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How to Learn Google Analytics: Best Courses and Resources for Beginners

Biba Rey - December 07, 2020


Google Analytics is a term that you may have heard, especially if you own a business. However, you might not know what it actually entails. After all, talk of analytics and data can sound intimidating.

It does include a lot of numbers, graphs, and reports. But don’t worry, after a short time studying this application you’ll be able to parse its data and grow your audience. And the more you use it, the more you’ll enjoy the nitty-gritty bits of information it offers.

Let’s step into the world of Google Analytics to see what it’s all about, how it can help you, and how to master this powerful application.

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What Is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a tool that analyzes a website and spits out extremely detailed and in-depth data about it. This data includes the website’s performance, speed, and audience.

It helps build a complete picture of your site while utilizing data that Google collects. This can help you improve traffic and better sell your products and services. It’s a fundamental tool for any business to have on day one.

What Can You Use Google Analytics For?

There are many uses for Google Analytics. Below is a list of some of what is possible.

  • See important data. The platform has a dashboard where you can easily see everything data-related to your website.
  • Find out about the best campaigns. It helps bring traffic and engagement to your website. You can see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Location information. You can learn which locations perform the best with location-specific data. This helps you focus your marketing.
  • Learn about your potential customers. Gain crucial insights into your potential audience with analytics. For example, you can learn what is the most searched for kitchen appliance.
  • Use it for content . Use it to find what content is working and what isn’t. The data provided lets you test different content strategies.

Types of Reports in Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to customize reports for your upcoming presentation, adding or removing information, through an easy-to-use dashboard.

So what are the basic types of reports Google Analytics can generate? Keep reading to find out.

Location Reports

There is a report to show the precise location of users accessing your website. Location information is broken down by country and number of active users. You can even go deep to discover information about a specific city.

Traffic Reports

This report shows you if your traffic is organic or comes via social media, email, or newsletters. It’ll tell you the number of views per week, month, or hour.

Events Reports

This feature allows you to track events linked to your website like YouTube videos or a Call To Action on a Google Ad that you are running.

Conversion Reports

If you or your marketing team have set any goals, such as increasing subscribers, this is a perfect way to keep track of your progress. This report also tells you how users are accessing your website, whether from their cell phone, tablet, or desktop computer.

Learning Google Analytics

Learning something new is all about planning, strategy, and continued practice. Having a thorough understanding of your new tool will be the most advantageous. And that goes for learning Google Analytics.

There are numerous Google Analytics training courses. Although Google makes analytics pretty easy, it still takes some time and practice to learn all of their program’s features.

But don’t worry, we have some great learning options for you. You’re not far from mastering Google Analytics or even starting your journey toward a career as a data analyst .

How Long Does It Take to Learn Google Analytics?

According to Google’s Analytics Academy , depending on your familiarity, it can take between four to six hours to learn this tool. With a busy lifestyle, it’s perfect to spread over the course of a couple of weeks.

Below is a quick guide to start learning. You’ll really get the most out of Google Analytics if you have your own website. So why not build one, no coding necessary?

How to Set Up Google Analytics: Step-by-Step

Setting up this app properly may be intimidating, but don’t worry. You’ll soon catch on if you start with the steps mentioned below. The best part is that it’s completely free!

  1. Set up Google tag manager. This free tag-management system is simple. It extracts all the data from your website and sends that to two other platforms, namely Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics. It also allows you to add tags to your javascript code.
  2. Create your analytics account. Next, you’ll need to create an analytics account. Simply sign into the page and enter your information such as your website name, URL, industry, and time zone. Once you’re finished you’ll get a tracking code ID.
  3. Combine analytics and tag manager. Now you can start setting up specific tracking tags for the site with your dashboard. Click on the “Add a new tag” button and pick what data you want to collect via the “Tag Configuration” option.
  4. Determine your goals. Share your website goals with Google using your dashboard. The platform has several templates to choose from so that you can easily keep track of your progress.
  5. Check out the admin panel. Most of your data can be found in the “Admin” panel. Don’t forget to grant access to your team.

The Best Google Analytics Courses and Training

A paper report on top of a silver-gray laptop - Google analytics report.
Google Analytics can help you generate many types of useful reports.

Learning Google Analytics takes some time, but it can be an advantageous experience. It will also open many doors to opportunities for your business.

Best Google Analytics Bootcamps

There are several Google Analytics bootcamps put on by some of the top schools. Read about these below.

RED Academy

  • Courses:
    • Digital Marketing Professional
    • Digital Marketing Professional Work-Study
  • Full-time, part-time, in-person
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $7,950 – $12,500
  • Length : 11 – 50 weeks

These two courses teach you the fundamental principles of digital marketing and strategy including Google Analytics, segmenting your target market, optimization and behavior tracking, customer tracking processes, and ROI (return of investment).

Product School

  • Course: Data Analytics
  • Full-time, in-person
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $3,999
  • Length : 8 weeks
  • Award : Data Analytics for Managers certification

This data analytics course is aimed at managers looking to upskill themselves. It’ll help you make data-driven decisions through lessons on subjects including Google Analytics, data visualization, and Optimizely. You’ll also learn software like SQL and Tableau. And you’ll dive into the fascinating subjects of machine learning and big data .

Digital Creative

  • Course: Digital Marketing Apprenticeship
  • Full-time, in-person
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $14,000
  • Length : 52 weeks, 10 hours per week

This intensive apprenticeship offers you full-time paid work in marketing while you train two evenings per week for 12 months. You will learn everything about digital marketing including topics like Google Analytics, front-end web development, data science, pay-per-click (PPC), marketing automation, and email marketing.

Best Online Google Analytics Courses

Below you will find some useful resources for online Google Analytics courses and training.

Udemy

Both of these courses offer certifications to help you land that dream job. They are also two of the most top-rated programs that Udemy offers.  This is a guaranteed way to learn Google Analytics quickly and effectively.

LinkedIn Learning

With this course, learn how to set up your Google Analytics account, install tracking tags, and work with dynamic reports. You’ll be taught the importance of annotations in reports as well as how to read graphs and data. There’s an exam at the end to test your new knowledge.

  • Prerequisites: None
  • Price: $30, first month free

This one is for those who want to learn more than just the basics. It will take your Google Analytics skills to the next level. Here you’ll learn to create channel groupings, manage filters, and interact with segments.

Google Analytics Academy

This course, from Google themselves, offers a ton of training videos to learn the basics. These four units should take you an average of six hours. The course covers an introduction to analytics, using their interface, building basic reports, and conversion tracking.

This class is meant to be taken after the beginners’ course. You are free here to learn at your own pace so you can take your time. This course is primarily focused on how to measure website traffic, data collection, data processing, as well as offering insight into advanced techniques and additional tools.

Best Google Analytics Books

Along with free courses and online training, you can also read all about analytics. Below is a list of a few to choose from.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond , Himanshu Sharma

If you work in marketing and are looking for ways to turn those leads into clients, this conversion attribution book will help. This text’s objective is to teach you about the buying behavior of a site’s visitors. It also discusses the most effective marketing channels.

The Ridiculously Simple Guide to Google Analytics: The Absolute Beginners Guide to Google Analytics , Scott La Counte

Google Analytics is a powerful tool for anyone in any business. You don’t necessarily need to be working for a marketing agency or in the digital sector. Your business just needs a website. Analytics can be very data-heavy and overwhelming, which is why this book gives you the simplest instructions on the topic. It’s sure to get you started in the right direction.

Google Analytics A Complete Guide – 2019 Edition , Gerardus Blokdyk

This book will teach you design, programming, technical production, and implementation of your website. You’ll also learn to move and manage website profiles, study real-time web analytics, and all about SSL certificates.

Google Analytics Certifications

The Google Analytics Certification Exam is free and only takes one and a half hours. You’ll need to answer at least 80 percent of its 70 questions correctly.

Should You Study Google Analytics?

Yes! If you work in business or marketing then Google Analytics is a powerful tool. The time spent learning its different processes and jargon will be worth it. After no time at all, this platform becomes a very simple and intuitive way to track your website.

Learning Google Analytics can teach you how to help your business or improve. It may even lead to different employment opportunities.

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Biba Rey

About the author: As a writer for Career Karma, Biba covers topics such as tech careers, online learning, and higher education. After graduating with a BA in International Marketing and Communications from the University of Pretoria, Biba started her writing career. She has earned recognition in publications like My Moving Estimates, UK Air Dates, and Flexxable. Biba joined the Career Karma team in November 2020. Previously, she spent several years as a creative director, content writer, and website strategist at a digital marketing agency.

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