How to Learn Google Analytics: Resources & Plan
So, you want to make more data-powered decisions for your business? Great, that’s where Google Analytics (GA) comes in. This is a free tool that can give you all the information you need about your website users.
However, loading up GA for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. When you first view the dashboard, your met with charts, reports, and much more. Where should you even begin? Sadly, this puts some users off.
Wondering how to learn Google Analytics? We’ll give you an overview of GA and show some of the best courses to help get you started.
Why Google Analytics is useful
First things first, why do you need Google Analytics? Below are some of the reasons that GA is the chosen analytics tool for over 55% of all websites online.
Know which marketing channels are driving traffic and conversions
Using data we can understand what drives traffic to our websites and what ultimately gets users to convert. Understanding this means that we can make decisions about where to allocate our resources to further our marketing efforts.
For example, with several billion people on social media nowadays, it’s hard to neglect it when running a business. But managing multiple social media accounts at once is time-consuming. A better approach would be to allocate your resources toward platforms where you receive engagement. But accurately monitoring success isn’t easy.
With GA, the process is made much simpler. Using social media reports, you can easily spot which platforms drive the most traffic to your website. Not only that, but you can also determine if the traffic that you get is driving significant business results.
Learn more about your visitors and improve services and experience
To gain better engagement with your audience, you need to understand them. Google Analytics lets you dig deep. This means identifying certain information about them, from their location, device and other types of data.
But it doesn’t stop there. Ever wondered about the interests of your users? GA can tell us detailed information which can lead us to draw accurate conclusions regarding preferences and habits.
Learning more about our visitors can allow us to customise the user journey and even the services we deliver. Ultimately providing a better experience for the user.
Are you using Google Analytics 4?
If not, now is the time to make the change. Google has announced that on July 1st, 2023, Universal Analytics (the old version of GA) will be no more and everyone using this app will be forced to make an upgrade to Google Analytics 4.
Ultimately, there aren’t many reasons why you wouldn’t want to upgrade to GA4. Google has taken all the best parts of UA and built on them. This means greater audience insights than ever.
Here are some of the highlights of GA4:
- A new data model – Google has simplified things, bringing all data collection methods under one banner. These are events, which give users more control over the data they receive. Any important conversions can be classed as an event (eg. mailing list sign-ups).
- Tracking of mobile apps – In the past, If you had a mobile app, getting the data you wanted wasn’t easy. You would have to use a tool such as Google Analytics for apps to get the info you needed. Now, all data is sent into GA4. You can easily collect data from different sources.
- A broader view of users – Today most people own multiple devices and they probably view your website with more than one of them.). GA4 allows you to track journeys between devices seamlessly.
Want to learn how to set up Google Analytics 4? Check out that guide we just linked.
How to learn Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an invaluable tool. But you need the right knowledge to use it to its fullest. Luckily, there are a lot of resources available that can help you get to grips with the tool. Let’s take a look at some of your options.
Google Analytics 4 Skillshop
GA4 should be your primary focus as it is the newest version of Google Analytics. Google have provided a free platform to learn about GA4. At the moment it currently offers a beginner and intermediate course with a third option to take an exam and gain a qualification.
The courses utilise the Analytics Help Center, interactive walkthroughs in the GA interface and mini-assessments to reinforce your learning after each module. It’s a great way of learning about Google Analytics and getting a firm understanding of the interface and reports available to you.
Other articles and courses in the Google Skillshop
Google has many different elements of its Google Marketing Platform and they are very frequently used alongside each other. Google offers training in all of these areas too, which ends up giving you a more holistic understanding of how Google Analytics and the wider marketing platform can be used too.
It’s worth having a browse and checking to see if any of them are relevant to your Google Analytics learning too.
MeasureMinds YouTube Channel & Blog
We have built a library of free resources, covering many GA-related topics. After finishing this article, why not browse our blog? We’ve covered topics such as:
- GA4 migration checklist
- Checking the accuracy of your GA data
- The best tools to use with GA
- A guide to GA4 ecommerce reporting
- Great GA4 features that you should use
Alongside our blog, the MeasureMinds YouTube channel is filled with content to help you with GA. We run a monthly live webinar covering GA, GTM, and other data analytics tools. Sign up to our Meetup group, come along and ask questions.
Here is a playlist of all our webinars:
We’ve also put together a curated Google Analytics playlist for beginners and intermediate users. We highly recommend taking a look at them too.
Everything we do is for free for the digital analytics community.
GA4 migration tool
We have created a number of tools to be used with Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager. Probably the most relevant for you right now is the GA4 Migrator. It will migrate you over to Google Analytics in just a few clicks. Yep, it’s also free! Here’s a quick explainer video:
Practice within the Google Analytics interface using the demo account
Practice makes perfect! You really should make sure to practice with the real thing to reinforce your learning and experiment.
If you’re cautious about potentially causing problems in your GA account, you can use the demo account for free. There is also a new DebugView in GA4 that allows you to test things out in real-time within the Google Analytics interface. Definitely use this!
Google Analytics training services
There are plenty of great Google Analytics trainers out there. MeasureMinds are one of them. We believe in empowering people and businesses with data. Phil Pearce, the Analytics Director & Founder at MeasureMinds has over 23 years of experience. He’s also literally written the book on Google Tag Manager and has given talks at some of the largest analytics conferences in the world.
He personally delivers our training so you’ll know that you’re in good hands.
Google Analytics conferences
There are plenty of digital analytics conferences out there and many focus on Google Analytics 4. These are a great way to learn Google Analytics from world experts that have hands-on knowledge. The insights they provide are highly applicable to real situations. You also have the chance to ask the speakers questions – your opportunity to resolve something you’re stuck on.
Here are some that we recommend:
Google Analytics Academy (Universal Analytics, GTM and Data Studio)
Please be aware that the Google Analytics Academy focuses on Universal Analytics which, as said previously, will stop processing new hits on the 1st of July 2023. We thought we may include this here still, but we highly recommend you focus on Google Analytics 4.
Google’s own academy is free to access and filled with information to help learn how to use Google Analytics. If you’re new to analytics, there’s no point jumping into an advanced course.
Google Academy offers extremely detailed courses. These range from instructions meant for novices, to more intermediate-level lessons.
You are taught via interactive sessions within the GA interface, video tutorials and assessments at the end of each module. This helps reinforce what you’ve just learned.
There are courses for beginners, advanced and power users. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to learn about GA360, Google Tag Manager and Data Studio (now Looker Studio).
Need extra help?
Alongside our free online resources, MeasureMinds offers services to help you get more out of GA. We pride ourselves on being a leading Google Analytics agency and can help you to drive sales and profit through better business decision-making.
We like to empower businesses and people with data. So we offer Google Analytics implementation services as well as Google Analytics training.
Why not get in touch today, and see how we can help you?
There’s no escaping it, digital analytics is essential for online success. The data insights provided by GA can be transformational. It’s the key to knowing your audience inside and out, building better marketing materials, and tailoring your website to be more user-friendly.
But unless you’re an analytics expert, getting your head around GA can be easier said than done. That’s why despite the tool being widely used, it’s usually not utilised effectively.
Luckily, there are plenty of free resources to make use of. The Google Analytics 4 Skillshop is probably the best place to start. Begin with the beginners course and work your way up. There’s no point jumping in at the deep end.
Of course, alongside Google Academy, there are many other resources to make use of. MeasureMinds is here to provide the best insights and assistance with GA.
So, why not embrace data-powered decision-making with GA? We can promise you won’t regret it.
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