software companies to help customers understand how to use products and what they can do with them. Many companies like Google that create data analytics software hire Customer Engineers to help customers get the most out of their products like Google Analytics.

Why Learn Google Analytics?

Google Analytics helps you meet your marketing goals by providing highly targeted data. The data you collect will depend on what type of business or industry you are in. Deciding what goals to set is an essential first step to learning GA.

If you have an Ecommerce site, your goal may be selling products or services, so the data you’d want to collect might be the actions visitors to your website take. If you have a purely information-based website, your goals may be for lead generation or simply to help customers find information. If you have a media site or a blog, your goal might be measuring engagement and frequency, such as how often users visit pages and how long they stay. If you’re using your website or app purely for branding purposes, you may want to collect data that measures awareness, engagement, and loyalty.

Another goal might be to see more of your target audience visiting your website or app. No matter your goals, setting up the correct parameters in GA will help you see if you’re meeting them or falling short and how to tweak the future strategy to get the results you want.

Read more about why you should learn Google Analytics.

How to Learn Google Analytics

You can learn Google Analytics in a number of ways. The choice is yours, from free video tutorials like Noble Desktop’s Intro to Google Analytics, to in-person, live online, or on-demand classes. Find a session in a brick-and-mortar classroom or a live online course with a similar set-up to in-person classes where a remote instructor can answer questions and take control of your monitor—with permission—to answer questions and demonstrate techniques. You can choose part or full-time classes on weekdays, weeknights, or weekends.

You can also sign up for asynchronous online classes that fit your schedule. You can watch the videos from anywhere and go at your own pace. Skillshare offers many Google Analytics courses, as does Udemy. Of course, you can also try Google Academy. One advantage to asynchronous video classes is that you can go back and watch the material as often as you need to. If a multi-day class feels like too much right now, you can try Noble’s Google Analytics in a Day and move on to a Google Analytics Bootcamp later.

Read the full guide on how to learn Google Analytics.

Free Introductory Google Analytics Course Online

If you are not quite ready to commit the time and funds to a bootcamp or certificate course, there are free tutorials and online courses available to learn Google Analytics. These tend to be overviews and introductions, but there is enough information to help you decide if you want to go further.

Noble Desktop offers an Intro to Google Analytics to introduce you to the powerful tool. This class walks you through opening a Google account and placing tracking codes so you can collect website data. Learn to understand where website traffic is coming from, identify your top-performing channels and gain insight into the behavior of website visitors. Google offers free classes on GA for beginners and advanced students, plus a class on building reports and using Google Tag Manager. Simplilearn and Great Learning also offer free introductory classes.

Read about more free Google Analytics videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost

There is no doubt about it: Google Analytics is a challenge. If you know nothing about web analytics, you can expect to feel a bit overwhelmed at the beginning, especially if you are trying to learn Google Analytics on your own. But if you keep at it, you will eventually get it, especially if you sign up for a class.

There are also some skills that lead to a successful data analytics career. Some technical skills that will help you get a job in data analytics are knowing how to set appropriate goals, track that data, and interpret the results. Some personality traits that can help are logical problem-solving, curiosity, and persistence.

As far as cost is concerned, you don’t have to pay to use Google Analytics. All you have to do is sign up for a Google account and get started. You can create custom dimensions and metrics to gather the information you want. This allows you to get precise data points to help you make decisions for the future. But signing up for a course is a good investment when it comes to learning Google Analytics.

Read about how difficult it is to learn Google Analytics.

How Does Learning Google Analytics Compare to Other Fields?

A comparable subject to Google Analytics would be search engine optimization. Like data analytics, SEO involves working with computers and understanding how to collect data and what you can do with it. Website Optimization Specialists also need to learn how to use data analytics tools and interpret the data they collect. Most people find Google Analytics more challenging to learn than SEO.

Another field comparable to data analytics might be web development. Web Developers work with the code that builds websites and need to learn languages like CSS and HTML for front end development and JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and others for the back end. Web Developers must understand the best way to put websites together, which also affects data analytics. Some people move from analytics into web development, and the two fields are equally complex, with front end development being somewhat less challenging than the back end.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Google Analytics

It is up to you to decide the best way for you to learn Google Analytics. You can take classes that meet in person or live online. You can choose courses that work best for your schedule, and if you already know something about Google Analytics, you can choose a more advanced level.

Suppose you are just getting started with Google Analytics. In that case, choose a general overview of the key features of Google Analytics first, such as how to sign up for a Google Account, how to decide what to track and install tracking codes, and more. Many free introductory seminars, like Intro to Google Analytics from Noble Desktop, offer helpful information on Google Analytics for beginners.

Once you understand the fundamentals of Google Analytics, you might want to learn more about how to collect the information you want, what information you should choose, and how to access reports. You can sign up for a bootcamp course that covers Google Analytics in-depth, or take Noble Desktop’s Google Analytics One or Two. These classes deliver targeted instruction on Google Analytics and how to use it.

Learn Google Analytics with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

If you want to change careers and become a Digital Marketing Data Analyst, you can sign up for Google Analytics Bootcamp. This two-part class will teach you how to set up an account, know which metrics to track, and understand the Google Analytics reports. The classes also cover upcoming changes to Google Analytics when GA4 replaces GA Universal in July 2023.

Another way to prepare for a career as a Data Analyst is a digital marketing certificate course. Noble’s Digital Marketing Certificate includes the digital marketing, SEO, and Google Analytics bootcamps, plus Google Ads and classes on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter marketing, as well as content marketing with blogs.

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