Google Analytics is a free traffic analysis program offered by Google which is capable of generating detailed statistics about the people who visit your website. Google Analytics (abbreviated GA) can track visitors from most all referring sources including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click campaigns, email newsletters, and clicks from links within PDF files.
While GA is packed full of features and functionality, initially the program can seem intimidating and daunting to use. I’d like to share a few resources with you that may help lessen the overwhelming feeling of not knowing exactly how to use the program, and what its capable of doing.
The first thing you should do before anything else is subscribe to the RSS feed of the Google Analytics blog. If you’re using Twitter, you should follow them as well. The Google Analytics team seem to have put more effort into their branding compared to other official Google blogs.
You may notice that their top horizontal navigation is seamless between their blog and their education, home, product, and support pages. A matching custom orange background and their recognizable avatar have been added to their Twitter page, giving it a nice and professional appearance. Clearly a lot of energy, time, and work have gone into the Google Analytics blog, website, and corresponding social network pages.
The second thing you should do is subscribe to the Google Analytics YouTube Channel and immediately start watching the videos. At the moment, they have a total of 36. If you feel like it will take a long time to watch them, consider how long it took to create them, and also consider what the purpose is behind making them. I also recommend subscribing to their YouTube Channel RSS feed so that when you do catch up watching the videos, you’ll be able to watch the current ones quickly as they become available.
The last thing I recommend doing if you want to learn more about using Google Analytics is to join their Google Moderator series called Web Analytics Question “Hour” With Avinash & Nick. If you don’t know what Google Moderator is, no problem, I wrote a post explaining about it, and how you can use it yourself to improve your own blog or website. Joining their series allows you to ask questions and offer a thumbs up or down vote on other questions already asked. The questions with the most thumbs up votes gets bumped to the top of the list. Each week, Avinash and Nick address and answer the most popular questions.
As you can see, Google Analytics is important. It can be beneficial for you, and Google feels it’s even more essential that you learn how to use it properly. That’s why they have gone to such extents to help you learn. That said, what other advice, tips, or tricks do you know about? Also, what are some other resources that you know about that can help people learn even more about Google Analytics? Share them with everyone else in the comments below.