I had heard of Google Analytics, but wasn’t really sure what it was all about, or how it was used…until last summer. On my first day as a digital marketing intern, my boss told me I should take the first couple of weeks to get familiar with digital marketing terms and tools, especially “GA.” So I asked, “What’s GA?” GA could be short for a number of things, Georgia, Goals Against, Grey’s Anatomy, and many others. That’s when I learned “GA,” is industry shorthand for Google Analytics. As I quickly learned, Google Analytics is an important tool to know how to use, but not the easiest tool to learn, which is why I figured I’d share the tools I used, and my thoughts on which are best.
I started with Moz, at the recommendation of my boss, who told me that Moz is their go to for digital marketing info. I found Moz to be a great resource for all things digital marketing, from Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and all the other acronyms and terms you’ll probably want to familiarize yourself with. Kristi Hines’ blog post, The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics, is a great starting point for someone looking to get set-up on GA, or learn to read Google’s tracking tools.
The next resource I recommend is Google, more specifically, their Analytics Academy. The Analytics Academy has differing levels of self-paced courses that will take you from a novice user, to a GA ninja in a matter of days. At the end of each module, you are able to test your knowledge and earn a certificate good for one year.
While both Moz and the Google Analytics Academy were both great resources for me in learning how to use Google Analytics, I learned the most from my time spent actually using GA, playing with the data, and looking at customer acquisition points, conversion rates, and all kinds of other metrics that digital marketers are concerned with. Once you’re a GA expert, I recommend heading over to Google’s Academy for Ads, to learn all about Google AdWords.