What is Google Analytics?

Explore the world of Google Analytics and learn how mastering this powerful tool can boost your career in various fields like Data Analysis, Digital Marketing, and Customer Engineering. Discover the benefits of integrating Google Analytics in your website or app, and how acquiring proficiency in it can help you understand your digital marketing strategies better.

Key Insights

  • Google Analytics (GA) is a highly customizable, free tool that collects user data, compiles helpful reports, and provides valuable insights to enhance a website or app's performance.
  • GA can measure both online and offline marketing efforts, helping businesses make informed decisions and identify specific areas of improvement in their digital strategies.
  • Several career paths, such as Data Analyst, Digital Marketing Analyst, or Customer Engineer, require a knowledge of GA, thus making it a valuable skill to learn.
  • Data Analysts use GA data to assist companies in developing marketing strategies, performing competitive analyses, and optimizing channels.
  • Digital Marketing Analysts set up Google Analytics, collect and analyze data, and report their findings to the rest of the team, contributing significantly to a company's marketing initiatives.
  • Average salaries for these positions vary, with a Data Analyst earning an average of $67,377 per year, a Digital Marketing Analyst earning around $60,000 per year, and a Customer Engineer earning approximately $81,865 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.

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. 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!

In this overview, you’ll learn more about what Google Analytics is, what it can do, who uses it, and how to learn it so you can determine how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

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.

How Do You Get Google Analytics? How Much Does it Cost?

Google Analytics Bootcamp: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, Learn From Experts, Free Retake, Small Class Sizes,  1-on-1 Bonus Training. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

You can use Google Analytics for free with a Google account. If you don’t already have one, go to Google.com and sign up. Once you have a Google account and password, you can register for an Analytics account on the Google Marketing Platform.

The next step is to add the name, URL, and industry of the website or app you want to track. What you choose to measure will be based on your goals, which will differ for every company, business, or brand. Once you have chosen your measurements, follow the instructions to add a unique ID tracking code directly after the head tag of your site. Next, visit your Google Analytics portal to ensure the code is working and tracking data.

Google Analytics can create custom dimensions and metrics to gather the information you choose. This can be anything from types of customers to page views to conversions to devices your visitors are using. You can even combine metrics, like how long a visitor stays on the page and where they are located. Customizing these metrics helps businesses get specific data points, which can help shape decisions and future strategies.

Finally, don’t forget to include a privacy policy on your website to let your visitors know you are collecting information. This isn’t merely polite; it’s a legal requirement.

What Are the Benefits of Learning 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.

Google Analytics Careers

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.

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.

A Brief History of Google Analytics

Google acquired a product called Urchin in 2005, which eventually became Google Analytics. This version is referred to as Classic Google Analytics, and it was replaced by Universal GA in 2012. In 2020, Google introduced GA 4, which will replace GA Universal in July of 2024. In just 17 years, Google Analytics has become the world's most widely used web analytics program.

Comparable Applications

There is really nothing that comes close to the power and popularity of Google Analytics. Each social media platform has its own analytics programs that allow you to collect some data, but they are specific to that platform. At the same time, Google Analytics reaches across the web.

That being said, there are a few alternatives. HubSpot's web analytics program focuses on customer relationship management (CRM). Mixpanel is another alternative that lets you create userflows based on actions taken. Woopra looks at users, their journeys, trends, and customer retention and integrates well with other products like Salesforce and Google Ads.

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 2024.

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.

Key Insights

  • Google Analytics (GA) is a powerful free tool that collects data and offers insights into how to improve your online business.
  • It can also help you see what your competition is doing right and wrong so that you can alter your strategy.
  • You can learn GA to improve your online business or switch to a career as a Data Analyst. Knowing GA can help you get a job as a Digital Marketing Analyst or Customer Engineer.
  • Google Analytics can be somewhat complicated to learn, so classes are helpful. You can study GA in person, live online, or via on-demand classes.
  • Google Analytics was developed from a product called Urchin that Google acquired in 2005. It is now the most commonly used web analytics program in the world.
  • You can receive comprehensive Google Analytics training through an in-person or live online course with Noble Desktop.

How to Learn Google Analytics

Master Google Analytics with hands-on training. Google Analytics is a platform that digital marketing professionals use to monitor and collect data on website traffic.

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