Welcome and Course Objectives

Introduction to Google Analytics Getting Started with Analytics
6 minutes
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We'll review what web analytics is, what Google Analytics is, and the things you need to keep in mind as you begin using Google Analytics on your website.


Hello, and welcome to this course on an introduction to Google Analytics. My name is Matthew Riker. I'm an analytics and SEO consultant at elemental. In this course, we're going to talk about how you begin using Google Analytics to understand your website, and your online marketing. Before we get into Google Analytics, I want to talk about web analytics. In general, with web analytics, you can measure things like total visits to your website, how many people viewed different pages on your website, time people spent on your website, the bounce rate, which we're going to define a little bit more, but essentially, the bounce rate is a definition of how many people exited your website.

And then there's a whole lot of other quantitative metrics that we're going to get into and talk about here as well. Now the definition of analytics has grown. And web analytics now also includes tracking and measuring things like leads or sales or audience size or depending on your business. Possibly nations are download to the resource. If you click on advertisements or clicks on affiliate links, whatever it is that really helps you define if your business is successful and if your website is helping your business succeed is definitely something that we can start to track and measure in different web analytics tools, including Google Analytics. And we're going to talk about how you do that.

Now, there's also a term out here of marketing analytics. And marketing analytics really goes beyond looking at a single platform like your website, or beyond a single marketing channel. So not just did you get traffic from organic search? Or did you get traffic from a particular ad? Or even did you get traffic to your website? And I want to bring this up, because although we're going to focus exclusively here on Google Analytics, you want to use a variety of different analytics tools to really monitor track and measure what's going on with your website, what's going on with your online presence, how is everything really working together?

So keep in mind that while you definitely want to use Google Analytics definitely important to understand all the details of your website to really get a bigger picture of your marketing and how things are working, you are going to want to rely on other tools. Alright, but our focus here is Google Analytics. So what is Google Analytics? Well, Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool provided by Google. And it helps you understand how people are interacting with your website. How are people moving through your website?

How are they behaving when they visit your website, and we're going to talk about the different kinds of reports you can use in Google Analytics to understand what your website is doing, how your website is performing for your business. Now, there is a challenge that comes up when you begin using Google Analytics. And that's the challenge of analysis paralysis. There's a lot going on in Google Analytics. There's a lot of different reports that are in there. But you don't need to worry about that.

And you don't need to feel overwhelmed because that's what this course is for. I'm here to help you overcome that sense of analysis paralysis and make sure you can really Find the right reports to use and understand which reports are going to be the most helpful for you. And that's the thing, you don't have to look at every report, you just need to focus on a few key reports within Google Analytics. Now another question that comes up a fair amount. If I start talking to people about Google Analytics and start watching them begin to use Google Analytics is how often do I need to check these reports? How often do I need to be looking at all of this?

Because there's this sense that everything is constantly changing. There's constant changes to my website and technology more generally, and my competitors into SEO and ad platforms and everything is constantly changing. If you aren't watching your analytics constantly, then you're going to miss out. Now, there's some truth to that, right. I mean, there are a lot of things that are changing and you do want to pay attention to your analytics accounts, to see how those changes are affecting your website and your business. However, you don't necessarily need to feel like you have to check your analytics accounts.

Every single minute of every single day, I think for most companies, a weekly frequency is probably good enough. You can track how much traffic you're getting to how that traffic is trending over time, how different changes, either changes you're making or changes other people are making are affecting your traffic levels, how things are changing how your website is, business, are you getting fewer leads? Are you getting fewer people converting on your website, right? You want to pay attention to those things. But you don't necessarily need to check that every single minute of every single day. If you log in to Google Analytics once a week, review your reports, you'll get a sense of how things are behaving, how things are performing.

Now, if your website generates a lot of revenue for your company, if you're in a situation where you have a lot of traffic coming to your website, maybe a daily frequency makes more sense for you but want to strike that right balance between checking enough to stay informed about what's going on with your website. I'm not checking so much that you feel overwhelmed or Checking analytics begins to feel like a burden. So this course, this course is really about helping you answer three questions. The first question is, how do you make sense of the data that you're looking at? What do all the different data points that we can find in Google Analytics tell us, when are they the most beneficial? What are they really helping us get out?

What can we do with them? The second question is, what questions should we be asking? As you approach Google Analytics, you never want to open up a report blindly. You always want to go into a report with a particular question in mind with a particular idea in mind, it's something that you want to figure out. That also will help avoid the analysis paralysis. So as we go through the different reports, I'm going to help you think through.

Okay, what are the different questions that I could be asking? And which reports are the most helpful for me to use to answer those different questions? And that's really the last objective of this course is knowing what reports are the most helpful to answer those questions. Next up, let's get into talking about data privacy. And the things you need to keep in mind about privacy considerations as you begin collecting and tracking data on your website.

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